Posted by SuperMario on 21 September 2016 with categories: Random Anime Recommendations, Uncategorized

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Well, after the Versus Show, how about some in-depth anime discussions this time? In this section I will talk in more details about anime/ manga that I’m passionate about. Please note that this is not an actual review. Honestly, I never truly agree with the concept of reviewing (and rating for that matters) at arts, at something we suppose to feel subjectively. If I want to review that much I’d rather be critic. But I’m not, at heart I’m an anime fan who love this medium just like you guys. This in-depth piece not only give me a deeper look at the works that cut me deeply, it’s also serve as a reminder of why I love anime in the first place.

Lately, the world of The Flowers of Evil just can’t seem to escape me, which is quite reasonable to be honest because psychological drama is always my thing. After all, one of my favourite director is Ingmar Bergman. For those who say this is a horror work: NO, it’s not. It feels more like TERROR for me, something that can happen in real life (while horror’s main intention is to scare you, period). I re-watched the anime again after its airing back in 2013, and this time I managed to read the manga to see how it all ends up. Thank god that the manga is finished so I don’t have to wait for months for the next chapters to come. Flowers of Evil is one of the best anime/manga out there to really understand the dark side of growing up, the detachment to the world they live in, the self-confusion, the teen-angst and the obsession and destructive relationships. I will discuss in details below, really whatever springs on my mind. As this is obvious a spoiler-heavy post, please read it at your own risk.

The Anime Adaptation

Shuzo Oshimi (the original manga creator) said in one of his interview that the anime adaptation, along with the manga, formed two versions of the story from his original idea. I think that’s the best way to sum up about the anime. For me, a great adaptation is the one that takes what is essential from the source; be it the theme or tone; and then makes it their own version. If the adaptation becomes too faithful with the source material, then I don’t see the reason why we don’t read/watch the source instead. In that sense Flowers of Evil anime really sets itself apart from other adaptations because it looks awfully unlike the manga, and even goes more extreme than the manga. Is it make it a better version? Let’s get down to it.

Flowers of Evil 02

The live-action cast of Flowers of Evil. In case you don’t know, the prettiest girl who stands right in the middle is our main guy.

First, the one thing that the show does absolutely right is its decision to end where it ends. It’s easy to miss that crucial change in theme of the first and second part and I come to really respect the director’s decision to stop there. This conclusion marks the change in character’s act of Kasuga (he’ll be more aggressive rather than passive, more on that later) and covers the introduction of the story, because after that is things just get more intense by the minutes. The second best thing about the anime is its infamous moody, atmospheric tone, repeated scenarios and snail-walking pace. There is a lot of scenes where characters just walking and do nothing else. That 10-minutes of our two mains walking from one end to the other could easily put viewers off, even to the most patience ones. But reading the manga, especially the later college-part, it becomes more apparent that the manga is less about shocking and more about the wounds and how to deal with that scars left behind. The show nails that mood right off the bat, it’s even more amazing given that prior to the anime airing, the manga was just in its beginning of the college part.

Now, to the most controversial aspect of the show: the rotoscoping techniques. I’d say that while rotoscoping indeed makes the show looks unique, it has its fair share of problems as well. People often complains that because the rotoscoping is a cheap technique, it should not be recommended as a plausible technique. For that I say it really depends on how to use it. The rotoscoping in this series mainly conveys the uneasy, creepy sense and it intends to give that impact to the viewers. On that front they pretty much succeed on what they set out to do. There are two main advantages I find from this series’ rotoscoping that normal anime couldn’t deliver too well. Firstly, the rotoscoping allows more movements on character’s gestures and their body languages, the way each character moves, the way they tilt their heads. We also get to see the main casts’ reactions to these uncomfortable feeling and that tells a lot about their inner thought or their position towards the world around them. Secondly, the voice acting is phenomenal. It makes sense when you think about it because the cast have to act as well, so there is a chemistry in their interactions that easily surpassed an ordinary anime voice acting from the recorder room.

