Posted on 31 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Death Parade

Now this is more like it. An arcade game between two strangers with dark pasts. Excellent. But both did have a similar problem. That being they are both people who couldn’t see past themselves. It’s nice to see people react differently to the game. Here we have the two of them mistaking it for a reality tv show. But slowly realizing that something is off. The emotional breakdowns when things get dire were perfect. Misaki’s desperate bargaining and Yousukes deep regret over realizing what he gave up. Personally the most striking moment was the image of a despaired Misaki rhythmical tapping the attack button on the game after beating Yousuke unconscious. The fighting game itself was odd, like a joke game. I suppose it would be interesting to see their fighting game characters as how the general public viewed them. In Yousukes case, a typical shut in otaku. In Misaki’s a cheery vain tv actor.  This marks the first game that Decim interfered with to bring out the darkness of the players. It was a curious position for him being unusually cold. But looking carefully you could tell that he truly hated it. That look he gave the device he used to rig the game at the end of the episode showed how conflicted he was about it. I really like that about his character. He’s forced to play the role of the villain and yet is still compassionate. That last hug he gave the players betraying that façade truly moved me.

But here’s the question. Did Misaki truly deserve to go to hell? Herein Lies the problem with judging with a good or bad scale. There are always people who fit into neither category. Misaki wasn’t a nice person, that much is for certain but was she evil? Not quite. In truth she is more ignorant to the feelings of those around her. She was so caught up in her problems and misery that she failed to take into account how her actions affected others. The very thing that lead to her death. Misaki had a hard life that shaped her to be who she is. If she made a better choice for a lover she might have become a completely different person. With that said, in my opinion I agree with Decims judgement. Nothing was as telling as Misaki slamming Yousuke’s face into the arcade machine. She did regret it, yes. But only after she had done the deed. There were plenty of telling things in her flashbacks and her actions. I for example found it interesting that her special attack in the game where the children came to help and the only useful one was the baby. The only one too young to recognise his mothers faults. It wasn’t her fault but her experiences had corrupted her. She was past the point of no return. If given a second chance at life I fear she would only repeat her mistakes. Yousuke however recognised his mistakes and saw what it was he threw away. Therefore he was more deserving of redemption. Still Misaki’s end was a cruel one and one deserving of pity. Next episode we get to met the red haired fellow from the opening so I wonder what he will bring to the table.

Posted on 29 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Durarara

If its one thing you to can credit Narita for it that just when you think he cannot possibly make a stranger character, he then does. So the monster that Shizu smashed into the air in the last moment gets their story told and I am sure there are not many who would have guessed what was under that makeup. Yes not only is the serial killer Hollywood female but she also happens to be a famous idol called Ruri Hijiribe. Really question how she fits killing into what is most likely a packed schedule. My issue with this is that on the episode in which she is introduced is also the episode she essentially reached the end of her character arc. Her problem was that she felt like a monster that couldn’t be understood. Only to find that this town is filled with monsters living normal lives. I really don’t see how her character can evolve from here. At most she’s now just a love interest for Yuhei. Yuhei is also quite the character having reacted to his guest trying to kill him with the same apathy one would reserve for a school play. Well according to him he was actually quite scared but is bad at expressing himself. Saving his life by weirding out or potentially charming Ruri. The dialogue between these two was so off that you can’t help but feel they are strangely made for each other.

The time jumping is getting rather confusing now. Seeing as this episodes beginning takes place at the start of the first episode but jumps to the middle of the second episode and it turns out the Orihara section of the second episode took place before the beginning of the first episode and…like I said. Laying out the timeline is likely an endeavor. On one note it’s a little unbelievable that the guy who was previously dying in the last episodes ends up fine with some bandages. It’s true that if he did die that would mean that Shizuo murdered someone under false pretenses but it’s a little hard to believe that this guy survived a hit like that. But then again this is a world where a man can pull up lampposts to use as makeshift baseball bats. The Orihara sisters still manage to be endearing despite their incredibly messed up personalities. Just what kind of childhood can create monsters like this? They seem to have taken on the job of the injured Russian and look to be getting wrapped up in what looks to be this arcs climax.

