Posted on 30 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

Not much to talk about this episode as it was mainly set up to the next. The army’s reputation looks to have risen after driving off a dragon and looks to have caught the attention of our new female character. I was about to sigh when I saw the old anime staple of a bath scene but honestly from a fanservice standpoint it was barren. Alright, there was one shot of the elf girl but frankly it was only a second long and not too gratuitous. It’s nice to seen a anime take the higher road and not just shove in fanservice disregarding the tone of the show for the sake of pandering to otaku. (Looking at you, Ranpo Kitan) the main bulk of the episode was about our three heroines integrating into the army camp. Rory looks to be going with the flow, while mage girl is taking steps to better communicate and understand them. Though elf girl is reserved and avoiding the army. Partly because of her trauma involving the dragon attack on her village and partly from getting thrown into a world so different from her home.

Admittedly when the show shifts to show countries other than Japan discussing the gate its a little one dimensional. Though truth be told if a gate to another world did open then its true that every country would be itching to get their greedy hands on it. Thing is that Japan wouldn’t be the exception in this case, they would be just as greedy. An interesting point did come up in this episode that if the gate is a paradise of bountiful resources then it could lead to Japan taking on the world to hold a monopoly on it. Though I question this as the gate only has a single point of entry not making it the best way to farm resources considering that all resources would need to pass through this one small gateway. That’s going to be one big traffic jam in the making. I know it’s not exactly new for me to say this but the weakest part of the show happens to be the comedy. Itami’s otaku nature is often used for jokes but it’s ultimately the same punchline, that Itami is a massive otaku. The other jokes unrelated to that can have rare moments, such as a general calling a dragon a one headed Ghidorah. The next episode looks to be when the princess of the kingdom and Itami’s squad encounter each other. Sparks are inbound.

Posted on 26 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

Here it is, a flashback to the beginning of the outbreak. In a market as over saturated with zombie media as ours it’s rather hard to do this kind of story without treading on old ground. The start of the outbreak is the focal point of every beginning for a zombie movie. Rarely is it explained and always during an unsuspecting day. In this case a day in the life of Megumi, a teacher at the school. But I think this stands out in how it was presented, namely this episode focused on Megumi’s day. We see her go to work and teach as well as help out students all the while waiting for hell to be unleashed. The thing is that this is likely the way anyone would act in a zombie outbreak. Going about the usual routine while ignoring the likes of Sirens and news reports cause you got your own things to deal with and it’s not as if those things affect you. It’s only when it hits you headfirst that everything comes crashing down. This episode gives good insight into just what our characters were like before the outbreak and from the looks of things Yuki’s pre-apocalypse life wasn’t quite as rosy as her delusions made it out to be. She’s certainly more depressed and from the looks of things, bullied. It’s rather depressingly morbid to see that Yuki is happier after the tragedy and after going insane than she ever was before it all happened.

We didn’t see her go insane yet but it looks like its beginning with her freakout on the roof. We did see however how Kurumi got her shovel and how her killing of the zombified senpai really went down. Some people say this show is censored but from the way I see it these cuts to black are more a stylish choice and they are much better presentation that simply showing gore. In these kinds of things less is more. This show isn’t about going around kicking zombie ass, it’s about these girls running away from a harsh reality. So cutting to black and reaction shots to Kurumi beating her crushes skull in with a shovel does so much more than simply showing it. In the end imagination fills in the blanks better than visuals ever could. One thing I might say is a flaw is when the series moves to portray the Moe side of things such as here where the girls camp together inside the building. Unlike other shows the Moe does have a point which makes it at least tolerable but even so it is fairly standard drivel to put up with.

Speaking of direction, it remains fantastic. I am not sure whether I should attribute that to the director, Masaomi Ando, or to the script/series composer, Norimitsu Kaihou, who just so happens to be the creator of the manga series. That may be just why this series is turning out so well, as we have the original creator on the team to make his story work within a new medium.  A lot of anime suffer from being too constrained to the source material which normally has to use different methods of showcasing action or visuals. The most common case is in Shounen anime where you have characters describing how a attack works during a fight instead of just showing it. But by giving the author creative control over the anime it allows him to better change the story for a visual medium. After all, he created it so naturally he would know the best way to present it, instead of an unrelated director attempted to place their own creative filter over someone else’s work. It’s the little touches in the episode that really rewards those who keep a close eye, one such example being a point on the roof were Megumi just realized that something was wrong and there’s a perfect shot showing the shadow cast from the building covering Megumi while the two other girls remain in the light. This series remains solid though the real turning point will be when Yuki’s imaginary world is broken. I complain that the moe drivel of this series is something bothersome but it’s undeniable the factor that heightens the dark side and prevents this from being just another zombie show. It shall be a dangerous act of juggling two opposites in perfect harmony and keeping that act interesting is something that I truly hope this anime succeeds with.