But being rotoscoping means that the character designs are vastly different from the manga, and that for me is the show’s biggest flaw. And I don’t mean to say that the cast is unattractive like most people tend to say because I find them charming the way they are. But character designs have always been a crucial part in Shuzo Oshimi’s world because it says a lot about the characters and the show just fails to capture it. Take Saeki for example, in the manga she has a thin, fragile figure because as she said herself she’s a weak person at heart. Her constant smile functions like a mask because that’s what she put upfront, but when it comes to issues revolving Kagusa she’s very determination. When she tells Kasuga she doesn’t want to break-up, it’s that determination that speaks a lot to her character. Saeki in the anime just doesn’t have that vibe, her softly spoken in that same scene doesn’t translate too well for me. Nakamura in the anime also just gives off a wrong impression as well. Nakamura always has that otherworldly aura, that cold grinning that the show just never managed to capture it. In addition, the facial expression isn’t the show’s strong suits, and that hurts because the eyes play such an important role in Oshimi’s style of conveying expression. Many character’s inner feelings and impressions are expressed through the eyes (even Nakamura sometimes would take her glasses down to do just that!) and the anime unfortunately don’t interpret it quite well.

Flowers of Evil 03

Just looking at the eyes, you could gather whole range of expressions from Saeki and Kasuga. All of this was conveyed without any single dialogue. I wish many shows should be like this, it’s Show, Don’t Tell right there.

Ultimately, I consider Flowers of Evil anime a worthy adaptation to the manga, but not a superior one. The director Hiroshi Nagahama really understands what make the manga so appealing and he strengthens many strengths from the manga, on top of that make it unique to a fault (he after all directed Mushishi, Detroit Metal City- all good stuffs). I would love to see the second season of this anime, because simply it’s crime not to adapt the best part of Flowers of Evil. This is exactly how Oshimi put it: an alternate interpretation from the manga.

The Structure – The Coming-of-Age Story at heart

Readers of the manga tends to divide the story in 2 parts: the young and the college part of Kasuga, but as the anime suggests, I believe this is much clearer for Flowers of Evil to split in 3 parts. As much as my distaste with the 3 act structure, this is one of the strength of Flowers of Evil. Oshimi knows how to heighten the drama, escalating the stakes and making the conflicts more and more complex, and it fits pretty well with the 3-act. That 3-act also ties the character development of Kasuga.

Part 1: The Loss of Innocence

Flowers of Evil 04

If I have to pick the image that best represents the 1st act, it’d be this: Kasuga standing there bare-naked, Nakamura holds him back and Saeki keeps reaching for him.

This is basically what the anime covers. This beginning arc at first paints a seemingly “normal” life of a teenage school boy, Kasuga; then slowly tears down all his “walls” – his social life and his identity so to speak. Kasuga in the beginning loves reading books, sees his crush Saeki as a “goddess”, and hates his boring town. His favorite book is Fleurs du Mal, and even he admits that he doesn’t really understand the meaning of the book, he likes it for being “different”. These are basically his identity up to that point. Nakamura succeeds in tearing down all of his identity to the point that by the end of this act he no longer the boy he was, with all of his previously self-identity now gone through the windows. The book at this point symbolises the last self-identity his old-self Kasuga has, as a result having him treading the Fleurs du Mal book is an ultimate action of him losing his innocent self. In addition, by having Saeki throws the book, Kasuga steps on it and finally Nakamura tears it apart; it reflects the rejection of the trio towards a bright, normal life, and foreshadows the next act where basically all hell breaks loose.

Kasuga in this stage is portrayed as passive, because frankly he doesn’t know what he wants. He doesn’t know who he is for that matters. His submissive when the two forces (Nakamura and Saeki) pulling him towards their sides are pretty reasonable and his indecision to choose between them is the main point of this arc. After all, growing up is never easy. At this stage we often put on many personalities because we’re not sure what we are. Oshimi would later revisits this same theme again in Inside Mari (Boku wa Mari no Naka) and I would argue this is an essential stage as part of growing up to really understand who you really are.

Part 2: The Other Side

Flowers of Evil 05

The best moment of 2nd act: To jump or not to jump? That is a question.