Posted on 27 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Death Parade

Well this isn’t quite what I expected. This episode was a much more lighthearted fare with it being about love. It was better than the last episode but still not to the level I expected from this series. The game this time barely factored into the story at all. The twist on it was that they were bowling with each others hearts. It didn’t really factor into anything besides a truly disturbing moment we’re the man was getting turned on from having his fingers inside the area of her heart. Just…seriously what is wrong with you? But things looked up when the arbitrators whispered about a secret the girl was keeping. My mind started spinning tales from her being a serial killer or her being a man. So in truth it was my own fault that the reveal was so lackluster to me. But really it was something so small that I didn’t get why everyone made a big deal out of it. So if you have not watched the episode yet I recommend to stop reading here as I am about to spoil it.

Alright my main problem here is that this girl wanted to catch this guy’s attention so much that she got full plastic surgery in order to look like a girl from his childhood. Small inquiry here. If you were willing to go that far then why was talking to him out of the question? Would that have been too embarrassing? And hey Instead of getting full facial surgery why not just go for a boob job? If anime has taught me anything it’s that is bound to catch his attention and it would have been cheaper too. I can sort of get what the message here. The two just needed to talk to each other and only got the chance when they died. But I just feel the extreme she went to was just too extreme. Well the two got their date and we learned that both people can go to heaven which means of course that both can be damned to hell as well. This is info that will make the next games interesting.

I wouldn’t have minded this episode if it was in the middle of the series. In fact it does feel like a middle episode as Decim and Onna seem oddly used to working together. I found it strange when Decim remarked that Onna was getting used to the game. Especially when to our knowledge this was her first time working as assistant. This is bad as I was looking forward to seeing the two warm up to each other and build chemistry. But the story seems to have skipped that process. In fact this is my main problem with this episode. I wouldn’t have minded a change of pace if this was the seventh or eighth episode. After a few grim episodes having a light hearted game would have been refreshing. But here it’s oddly out of place. We have only started and the characters are treating it as though we have been through a number of games. The two death games so far have kept things on the light side. I hope the next episodes delve more into the dark parts of humanity. Next time we got an arcade game and things look to be more on the side that I like.

Posted on 22 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Durarara

If this episode had a focus then the stars would be Celty and the Orihara sisters. Though there were other events such as Anri and Mikado going to karaoke with Erika and Walker but it wasn’t really all the important and seemed to be there to foreshadow a new character and set up what looks to be future hijinks. Though we have the standard of Narita storytelling going on, namely jumping around in time to past and future events with little to no context.

Celty truly is a interesting character from an animation perspective.  Its easy to overlook but when you think about it she must be one of the trickiest characters to animate. Why you ask? Well how do you show a character is sad without words? The easiest is to turn her eyes to the ground and give them a frown. Add in a tear and a slight head droop if they are really sad. But in Celty’s case, how would you do that? The girl doesn’t have a head therefore removing the large emotional range a face can provide. Of course they could have easily made her a deadpan snarker but instead Celty is presented as a fairly emotional character. All of this through body language.  I am reminded of the Raimi Spiderman movies where Tobey needed to exaggerate his movements to act when Spiderman. Celty twirls when happy, fidgety when embarrassed and puts her hand to her chin when thinking. In a strange way it makes her seem the most human character in the show. Odd considering that she is by definition, not human. Its this that makes her so likeable. The voice actress does deserve credit but the animators really did a great job.

Though it was the Orihara sisters that stole the show. They certainly prove to be Izaya’s family, being completely strange and insane. If Izaya’s word can be trusted they chose their personalities on the roll of a dice. But ended up with a disjointed disconnect between personality and appearance.  So we have a girl with the look of a quiet library girl being talkative and proclaiming to be a outgoing bisexual. And a girl in a gym outfit whose sullen and quiet. Naturally the two stand out and I sighed as the stereotypical bullying starts. But luckily the bullies a taken care of quickly. Its good that these throwaway villains were just put in to point out that the Orihara sisters are just as dangerous as their older brother. I am willing to bet the two have become fan favorites by episodes end. Though I wonder what their role will be in this particular arc? From the looks of things they are getting involved as near the episodes end they find a dying man that Shizu bashed into the air. Well we have set up two dynamic characters so at least make use of them Narita. Don’t toss them to the sidelines.