Posted on 25 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gangsta

I have said it before but these twilight characters rub me the wrong way. This group of superhuman individuals just sticks out like a sore thumb in a grounded setting such as this. They are a Shounen element in a otherwise Seinien show so when they come out and start leaping on rooftops this just becomes another show altogether. While Black Lagoon had its share of superhuman individuals such as Roberta, at least the show recognized that they were indeed completely ridiculous. Here we have a kid wall jumping about the place and the main characters just treat it as another day in the office. It really undermines the skill of our main swordsman when you know that there’s a whole group of people with his level of ability, all of whom got it from some experiment. That’s one of the reasons I would respect a hero like Batman more so than Captain America, one was forged with skill and the other got it handed to him. Woricks photographic memory also runs on the borderline of being supernatural. True a person can have a good memory but you just cannot collect and process information just by flipping through the pages of a book. The father figure to the handymen looks to to be a old Cop which is admittedly a bit of a cliché. The crook that happens to have a mentor/guardian in the police is something that’s seen a bit too often. That said he seems like a decent enough character being kind to them in his own way while not such a morally upstanding person to not take advantage of their skills.

Woricks past suffers from characters who I will for now refer to as forced drama devices. The maids talking trash perfectly within earshot of him and the teachers being obstinate to teaching a boy who has already been taught. I have never been fond of these kinds of characters, they are less people and more the prodding hands of the writer. It’s lazy and merely a means to get the characters and audience to feel what the writer wants them to without putting in the effort to make less one sided characters or situations to do the same. But it at least reveals how the two met though it doesn’t quite explain why he killed his parents. Thought Worick does seem to have some paranoia that maybe he was given a deaf bodyguard on purpose so that he’s more easily killed off. Alex looks to be haunted by her experience with her pimp as it does seem like she started in a similar manner with them as she has with the handymen. It would make sense if they took her in and slowly pushed her towards prostitution. Its nice to see her get some development though I wish there was a bit more to her. At the moment she’s acting as a plot device to introduce and develop other characters so it would be good to see her gain more personality. This new twilight kid isn’t the most interesting, he mostly just comes off as a one time villain. Acting cocky, decimating the minor background characters and soon to be taken out by our main protagonists.

Posted on 24 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

This episode introduces what looks to be the main trio of girls for the cast. A elf girl, a mage girl and a Goth lolita girl with a giant axe. The Goth lolita, otherwise know as the Apostle of a death god, Rory is so far the most interesting of the bunch. Though mainly because the elf girl was unconscious for the majority of the episode and the mage girl is a bit too bland. Rory is one man killing machine with a halberd who is most certainly the type that looks younger than her age. She looks to be having fun with the army as they are oblivious to her true destructive power, she’s rather mischievous in that manner. But there’s a flaw with this episode in how Rory helped to defeat the dragon. When a rocket was shot at the dragon they seen that it would miss and in the span of time it took for the rocket to reach the dragon, Rory jumped out of the back, landed on the roof and threw her halberd faster than a rocket to hit the ground and cause the dragon to stumble. All in about three seconds at most. No matter how incredible this girl may be, that seems downright unfeasible.

Thus the army managed to defeat and drive off the giant monster. When I thought that, I took a moment to ponder just when was the last time I seen that happen. As the army man said, the JSDF has a (Fictional) history of fighting giant monsters. They do not however have a history of winning against giant monsters. Any time the army is brought out to fight some supernatural threat they have always proved to be ineffective and often obliterated. In fiction armies are often brought in to show the depth of the threat by getting destroyed so that the heroes victory is all the more impressive. The most recent example of this I have seen happened to be in the Aquaman DC animated movie when the army are brought in only to be completely useless and are saved by the heroes. So even if they got a little help from Rory. It’s nice to see the army have a win for once. The dragon used a style of CGI which was rather different, were they tried to fuse hand drawn texture with a CGI animation model. Alright, it didn’t quite work as the dragon still looked awkward but well it’s nice to see some experimentation.