This arc is the climax and the heart of Flowers of Evil. It’s the act where you could see our three main characters slowly descend to madness and this is the act where the relationships between the trio become twisted and destructive. Kasuga is much more energetic at this stage, having make up his mind to follow Nakamura and planning do to more deviant acts. This is a much more aggressive, destructive stage and that’s maybe one of the reason people takes the Flowers of Evil as a statement towards the meaning of freedom. They might have their points as the way Kasuga leans towards Nakamura can be seen as his detest towards what society has obstructed him to be. He doesn’t want to be a part of that society anymore and instead wants to do things beyond society comprehension just to express that freedom, that’s also where the very idea of “social norms” is challenged.

Oshimi has stated that in Flowers of Evil he really wants to tackle the very concept of “deviant”, which he felt was misunderstood. In our society, there are certain sets of rules and sets of characters conduct that everyone have to follow in order to be appropriate to others. Any actions outside of that sets of conduct therefore will be deemed “inappropriate”, thus people who violates all that will be classified as deviant people. Kasuga and Nakamura are by that very definition a deviant people, but they are different for the normal deviant people, they have purposes. For me, it’s more of a form of teen-angst where you’re dissatisfied with the world around you, and you want to do something “worthwhile”, even if it means to destroy everything you have.

Obsession plays as another important theme for this act. Not only in this part Kasuga becomes obsessed with making Nakamura happy, but even more so with Saeki keeps chasing down the shadow of Kasuga to the point of nearly break herself down. The main story might focus more between Nakahara – Kasuga relationship, but it’s Saeki’s blindly reach towards Kasuga that add much more context to the story. Their obsessions would eventually become harmful, both too the people around them, but worse to even themselves as well. This corruption is heightened really well by both on how far they gone to achieve what they desire; and on the real damage that they done. Well, there is criticism on the super Deus Ex Machina climax when Nakamura’s father comes out of nowhere to save the day. But really, I think it’s the most appropriate ending out there. After all, the only thing that could stop those 14-year-old kids from self-destruct is the role of the adults themselves. Remember many instances where our kids were disrupted by the adults (the mountain scene in the anime, the burning the sack incident and now this). It’s clear that this story is also about the isolation from kids towards their parents, but when their struggles end up in actual consequences, it’s adult’s roles to step in and prevent those damages as quick as possible.

Part 3: The Afterneath

Flowers of Evil 06

The only time that Nakamura laughs her heart out, purely. I suspect she’d never laugh like that ever again in her life.

By this last arc, it’s clear that Flowers of Evil’s true intention isn’t meant to provoke and shock the audience. Well, it does, but it sets its sight way beyond that. This act might feel as a new story of sort because of the sudden time-jump and the tone is much slower and tender than the previous two acts, in addition the lack of appearance of two girls in the main cast, but for me this is still a very worthy act.

The main theme in this act revolves around consequences. Unlike most other story where the main characters usually can get away with whatever bad cause they have done, in Flowers of Evil there are real consequences and the trio all have to face with the mess that they made. Kasuga witnesses the resentment from people of his own towns, the broken down of his own parents and the hole inside his soul. Facing these scars is never easy and Kasuga wanders around like a ghost since the incident, feels nothing, never belong to the new environment and tends to run away from whatever make him hurt. Saeki then reappears and counters him and urges him to face with the consequences he left behind. To accept the mess he left with is to be able to move on with his life. In order to that he has to face Nakamura again to really put that painful experience to the past.

The notion of the other side is a recurring motif of the story. At first, it was mentioned by Nakamura as “the other side of the mountain”, where she imagines the world in that other side would be different than this world, the place where she can really escape from this dreadful world. It’s a wishful thinking, of course, since she knows that there is no other side for her, wherever she goes. Kasuga takes this idea further by saying that the other side is within her, wherever she feels happy that is her other side. As a result, he tries to do all the deviant works just to please her. When Saeki succeeds on preventing them, that’s when they choose to go the ultimate other side: the afterworld. After that, they would never find that other side. Well, technically they did, in the name of the town where Nakamura now lives, to signify that Nakamura herself is already in her own other side (in a not-belong-to-this-world-anymore sense– she’s now completely isolated)

The Characters and Their Poisonous Relationships that Know No Brake

Flowers of Evil 07

Ahhh, those moments. My heart aches

The characters of Flowers of Evil is easily the strongest parts of the story. I really admire Oshimi of the way he keeps these relationships so ambiguous, but ultimately show how these relationships effect on the characters later on. Many people falsely assumed (heck, even many of my real-life friends) that when it comes to male-female relationship there will only be friendship or romantic relationship, and nothing in between (Even this classic rom-com argues that there will always be sex stands in the way of male-female friendships), but there is never a clear explanation on the relationship between Kasuga and Nakamura. Kasuga even said that to Nakamura’s father himself that he doesn’t really know what their relationship is, and that’s what he’s going to find out. If I could put it myself I think partner in crimes would be the best to describe it.