Posted on 18 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Death Parade

Well this isn’t the best start. I must admit to being disappointed in this weeks Death Parade. Mainly because it was essentially a recap of the first episode. This episode was from the perspective of two characters who were watching the events of the first episode. With a white haired ponytail girl introducing another to how the game works. This bugs me in a number of ways. One for being a complete rehash of the first episode, even using the same animation. Two, for spelling everything out. The first episode needed no explanation. Anything the ponytailed girl mentions could have easily been figured from the first episode with a little thinking. Three, explaining the process. Some things are better left in the dark. When you start uncovering the process to how it works it loses it’s mysticism. And four, removing the ambiguity of the last episode. The last episode allowed you to make your own conclusion to what happened. That was great, as in most situations like this there is no clear answer. But then this episode goes and just gives you the answer on a silver plate. Here you go, no more wondering. It’s aggravating.

However there are good things here as well. I quite like that Decim aknowledged that he may have made a mistake in his judgement. Meaning that an arbitrator can potentially send the wrong person to hell.(or Void…sigh…I prefered Hell. Why can’t we keep that ambiguous?) That opens up great possibilities for later episodes. Onna(The girl that white ponytail was talking to) is going to be Decim’s assistant for future episodes which is perfect as she is showing herself to be the emotional compass to contrast Decim’s detached demeanor. Though that may be incorrect. Decim may not show much on his face but there are things about him that make him not quite indifferent. His reaction to his mistake was certainly telling. Plus I wonder what does he do with his doll hobby? Though while Onna and Decim are interesting I can’t say I am fond of the ponytailed girl, otherwise known as Nona. She mainly played the role of the exposition device in this episode but her overall personality is basically just being the boss of the group. If she’s going to be in future episodes then she will need more characteristics. That interest in the human mentality she briefly mentioned for example. It would be interesting to see her jump into future games and change the rules in order to make things more twisted for her own amusement. Well next week we have another death game and I personally am looking forward to it.

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Sorry for leaving these out but they are not really worthy of a full impression. So I am just tossing down my two cents here.

Seiken Tsukai no World Break – Hoo boy…maybe I spoke too soon about Juuou Mujin no Fafnir being worse than Absolute Duo. Because beside this trash heap it’s at least watchable. Well alright I did laugh heartly when the protagonist was faced with an army and just ran through them holding his sword forward, causing a tidal wave of blood. Plus there was a dragon at the beginning. But while the actual premise could have held potential sadly with it’s idea of people remembering past lives they lived. To see it be used for just setting up a harem and bland superpowers is rather depressing. But if there’s one thing that drags this show into the gutter it’s that pink haired girl. With every sentence she spoke I swear I was overcome with the urge to end her life for the good of humanity. The writing is just embassiously incompetent, even by generic light novel plots. Add in a terrible soundtrack with bad animation and god awful comedy and you got yourself 25 minutes you shall never get back.