What I really liked about this episode was the situation the army was in. They have the resources to easily take down a dragon but due to the delicate nature of bringing excess force too much into enemy territory it leaves them in the position of guiding refugees away from their village. They could only help out in small ways and even with that a lot of people still died. The funeral scene was really well done and from the looks of things they not have a group of people to care for. The next episode looks to be seeing how they integrate with the armies base.

Posted on 21 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gangsta

I really don’t understand Mangalobe’s thinking on this changes, for you see this episode was an adaption of the second chapter in the manga. I don’t see the reason why they felt that they needed to mix around the order of these episodes but I suppose it’s no harm done. To be honest I found this episode to be far more entertaining than the action episode of last week. This episode mainly acted as a character development episode for Worick, where we learn he was abducted by Nicholas after he killed his parents. There definitely feels like a lot missing from the point where Worick and Nicholas became friends but at least it shows just how much the city changed him. The underlying point being that this city is the kind of place that once you become used to it, you will find it difficult to leave. Alex is really playing the same role as Rock in Black Lagoon, being a relatively normal person thrown into a crime filled place. But she shares a strange connection with Worick seeing as both were forced into prostitution.

Their thoughts are quite different however as Alex greatly resents her occupation whereas Worick thinks nothing of it. But one really telling thing was just how angry he got when Nicholas was brought into the conversation. His client seems to desire a less professional relationship while Worick keeps his distance but when she suggested a threesome with Nicholas he got quite irritated with her. And when someone mocked him for being his friend Worick got downright murderous. There’s a disconnect here as with the opening scene it was shown that Nicholas threw him into this world after killing his parents so why is it that Worick regards him so well when by all accounts he has every reason to resent him?

Another part of this episode was Alex and Nicholas making deliveries of what looks to be drugs for these people known as Twilights. A decent way of introducing the main players of the town who will likely play a much bigger part in things to come. It really pointed out how abnormal this town was as Nicholas was having fairly normal conversations as people were getting shot dead in front of him. Seeing Nicholas interact with people in general was quite interesting, as deaf characters in anime are rare. Generally he tries to avoid talking as much as possible hence his character has a lot of body language in the animation. Alex seems at a loss on how to interact with him and it’s actually a flaw on the animators part to have her say in the episode that she was afraid of him yet here she doesn’t seem all that threatened by him. Though Nicholas doesn’t look to like her very much and a lot of his interaction looks like he’s just putting up with her for Woricks sake.Also on the matter of Nicholas it seems the dying girl at the brothel they were delivering drugs to has some connection to him. All and all we have lots of setup this episode and that’s good. Three episodes in and Gangsta is proving to be a solid show, more so than Jormungand the other Black Lagoon styled show. I really need to come up with some sort of term for these kinds of shows as I am sure the Black lagoon comparison is getting worn out.

Posted on 19 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

 

So despite saying I would cover Chaos Dragon in my summer preview, I have decided to cover this instead. The reasons for this is simple, the obvious one being that Chaos Dragon is a poorly written, badly animated and jarring mess of an anime. But the main reason is that after the second episode I tried to seek out the source material to see why Chaos Dragon was such a mess. I actually managed to find it and to my relief its actually pretty good. But I also found out that the anime doesn’t resemble it in the slightest. The difference between the anime and source is night and day. I found out that none of the writers in the game have creative control over it and it was intended to be loosely based. Though loosely based is an understatement, from the looks of things the anime writer took the character designs and the setting and that’s it. So who decided they could twist this collaborative project into their own little script? The answer is Shou Aikawa. Shou Aikawa happens to have the strangest portfolio of work that ranges from really good(Fullmetal alchemist, twelve kingdoms,RahXephon) to horrendously awful(Angel Cop, Eureka Seven Ao, Violence Jack) and unfortunately for us Chaos Dragon fell in the latter category. I don’t know what he’s really thinking by taking this interesting project and turning it into a poor man’s Akame no Kill, especially seeing as Akame no Kill is a downright embarrassing plodding mess of an anime. The fact of the matter is this anime is now destined for failure as when someone attempts to take someone’s idea and twist it into their own, the result is rarely successful. My second choice for covering this season, Ranpo, also put me on the fence with its second episode as the mystery left no room to be solved by the audience and there is odd placement of comedy. And with Kishi at the helm my expectations for this show have dropped. So with that I plan on covering this anime.