Nakamura, on the other hand, is a social outcast. She is the one who just doesn’t see the way the society sees. She just genuinely hates the society she lives in to the very core. She sees no point of achieving fame, wealth or career or even social standard because to her all of these are pointless. For her it’s a complete waste of time. Nakamura represents that part of social outcast thus she’s become more like a symbol for Kasuga to follow. The last chapter nicely portrays the world in her point of view. That is the very first time we can get into her mind and it’s rewarding. Her view world is of course flawed but she remains an interesting and quite mysterious character till the very end.

So why did she push him of the stage back then? That question lingers till the end for Kasuga and even then he doesn’t get the answer from Nakamura. Is it because Nakamura realizes that even with Kasuga chooses to stay with her, she will ultimately be isolated? Is it because she knows Kasuga is not a deviant person like she is so it’s better she’s doing it alone? Is it because Kasuga is the only person she loves so she doesn’t wish for him to die? It could be all those answers and I’m glad that the creator respects us enough to not spell out anything.

Saeki is my personal favorite characters out of Flowers of Evil and hell, what transformation that she had been through. Unlike Kasuga’s dating Saeki already came from a crumbling ground (he has been manipulated by Nakamura since then), her love for Kasuga was at first as pure as it gets. She recognises his passion for the book Fleurs Du Mal and comes to admire him for that. She’s the one who keep insisting Kasuga to be open with her, then to actually forgive him when she found out that he stole her gym clothes and accept him the way he is. It then becomes an obsession as she keeps pushing herself to follow him around, then taking action on what she believes to pull Kasuga out of his mess. That’s one hell of descending to madness and for me this is a textbook example of how to it right.

Flowers of Evil 09

This is, in contrast, a textbook example of how Not to do when you write about a character losing his sanity. I just choose this example because this is the most recent example. For once, you show their insanity by the way they act, not on how they literally transform into evil; excerpt from Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace

But where do all of her actions come from? In the name of love? Her friend Ai at one time points out that her affection for Kasuga is just because someone actually asks her out for the first time, and this is nothing more than a crush, she’s just in love with “love”. What Ai said is right. Goddamn it, it’s totally right, but the whole affair is much more complex than that. We all know that love grows stronger when you can’t have it. In Kasuga, she feels like she can be her true self and not pretend to be composed or anything (the theme again would be resivited in Inside Mari); that is why her determination on spying on him and getting him back become much more heartbreaking. After all, the poor girl just wants to let out what was really in her heart. Why is it getting so wrong? She asked herself. Maybe it was wrong right from the start. She’s just fall for the wrong guy.

Lastly, Aya appears in the last arc only and she’sa representation of a healthy love relationship Kasuga has. Aya is the one who brings back his interest in books. For the first time since the incidents, he’s again passionate about something. I admit that I found the scene where he proposed to her sudden and a bit out of context, but other than that she fits nicely to the story. Aya, just like anyone around her, builds a wall in front of her so the others couldn’t reach to her. She couldn’t tell any of her friends that she loves books because she’s afraid it’s going to weird them out. When she learns about the past of Kasuga, she insists on facing it together with him and that’s for me how a healthy relationship should be. For all my heart to support Saeki – Kasuga relationship to happen, especially in the third arc, I know that relationship has become too poisonous for them to be together.

Flowers of Evil 08

This image alone tells me a lot about how Aya’s love for Kasuga. Remember those 3 guys are Kasuga’s friends. She didn’t talk to them much because she’s in different class. Now, she’s just natural with those guys, even when Kasuga’s away. That’s the best kind of relationship if you ask me.