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – Well I was wondering where the generic fanservice harem of the season was. I stopped myself from doing an impression on this before as it started with a 00 episode and wasn’t the start of the story. I thought it would be fair to judge it on it’s proper first episode. Though I must say that the very first lines of the 00 episode pretty much did my job for me. We have one of the haremettes criticising a harem anime for having too much fanservice and being a waste of time, while in the bath and a showing a ridiculous amount of fanservice. I honestly can’t tell if this is trying to be ironic or is blissfully unaware. Because if it’s the second, then it’s annoying. If it’s the first then it’s even more so. The anime tends to do this strange effect all the time as well where instead of the characters being outlined with black, they are outlined with a random bright colour like pink or light green. It doesn’t seem to be there for any real reason and doesn’t even look good. Now personally I would just toss this into the “Just another harem” pile and think no more on it. But this anime managed to make me angry. Not for being a plain old harem but for trying to pretend it wasn’t one.(And well it’s not as if it pissed me off because the main character was a blogger who covers anime,light novels and video games almost immediately after release. Yeah right, jackass. Doing that when you have three part time jobs?) It puts up a tired cliche and then points out it’s a tired cliche. But you still used a tired cliche, just because you pointed it out as one doesn’t mean that you didn’t still use it. It’s just a poor form of satire to cover your use of an overused trope. The big issue is that long haired writer girl who often plays the part of being a harsh critic. But in the oddest of turns, her criticisms of the main characters idea can be applied to the show itself. Is this show self aware or is the creator oblivious to this? I don’t know but frankly it feels like I am listening to a hypocritic talking about his sophisticated taste in anime when he has his shelves behind him packed with hentai and harems. The main theme they are making this out to be about is the main character gathering a group of girls to make a eroge/visual novel and that the main heroine is a plain girl who doesn’t stand out much.(Or shes supposed to be. She’s not ugly or plain at all.) If you are going to be a harem then be a harem. Don’t try a assume you are presenting something of a higher level.

Shounen Hollywood – Holly Stage for 50 – This may be just a hunch but I think I am not the target market of this anime. And I think now I understand what it must be like to watch a harem from a female perspective. Seriously are these…things supposed to be men? I am not sure if I could talk to them for five minutes without punching them. There designs are also very similar. So much so that I am fairly convinced that two of them look exactly the same. I am sorry guys, I tried but I am really not the kind of person to judge this fairly. I am pretty sure it’s trash but without another perspective I cannot say that for certainty.

Koufuku Graffiti – Cute girls doing cute things…exciting stuff. So seeing as these antics of these girls I don’t find remotely adorable or interesting, I guess the only thing I can judge here is the comedy. And it’s not funny. At all. Really it’s hard to judge a show like this, when there’s nothing to judge. It’s essential a show about a girl who stays with a another girl who cooks good food and eats it with her. That’s it. That’s the entire plot. The only thing I can comment on is the ever so awkwardly suggestive way the cook girl eats food. It’s so shameless.

Isuca – Now this is a truly bad anime. I can honestly tell that anyone working on this did not care at all. And with good reason. This story is the most overdone story in anime. This is the gutter of anime. And it makes it clear right from the start with the main getting flashed by a woman. And oh god it just gets worse from there. From wipe transitions to a lighting beast who can only manage to burn off the clothes of women. Even essentially sexually molesting girls for life force. Just…come on author. I know the industry is hard and you need your paycheck but would a little restraint be too much? Every character is one we seen before. Even the lead is a Rie Kugimiya role that not played by Rie Kugimiya. The animation is bare bones. Just don’t watch it. It’s not worth your time. Not even for the fanservice.

Posted on 12 January 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

The Rolling Girls

Short Synopsis: What did I just watch?

I am just going to break it to you. I have no idea what to think of this show. This is a work by the same studio who animated Attack on titan. It is an anime original show (meaning it is not based on anything) and is about as far away from Attack on Titan as you can get. My understanding of the story is a little vague but from what I understand the world leaders have disappeared and this has resulted in Japan breaking into independent provinces which are at war. So sort of a present day sengoku jidai. But then there’s also these gangs with superpowered individuals called the best. And one of them fights in a tonkatsu outfit for some reason and there’s some girl from another province who fights with a giant hairpin. Ok, that’s enough about the story, I am not going to get it at this point. The characters are interesting and the animation is rather colourful with lots of movement. The story is told in a humorous way so it’s clear it’s not taking itself very seriously. That may be the thing that’s putting me off so much. It reminds me of a studio trigger work in it’s style and execution. Once you can get past it’s rather odd setting I think this could be a good show.

Potential: 60%

 

Yoru no Yatterman

Short Synopsis: The descendants of a group of exiled villains take up the mantle of their ancestors.