The combination of light hearted moe antics and grim apocalyptic horror remains strong with this series. In many ways stronger than the manga and this anime has some truly fantastic direction so far. In particular the way the camera never truly puts a zombie in clear view does heighten the effect of them. This episode only has the girls dealing with one zombie at a time yet the tension is thick throughout the scene. Perhaps because our group of survivors are not the likes of the fully armed, big breasted combat specialists of High School of the Dead, but instead four little girls with a shovel. That is effective horror gentlemen, when your protagonist is at a great disadvantage against a huge threat. Also was lots of little subtext with heavy hints that the teacher is dead and nothing more than a part of Yuki’s delusion and that shovel girl may have killed the zombified girlfriend of her school crush who was lurking outside the barricade. In particular the teacher honestly acts like a part of Yuki’s subconscious, warning her and giving her ideas on how to help the group without breaking her delusion.

The animation at the beginning was very good as well with the peachy flowing movement  as she talked about her crush on her senpai. And proceeded to darken when her senpai was zombified and she had to kill him with a shovel. If you look closely there’s a frame where the boys hard reaches outside of the blacked barred frame giving the impression it’s reaching for you. The opening remains peppy but slight changes have been made and from the looks of it the opening will slowly get more and more demented as the show goes on. Even the meaning of the cheery lyrics have an alternative dark way of being read. Truly I am surprised at just how well this anime is turning out.

Posted on 16 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There

This episode was certainly stronger than the first as Itami’s otaku tendencies were cut down and the focus was more on the conflict. The fight itself was brilliantly portrayed as we saw it mainly from the side of the other world. In the beginning when they were marching towards the army they were assured of their victory seeing as they had the bigger numbers. Just seeing the generals fight over who would take the front line so they could claim glory without knowing just what they were up against was amusing indeed. Only the main general found something off about the campaign. Then to see all that self confidence disappear and despair set it. You could really see when they realized the fight was unwinnable when their goal changed from beating the enemy to just hitting them with one arrow.It’s seeing it from their side is what made the episode interesting as to the army this wasn’t anything special but to the other world’s forces it was something akin to hell. The best moment was the general using a bow to fire one arrow in futility while his forces were getting slaughtered by the hundreds, then just reaching out his arms and laughing madly. I actually started to pity them there.

It’s nice that the episode didn’t take sides either as the other world’s moves make sense from a medieval standpoint and it looks to be using the war to solidify his position. Where as the army is simply responding in kind and even on there side there are those seeking to monopolise the new world’s resources. This isn’t an James Cameron’s Avatar situation where one side is clearly good and the other clearly evil. The armies were just doing their jobs and it’s nice to see the army not particularly care that they killed a huge amount of people. In any other show there would be some hamfisted moral of respecting human life shoved down the viewers throats. In a Gundam anime the main character would brood on and on about how war is terrible and killing people is bad. It is true that the protagonist Itami was rather disgusted by the aftermath it seemed more to do with how technological inferior the enemy was rather than some righteous morality. We all know that war is terrible and shouldn’t happen and we should join our hands in peace and harmony and etc, etc, so on and so forth. But sometimes war is just inevitable so its nice to see it just portrayed as it is. Not a giant fireworks festival or a overly sentimental don’t kill message set to the world’s smallest violin. The army was attacked so they responded in kind, they gave the warnings and the enemy marched regardless. That’s just how war works.

Thus after a bloody battle the army sets out to gather intelligence. Though I question how they managed to communicate with the locals and even managed to get a book translating their language to Japanese in a relatively short amount of time. Itami’s otaku-isms are still pulled in as a joke but at least now it’s rarer and at times funny. There’s just something endearing about a army rolling out after a dark battle with the squad leader and another soldier talking about meeting catgirls and waifus. But the story at least knows when to get serious s the group find a village destroyed by a dragon. Some might find it hypocritical that these people lament the deaths of the villagers when they killed far more in the battle but there’s a difference between killing defenseless civilians and armed soldiers. Next time, there be elf girls and dragons.