Last but not least, to the very central question, is Kasuga really a deviant person? I guess everyone have a deviant, dark side self of themselves. People argues that Nakamura is manipulating Kasuga to the point that he sometimes behaves out of himself. But really, how do you define “out of character”? Because he acts different than he normally would have done? Because he doesn’t act the way others expect him to do? If he doesn’t have that deviant side he’d never steal the gym clothes in a first place. Is it then make him a pervert person? No, unlike Nakamura who already seen the world as ugly and twisted, this dark self is a part of him, he will need to embrace that dark self in order to grow up and become a normal person. I know this might seem ignorance for me to say this, especially after this guy single-handed wreck his family, his life and the two girls that he loves the most, and the trio still pretty much struggles with their past; but I’m glad these things happened to them. Because otherwise, they would never become the person they are today, for better or for worse.

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Of course, this piece won’t be completed without the mention of the ED. The most unsettling, haunting, creepy score you will ever listen in anime; in other words, just about perfect for Flowers of Evil*.

*Aku no Hana ED: Give it a listen here if you hadn’t already.

3 Responses

  1. Jedman says:

    Nice article, I found the flowers of evil anime was really intense and gripping to watch, it’s a shame that the visual style turned so many people off as despite this the anime is amazing. I didn’t mind the visuals so much I think they added to the atmosphere in a way.

    Really do hope we get a sequel at some point as this is one of my all time favourites. I couldn’t wait any longer and read all the manga but think I would have preferred to see it as an anime as the story works really well in anime form, the first half of the story especially has such an intense atmosphere on screen.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      Thanks Jedman, as I said in my piece I consider the anime and manga as 2 interpretations to the story, to that end I would recommend people to try them both. They’re all very good in their own ways.

      The sad truth is that I think we’ll never get a sequel, considering how the anime was quite divisive at the time (heck, even now). If they go for a sequel though I wish they change the college part into something completely different. That part is not bad per se but I always feel the disruption between it and the first two parts.

  2. Strength says:

    I’d love to see the manga version of this post…

    But damn! Seeing Nakamura laugh like that (in the picture) just hit me hard! She is laughing, but it makes me depressed! You nailed it with the caption. I forgot how amazing that was! Unbelievable! That meeting! Those feels! Such catharsis! It is beautiful and so painful. I must go read it again now, it has been a while!

    As for my fav character:
    I applaud the depth and complexity of Nakamura’s character, I pity and feel for Saeki – she is truly a good person deserving love, but Aya is without question my favorite. She is an anchor and as you said – she has the power to heal Kasuga. She is different, not (just) damaged or tragic (as Naka or Saeki are), she is a great person. These kids are too self-involved to help each other, but she is better than that. I’d have to read the manga to go into details though.

    As for Saeki:
    I agree with your points, her smile is a mask (she even said once that she thinks she is weak, even though everyone says she is strong) and her love for Kasuga was more of a gratitude for receiving the comforting feeling of love for the first time. But I disagree that the main motivation for her obsession was that with Kasuga she could be her true self. I think it was the way she identified herself – by how others saw her, or rather, how she thought others saw her/were supposed to see her (which is probably an image her parents put into her head…).

    Saeki played the perfect student, the perfect child, the perfect friend and the perfect girlfriend. It’s really easy to see – from the moment she starts suspecting Kasuga of hiding something, the only thing on her mind is to become the pillar for him to deal with it, disregarding any well-being of her own, or his for that matter. If accepting someone is what a partner should do (and she believes that), then accepting that the other does not want to be accepted or have his secret revealed is too what she should do. Except she does not, because she pointlessly chases an image of a perfect girlfriend, who no guy could ever leave for no good (or bad) reason. She is not aware that she acts out this role, partly because on the outside it appears she abandons the idea, but no. Losing her social status, her parent’s and peers’ recognition does not signify losing her role, quite the opposite. Being able to sacrifice everything for Kasuga is the pinnacle of girlfriend material that becomes at some point more worth than everything else – to maintain her role she was assigned by the society. The only way to conform is to lose everything and destroy herself.

    She is obsessed with Kasuga, because saving him would give her everything back, along with the illusion that her identity is hers. Not saving him would cost facing the fact that her identity is manufactured by others, given to her and that she accepts it, because she has none of her own. That’s what she truly meant by saying she is weak – she already knows deep down… But, she is unable to admit her true self so she desperately tries to maintain the ‘truth’ about herself.