Now this is interesting. This is a sort of reboot to an age old show called Yatterman that aired way back in the 70s. However rather than take the perspective of the heroes descendants, they decide to follow the exploits of the villains ancestors. The story is simplistic but I just love the idea. This first episode is mainly to do with why the girl decides to bring back the Yatterman’s enemy, the Dorombo thieves. It is unfortunate that they took the route of making the heroes more villainous in order to get you to root for the villains but I am interested to see how this rag tag group intends to strike back at the so far dystopian looking Yatterman kingdom. The question is what can we do with this. If it’s a tale of this group growing from nothing to a great powerful threat to the kingdom then I am sold. The animation was also quite impressive.

OP: I like it.

Potential: 80%

 

Sengoku Musou

Short Synopsis: Too many cooks.

This seems to be a video game adaption of a game called Samurai warriors which is a spinoff to the dynasty warriors series. It is also a game based loosely around the sengoku jidai. Now I have a little knowledge on the sengoku jidai. And I cannot stress the little enough. But one of the problems of basing a story around it is the number of characters in the story. That is essentially the problem here. There are far too many characters. So many that the only introduction they get is to show a subtitle pointing out each of their names when they show up. Out of everyone there I just saw a group of bland one dimensional characters. There is some good action but still frames and speed lines as well. The soundtrack has nice use of japanese instruments. I am going to be fair and say that I have difficulty with stories based in this setting. So I could just have a problem of not knowing enough about the era to get invested. But from what I saw here I can’t say it has inspired me to educate myself. As I feel that even if I did know about this period of history that I would still find this uninteresting and likely insulting.

OP: Again nice use of traditional japanese instruments. Other than that nothing noteworthy.

Potential: 0%

Posted on 11 January 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Durarara!!X2

Short Synopsis: People are strange, when you’re a stranger.

It felt like a lot happened, but nothing really changed. That is the first season of Durarara summarized perfectly. The show itself even seems to revel in this. That said the main enjoyment of Durarara is seeing the cast of wacky characters interact with each other. Seeing Celty, Izaya and the gang again gave me a great hit of nostalgia and reminded me that the last time I saw these guys was back in 2010. Just seeing things like Celty’s hilarious fear of the police brings a old smile to my face. But Erika and Walker, you disappoint me. Last time I saw you two you were dragging around a Spice and Wolf cutout. Now I hear you name dropping the likes of Black Bullet, Mahouka and Oreimo? What happened to you two? For shame, guys. For shame….oh yes the impressions! One of the new characters introduced are a bit too much of a mothermouth. Well for my opinion, if you liked the first season then you will like this. However do not go in expecting character development or a move into a dramatic huge ongoing story arc. You will be disappointed.

OP: The op much like Narita’s other works seems focused on naming out the huge cast of characters. But the song is really good as well as the animation.

Potential: 80%

 

Soukyuu no Fafner Dead Aggressor – Exodus

Short Synopsis: Humanity is fighting a war against golden CG monsters.

Xebec is a animation studio with not the best of reputations. Many of their works are fanservice related. But in 2004 they brought out an anime known as Fafner. The inspirations for the show were pretty apparent and the CG was terrible but it was a good show with a slow start. In particular I am rather fond of it’s prequel OVA called Right of left which had a great premise that could have made a full fledged series on it’s own(And was even better than the series itself.). This will be the second tv series of Fafner though it has had a sequel movie to the previous series. So the main problem so far is that you need a lot of knowledge about the previous series to watch this. It makes no effort to clue in the audience about anything here. And as someone who has seen the previous series even I can say I was even a bit lost. This was also a build up episode so it’s difficult to make a judgement on what the series will be like with this. But if the last series are anything to judge it by I would say we got giant robots and despair incoming. Much like the previous series this does have great potential. Though the main problem with this franchise is that the works didn’t use that potential to it’s fullest.

Potential: 60%

 

Aldnoah Zero Season 2

Short Synopsis: I SAY CRYYY! I SAY CRYYY!