Posted on 14 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gangsta

As this show continues the Black Lagoon vibes only get stronger but this episode did present an issue. Namely the supernaturally strong dog tag soldiers which can jump ten feet into the air and pull out road signs. In a series that at least started fairly set in reality these elements are somewhat odd though at least still feasible. Anime has always had a rather lax grip on the laws of physics so this isn’t anything new. But when the little girl mentioned these people referred to twilight’s it was a cause for concern. Gangsta has things going for it because it’s a fairly gritty show set within a somewhat realistic setting but if it starts bringing super soldier experiments into the mix that illusion is lost. Another cause for concern is that Mangalobe has skipped ahead in the manga. It’s possible they might come back to it and really what they skipped wasn’t really important but this could be a problem in future episodes if they continue to do this. Mangalobe is fairly liberal with its adaptations and when they start adding their own quirks it’s usually not for the better but instead the worse. The World God only knows anime for instance is where they attempted to stretch two episode arcs into four episode arcs with little success. So the question is whether Mangalobe can stop themselves from changing the story too much.

The fight in this episode was well animated and managed to keep things interesting but something small just broke immersion somewhat. It’s a little thing but Gangsta, much like Black Lagoon, just seems off to be watched in Japanese. It’s no fault of the Japanese voice actors but when you have a American man mocking someone for being from the orient in fluent Japanese something is just wrong. Gangsta just seems like an anime better experienced in English as with the large amount of non Japanese people would likely be speaking English more than Japanese. Subtitle only watchers, sometimes it’s just the better in English. I know that’s hard to accept but its true and I don’t care how many times you try to justify it, Goku’s voice in Japanese is just wrong.(Off topic, I know. But seriously I can’t see Goku’s Japanese voice as anything but bad.) Though I am curious as to how they will handle Nicolas’s voice in English because I think it would be interesting to keep his voice in Japanese for the English dub. Seeing as he speaks very little, requires subtitles to be understood and is from Japan it would be an interesting way of showing his character. On a last note I find it quite amusing that the moral heart of the show happens to be a prostitute, I mean a member of one of the lowest rungs of society happens to be one of the few genuinely morally upstanding people on the show. Though that looks to be changing as she helps the handymen and much like the little girl in this episode she too might become accustomed to wrongdoing.

Posted on 13 July 2015 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Aoharu x Kikanjuu

Short Synopsis. A girl dresses like a boy for some reason and gets in survival games.

The main character of this show confuses me, for she dresses like a boy, acts like a boy but isn’t transexual and wants to be more feminine. I don’t understand it and really when you get mistaken for a boy and forced into a survival game then really it’s your own fault. What’s also contradictory is that a man thinks she’s a boy yet keeps making suggestive advances on the main character despite clearly not being gay. I mean…I just don’t get it. Well anyway there’s not much to see here, we have highly over dramatic fights between people who act like they are having a live or death battle despite using toy BB guns. So really it’s just a show about the main starting to love survival games and trying to cover up the fact that she is a girl to the other team members.My interest is missing cause I generally know how this is all going to go, I have no interest whatsoever in surival games and the characters in this series don’t really interest me. For one the main character I find immensely annoying and while the host fellow doesn’t seem too bad I can’t really see him getting any more interesting. Might be some peoples kind of show but I think I will pass.

Potential: 0%

 

Joukamachi no Dandelion

Short Synopsis: A large royal family with superpowers must play games to decide the heir to the country.

Fairly decent I suppose, nothing really special but nothing that stands out too much. I find these shows the hardest to talk about. It’s not special but it’s not horrible either, just there. It’s a mediocre show that could interest but I find it just doesn’t have enough to get me to care. Though I must criticise that when you have the power to manipulate weight, that does not equal flight. In order to fly you need a means to propel yourself forward. The power of probability must be one of the worst powers as well considering that there are computers that can do the same thing. And the power to remember everything, so sort of a photographic memory? These are some truly useless superpowers. I think this one is something you can check out yourself and decide whether it’s worth continuing but I don’t think it’s something anyone will get really excited about.

Potential: 10%

 

Prison School

Short Synopsis. Five boys are forced into a school prison after trying to peep of girls changing.

There’s physical comedy and then there’s just pure sadism. Seeing this in animation as opposed to manga panel has had a strange effect on me, where the show is trying to make me laugh at these guys situation but instead I find myself getting filled with righteous indignation. While it is true that these guys are perverts with no redeeming value I find that the level of abuse thrown at them is quite potentially lethal and if their wounds didn’t magically heal somehow this would be a very different story. There are other problems with this series besides that, for one the cast of characters are all really unlikeable. The male characters are all desperate, pathetic sex crazed losers and the female characters are all sadistic superficial horrible people. The only exceptions to this is the main lead and what looks to be the main lead’s love interest, though the main lead is only just a small amount of good traits and the girl is fairly naive. The fan service doesn’t work not because of it being censored but rather because the female characters personalities are repulsive to me. Call me sentimental but I prefer girls that look like they would be fun to hang out with and looks aren’t everything. So the comedy is along the lines of gross out humor or sex jokes which I have seen every example under the sun and the fan service is ineffective so what does this show have to offer besides that? Not a lot it so seems. It is possible that maybe just the premise annoys me to the point that it stops me getting any enjoyment out of this. However this does seem like the kind of show that would only appeal to you if you like barrels of fanservice and low brow humor.