    That sounds a lot like borderline personality disorder.

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CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still no Mao, still mad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I have lost track of the historical characters in the fate lineup.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, to expand on that point the following historical figures are now female: Nero Claudius, Leonardo da Vinci, Frankenstein's Monster, Xuanzang, Jing Ke, Quetzalcoatl, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Miyamoto Musashi, Okita Souji and many more to come.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I find it's an enjoyable watch though flawed. If you can get past some odd fanservice around the first ten episodes then I say it's worth watching.
Anonymous2133468
So i was thinking if i start watching, darling in the franxx, is worth it? or is just another 6/10 anime?
Lenlo
God damnit. Why Nasu. Just why.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, that ain't even Lewd.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In all seriousness its ridiculous, the Japanese will make a cute/moe girl out of anything.
AidanAK47
....Should I also mention that Francis Drake is a big boobed pirate queen?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Posting lewd images on a respectable chatbox.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, But none of these characters are in the anime adaptions. Well besides Jack and Saber.
Lenlo
Aidan, all this conversation did was prove that my decision to only ever watch the Ufotable adaptions was the correct decision.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, you can blame Extella for the Attlia the Hun thing. I wasn't too fond of it myself. Also should mention Attila is female as well.
https://pm1.narvii.com/6414/528599445b739909c02993cfdbfc9f277d088cf2_hq.jpg
AidanAK47
Also Masky I will be the first to admit to the ridiculous aspects of the Fate Franchise but do take note that you are commenting on something you know literally nothing about. Which is the very definition of ignorance and is quite annoying. Fate/Zero nails the themes it's going for. So go watch Fate/Zero, come back and apologize.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Give it time. Genghis is getting in there eventually with Grand Order. We just had Anastasia and Salieri introduced after all. And it's not as if this story introduces Servants willy nilly, they need actual story purpose. Genghis Khan wouldn't have fit the Narrative that Fate/Zero was going for.
Lenlo
Wait Attila is an Alien and Edison is a Lion? God damnit Fate. Why are you doing this to me. I was already annoyed at your treatment of Musashi
Masky
(aliens existing in the show is good example of that missing on themes part xP)
Masky
*most successful conqueror
Masky
Honestly was just amused most conqueror of all time not being featured in the show :D But wait, whats this about aliens?
AidanAK47
Anyway the important thing to take into account is that in the Fate universe, King Arthur is a woman, Attila the Hun is an Alien, Thomas Edison is a lion and Jack the Ripper is a little girl in a dominatrix outfit. Any questions?
AidanAK47
And while you don't need to watch something to be given divine right to comment on ideas or themes, it does leave you ignorant of how that show handles those ideas and themes.
AidanAK47
As for the Historical Alexander, he wasn't given the title of King of Couquerors. Fate/Zeros interpretation of him was. As generally accurate Fates interpretation of Servents history can be, they can make changes to suit the narrative.
AidanAK47
In that Regard Alexander was doing the conquest thing before Ghengus did. Ghengus likely has some other title. Hell he may only have the title because public consciousness was is more familiar with Alexander than Ghengus.
AidanAK47
Yeah, looking it up seems the King Title lost quite a lot of meaning in the Nasuverse. Though the King Title is rather flimsy. I mean Arthur is the King of Knights cause of the Knights of the round table. Gil is king of heroes because his tale was the first Heroic myth.
Lenlo
I think Alexander was just the first one they thought of, and they couldnt retroactively give it to someone else.