The first season of Aldnoah Zero had one of the strongest first episodes of it’s season. It retained that quality for two or three more episodes. And boasted a great soundtrack. But then something went awry. Mainly because the story was too concerned with putting the characters in extreme situations rather than develop the characters to give the viewer a reason to care for them. In a last ditch effort to make things interesting the last episode took the kill everyone route. Not realizing that it made the entirely of the season, well…pointless. Now we know that the Gen Urobuchi has jumped ship I really don’t hold much hope for this. You may be calling me a fool for that but remember, Psycho Pass S2. Same scenario, it did not end well. And this starts off with a rocky start as a robot pilot remarks that the bullets are missing because the wind is too strong…in space. My opinion drops further as they resurrect everyone who supposedly died. As I continue watching I can’t help but get the feeling I am watching Code Geass season 2 all over again. What Aldnoah Zero needs to do is develop it’s characters. Not spring plot twist after plot twist to the point where each grows more nonsensical than the last.

Potential: 20%

 

Some really quick first impressions

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir – And here I thought Absolute Duo would take the cake for most uninspired of the season. Monsters attacking humanity, school setting, Only girls have magic powers and our protagonist is the first boy admitted because he’s the first boy with powers which are not special but will turn out to be super special awesome, all girls want him because there’s no other competition…you have seen it already. Don’t bother. I say the only thing this anime tried on was adding dubstep to the soundtrack. Terrible, unfitting dubstep.

Dog Days season 3 – There are many great mysteries in the world. Is there a god? The nature of existence? Why are we here? But surely a new mystery has been added and it is the greatest of all. That being, why is there a third season of Dog Days? I truly do not understand it. Just as I don’t understand how they have not been sued for various copyright violations. Just try and tell me those are not Chocobos. And that pink girl equipping armour that was clearly ripped off of Saber from Fate/stay nights signature look? Never forgive, never forget. And various more. My point is that this really does not need to exist. The second season didn’t need to exist, let alone a third. And here it is again, the consequence free adventures of easy going mcgee and his furry harem. You are getting nothing new here. Like Dog Days? Watch it. Have sanity? Don’t.

Posted on 10 January 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Kantai Collection

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist sucks at playing battleship

This is an anime based on the popular browser game of the same name. I haven’t played it but from what I hear it has ship daughters and some form of strategy. So I went into this blind, not knowing what I would get. That said, I certainly did not expect cosplaying waterskiing girls with gun skirts fighting bikini clad waterskiing alien women. It was so absurd to look at that I was laughing during the action scenes. But well turns out that is only half the show. For the other half it’s cute girls doing cute things time! A type of anime which has always baffled me. I mean, Harems I get. Generic superpower anime I get. This? The fascination of seeing girls being overacting toddlers is something that never resonated with me. So the unfortunate thing is that both halves don’t work for me. The first because it cracks me up whenever I see those girls waterskiing(In off-putting CG to boot) with those stupid battleship armaments. The second because I have no interest in cute antics. This looks to be an anime for the fans of the game and nothing more.

Potential: 0%

 

The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist wants to become an idol

The first season of Idolmaster wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great by any means  but it wasn’t really deserving of scorn. It was a watchable show and compared to the exceedingly large amount of idol themed anime you could do a lot worse. The second season looks to more of just that and I can honestly say I didn’t hate it. I am even a little ashamed to say it was rather enjoyable. Obnoxious Engrish J-POP aside(Ugh it’s so peppy…) the episode was fun to watch. Seeing the producers awkward efforts to recruit the girls was quite amusing. And at least attempts to have a story unlike the many “cute girls doing cute things” shows. If you are looking for something light to watch inbetween the stuff this season I can say this will fill the need.

Potential: 30%

 

Tokyo Ghoul √A

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist eats Soylent Green.