Potential: 0%

 

God Eater

Short Synopsis: Humanity lives inside walls and must send out teams to kill all the Titans…um…Aragami I mean.

Ufotable, I respect unconventional choices, I really do. It takes guts to adapt something that’s not really guaranteed to sell however I really wish you could have picked someone much more deserving than this. It’s clear that God Eater doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment, honestly it’s like presenting a five star meal to a hobo. The story is highly generic and the characters are fairly stereotypical with the main lead being the standard personality for this kind of show. But the visuals are certainly something, God eater sports a unique style where the characters all have this shiny look that reminds me of an oil painting. I am still on the fence on whether it looks good or not, as there are times when it looks impressive and other times when it looks just off. In particular I find the shading of characters to be inconsistent and not really adearing to where the light source is coming from. Music and animation are top notch but editing is a bit schizophrenic as some scenes have this jarring jump frame that looks like the film skipping on a projector. It seems to be there for a stylistic reason but I find it just distracting. This anime to me just looks like an experiment from Ufotable and while I think that it is interesting visually, I am afraid that story wise it has no value.

Potential: 30%

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

Durarara!! X2 The Second Arc

Short Synopsis: The adventures of the odd people of Ikebukuro

Second verse, same as the first. We still have another cour after this and Durarara doesn’t look to be changing its stripes anytime soon. So after being given a cliffhanger last season with Izaya getting stabbed and lying dying in the street we are straight away greeted by Izaya in a hospital bed, perfectly fine. This my friends is the problem with Durarara, the illusion of consequences. When the show constantly forebodes a looming threat and placing characters in dangerous situations, how can I care when I see Izaya brush off a stab wound to the stomach with a two day stay in a hospital? To me, none of these characters are in any true danger, and yet the show constantly tries to convince you otherwise. None of these characters are going to die, the author loves them too much do if there’s no real danger then what value does these dangerous encounters have. Durarara isn’t trying to put forward a meaning or a message, it’s just wacky people in a wacky place having wacky adventures and while that’s fun for a while there comes a time where I can no longer bring myself to care. Sure I still find the character interactions amusing but outside of that I am more or less watching out of obligation. In hope that maybe at the end of all this there will be true consequence.

Potential: 20%

 

Himouto! Umaru-chan

Short Synopsis: A brother needs to constantly deal with his demanding selfish sister.

There is a particular thing that comedy nowadays needs to take note of. When you make a gag in a comedy show or film, please take into account how that gag reflects the character of the person in the joke. There have been a number of examples of fictional characters who became horrible people just for the sake of comedy. One such example is Alan from the Hangover movies. In the beginning he was a strange but good natured person but when the third movie came around he became someone who didn’t even care when his own father died due to his negligence. Homer Simpson is another casualty as in the beginning he was a flawed person with best interests at heart but slowly became a dangerously impulsive person who never took into account how his actions affected other people. And so finally this brings me to Umaru, the star of this show. However instead of showing this character having good points we are immediately shown just how much of a selfish spoiled brat this person is and how she will go to any lengths to get her way. In another show this character would be a villain or someone pushed to reform but here the show seems to want us to be on her side even when she is treating her brother like a complete doormat. It’s hard for me to enjoy comedy when a lot of it is just mean spirited bullying by our ever so perfect Umaru-chan and the sad fact is that due to this shows nature as a one note gag that Umaru will never get that deserved slap in the face. This is a show about a spoiled brat that always gets her way. Feel free to enjoy.

Potential: 0%

 

Sore ga Seiyuu!

Short Synopsis: Voice actresses are so Kawaii!

My initial impressions remain true, Shirobako already did this and did it better. Plus with Gakkou Gurashi airing this season offering far more than this, this series just seems redundant. It’s like the quota for a standard cute girls doing cute things was not met so they just tossed this anime in. This anime has nothing to offer besides filling up an empty slot in the season lineup.

Potential: 0%

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

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

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