That said, Broskander deserves it <3
Masky
(And no, you don't need to watch something to be given divine right to comment on ideas or themes of it.)
Masky
(just to note in case I need to note, I do tend to do at least cursory research when I make comments on stuff I don't watch)
Masky
That first part is semantics as Fate gives title "King" to historical figures who weren't kings already :D Also, you can make that argument about historical Alexander the Great? Since that seriously sounds like kind of weak reason.
AidanAK47
Also sees Rider as deserving of title of "King of Conquerors" because that which he strives to conquer most is not lands or material wealth, but the hearts of people, the toughest conquest that can be undertaken by anyone.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Ghengis Khan wasn't a king. He was a Khan.
Lenlo
Ghengis is always a Rider in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, Ghengis would be an appropriate beserker servant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: I know, it feels so wrong I'm still mad I can't summon Karl Marx or Stalin.
Masky
So wait, Fate series is about historical figures with super powers, but "King of Conquerors" title isn't given to Ghengis Khan? :D Seriously? Thats just so wrong
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't feel any point in finishing it, it feels like something that I'd just randomly drop , not because its a bad show, but because I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
I am actually going to drop blogging it.
AidanAK47
@Sash, indeed. I have been watching it but not blogging it for the last few episodes because it just hasn't givne me anything to say. I don't think it's a bad show but I have pointed out the flaws and strengths of it already so there is truly nothing more to say on it.
Sash
I think wotakoi is starting to feel repetitive..
Kaiser-Eoghan
You are now aware Shana and Batman Ninja Harelequinn are both voiced by Rie kugimiya.
Lenlo
I did. It was... It was a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Did you end up watching Batman ninja by the way?
Lenlo
Music is great, yeah. When the music is on point, everything goes up. Everytime the sync the fight/punches to the music I just get hyped. Like the rotating shot with Aragaki or the first fight in episode 1.
Lenlo
Ill do my best to be clearer in the future on that front. Yeah, I dont mind twists like this. Makes the inevitable Mikio fight, narratively, even better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel the music does alot of the lifting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, so that was it.
Lenlo
Sorry if I never made that clear.
Lenlo
I would rather have fewer, amazing, fights than a lot of low-quality fights. This is a one cour show, the more meaning/impact they can give each fight the better.