The first season of tokyo ghoul was a mess. Mainly because of someones great idea of adapting a full 66 chapters of manga in a single cour run. This story does have a pace too slow in the manga but with breakneck pacing the story was murdered. So the question is whether they will slow down for this season or keep the fast pace to cover the rest of the manga. Neither it seems. This is going anime original. Oh yes Studio Pierrot, that’s likely to not anger the fandom further. Pure genius, good job! Alright lets put sarcasm to one side. While the end revelation makes no sense when regarding Kaneki’s character, it’s does open potential for some good idea’s. The second half of the manga is where the more shounen tropes come out proving this is a shounen disguised as a seinien and when you have already buggered up the story, going your own way with it may not be a bad idea. However, in many cases when an anime decides to do it’s own thing and be it’s own story it normally ends up with a much more subpar result. There are exceptions, Fullmetal Alchemist and Welcome to the NHK to name a few. But for every success there is a hundred failures. We may get badass Kaneki and some good action but I am guessing the plot of this show is going to go down the drain. A 10% for wishful thinking that this could provide a better ending than the manga did.

OP: I could give props for being different but one minute and thirty seconds of Kaneki awkwardly staring at me is one minute too many.

Potential: 10%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc

Short Synopsis: Our protagonist is going to Egypt to kill a vampire

Jojo’s first season was a breath of fresh air with it’s ridiculous entertainment value. However with the second season I found that a lot of it’s magic had been lost as the series took a more episodic monster of the week format. Stands eliminated much of the unpredictability of fights, most of the season felt like unnecessary padding and Jotaro remains to me the weakest protagonist so far out of the three arcs. But maybe because of the long break coming back in to this episode reminded me of why I loved the first season. A new unconventional stand member has joined the gang and the new threat is an interesting one. However just when we thought the monster of the week format may go away seeing as nearly all the tarots have been fought, it’s brought up that Dio has nine new goons to get in Jojo’s way. I hoping that some of the fun of the first season could be brought back but if this is going to be another conga line of one note villains this will get old fast.

OP: Excellent visuals but not very fond of the singing in the song.

ED: In true Jojo fashion the ED is an unconventional one. This one being “Last train home” by Pat Methany group. However unlike the last two endings this one is too mellow and doesn’t fit the show.

Potential: 60%

 

Death Parade

Short Synopsis: A newly-wedded couple have to play a game of darts with their lives on the line.

You may have heard of a animated short for the 2013 Young Animator Training Project called “Death Billiards.” If you haven’t then check it out. It’s excellent. Well that short has evolved into a series and this is it. It is the series I am most looking forward because it hits all the right notes for me. I have a soft spot for stories about people pushed into extreme situations that test the limits of their morality. This episode delivered on that in spades. Seeing the characters breakdown as the dart game continued just delights my sadistic heart. However while the animation was great I found the characters emotions, in particular the male character, to be far too heavily exaggerated. The guy was slobbering like a dog for crying out loud. Another issue deals with the after credits scene which shows the other characters of the bar. I fear that too much attention would be given to the workers of the bar instead of focusing on the death games. Do not make that mistake Death Parade. Know what the audience came for. That said, this is looking to be my pick of the season.

OP: Considering the dark nature of the show this opening is far too upbeat and grandiose. I hope it’s not a bad sign of things to come. Other than that, I like it.

Potential: 90%

 

Assassination Classroom

Short Synopsis: A yellow squid is going to destroy the world

I have read the manga of Assassination classroom up to date so I know what’s coming here. This manga is by the same author who wrote Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro and my overall impression of the story is that it’s readable but does not have anything that particularly stands out. The villains in particular have weak characterisation though are still infuriating in their ignorance. In particular the main villain, who is the principal, has teaching methods that look rooted in “master race” philosophy.  Though the story has extreme elements it is more or less a shounen venture. However reading the story and watching the story are different. In some ways I think this works better as an anime. The comedy works much better and seeing the assassin attempts is much more exciting. Also the soundtrack is more excellent than it deserves to be. This is a very strong start to the series but it does give a mistaken impression on what the story will be about. This is less a story about assassinating an evil monster and more the battle of the underdog class against the over privileged bigots of the other classes. With the right execution this could turn it to be very entertaining.

OP: Annoyingly catchy but a nice tune.

ED: Excellent. A nice tune and the chalkboard visuals are a good idea.

Potential: 50%

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Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
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