Like Aragaki, narratively, was great. Loved it. Its just in animation/choreography that it falls flat.
Lenlo
Im disappointed with the animation of the fights. Narratively, I think they are quite good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*disappointed with the fights in past episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Pretty much what I said I thought of the episode. Although I was surprised how took the episodes ending, I expected you to see it as a slap in the face after being disappointed with the fights.
Lenlo
Also, @Kaiser, I thought Megalo Box did something unique this episode. I wasn't expecting Joe to *not* fight. And the Mikio/Yukiko proxy war is an interesting character motivation. Im betting Yukiko will get Joe a full citizenship, effectively getting her on his side.
Lenlo
I wish I was physically capable of watching Megalo Box without thinking of Hajime no Ippo. I really do. But everytime I watch it, it makes me want to watch Ippo again to.
Anonymous2120908
I watched some more of the Chimera family chinese anime. (Wasn't aware it was monthly released). And geez, I like the concept, the background art is very pretty and contrasts with settings that have become tired in other anime. Yet sadly the animation and script are WEAK. I haven't grasped the quality of what's expected of these types of production but I want to believe, they're trying.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not much in the way of action in megalobox this week, but I did like the focus on Yukkiko getting a small character moment and then the big moment at episodes end .
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's some lazy ass trolling buddy. Should have stopped before the hashtags.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even sort of looking forward to supposedly less respectable stuff like Goblin slayer and happy sugar life.
Vonter
Also E3 is almost here. And I can't wait. I think Nintendo will have a good show considering they're revealing the new Smash with a tournament. There's rumors of the new game by Retro Studios (Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong) and maybe they'll reveal something about how Pokemon will be on the Switch.
Vonter
Also there's always the chance of something new being discovered. Not everything needs expectations behind. Sometimes great things come out of nowhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So yes, there are some at least decent shows coming out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Muh Baki, Muh Bananna fish, muh made in abyss season 2, muh Vinland.
Anonymous2119906
The rest of this year looks like shit for anime and 2019 doesn't look great either #fuckmoe #makeanimegreatagain
Anonymous2119214
@Kaiser yeah it happened in half the amount of eps this time around for steins gate 0; which i expected considering there's a lot of ground to cover
Anonymous2119106
@Supermario Something like Fate or the LOTR films are a different case. I get where you're coming from about your preference, but I'm arguing that if a large story is going to be split into 3 films, it helps that the 3 films feel cleanly cut. Infinity war, even though we know there's a second part to the story, feels like it has that cohesive narrative structure with a beginning, middle, and end
Anonymous2119106
@Super Mario yea but the marvel movies are a different situation so i don't think the comparison is as appropriate. Marvel movies are "episodic" in nature rather than a continuous narrative. The films are largely isolated stories that are happening in a similar universe that only happen to "congeal" narratively because of a few overarching details shared between films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I remember when the original series suddenly shifted and got going and it was a really depressing episode.
Lenlo
Oh baby. The storm has finally come in Steins;Gate. Let the true suffering commence
SuperMario
@anon2118276: that's why I don't like LoTR trilogy. It's still a whole body chopped up in 3 parts, despite how clean the cut is. Whereas for me it works better if it was like a branch in a tree. The Marvel movies (despite my disinterest on those) are a good example of this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I did feel some of this weeks steins gate felt fillery, I do like see these characters interact and given the episodes conclusion, this episode acted as a calm before the storm.
Lenlo
Ill agree with you on King Kong. As for the Ralph Bakshi LotR, I have. I am still to this day impressed by the overlay of 2D art onto real/overexposed footage. It makes for shockingly fluid animation in places and has its own distinct style
Anonymous2118208
@Lenlo - Have you watched the old Ralph Bakshi adaptation of the first two books? It's uneven, but it's interesting comparing and contrasting certain decisions. As good as Peter Jackson is, I feel he makes very longwinded films, I like his version of King Kong a lot, but it is too long.
Anonymous2118276
@supermario i disagree; the point is that even though the LOTH films have cliffhanger endings, they still feel like fils. they have a defined first second and third act with well paced tension and release throughout them. They follow a storytelling macrostructure necessary for films to feel like cohesive narratives even if they are to end on a cliffhanger
Lenlo
I quite liked the individual LOTR movie just fyi
Vonter
Marvel surprisingly has kept their movies simple enough, that while you might miss details nowadays, you can tell what's happening.
Vonter
Another bad case is like with Assassin's Creed, which like Lost, just tried to tease a lot of things, then it grew tired of trying to piece them together and let the last games work more standalone, with little hints of a larger lore.
Vonter
Metroid does both, it has a standalone story and a hint to what a sequel might bring. Though that hint rarely matters by the time the new game is released.
Vonter
@SuperMario - Some videogames trilogies also do that. Gears of War and God of War had good standalone beginnings but by the second game they put cliffhanging endings. Kingdom Hearts does that and I expect 3 to also do it. Megaman Legends and Half Life had incomplete stories, which might be the worse case in regards to trying to make a continuous story.
SuperMario
It ruins the appetite
SuperMario
I actually think Lord of the Rings' trilogy is a bad example to follow. These films are meant to be viewed as a whole, so each film doesn't hold much as an individual story. I just can't digest films that have "to be continued" sign at the end. Imagine having a first course meal and then have to wait for few days for second course
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the current topic, I would be well for the production of a long running, ambitious ova series.
Anonymous2116425
then again, i don't take too much issue with these films feeling like movie-sized eps...the wait just sucks is all
Anonymous2116425
clearly the films need each other to tell the whole story, yet they can be taken for what they are in isolation as well
Anonymous2116425
I don't mind the trilogy trend at all; like Aidan said, when everything is said and done, all the films will be available to watch. I just think a stronger attempt should be made to make them feel like complete films. Something like the lord of the rings trilogy is a great example of how to do this
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am in full confidence that neither I nor Miura will survive to the end of berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course maybe they won't have a future , think about it that way, then they'd never see it, life has that weird way of being unpredictable like that =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
You can always rewatch them just before watching the one after.
AidanAK47
Of course not. But that's the thing. The wait is only a temporary problem. Anyone in the future will have all movies ready to view.
SuperMario
So it's best to wait for another 2 years to watch Heaven's Feel? Hell NOT
AidanAK47
When all the movies come out though you can basically barrel through it like a TV series.
SuperMario
Dangit, it's me Mario
Anonymous2115918
I still don't know if I like this trilogy trend. We've had a fair bun h of those in recent years (Berserk Golden Age, Madoka, even Kizumonogatari). I guess doing it that way, they'd make much more profits, and we have higher production values, but the wait is way too long and I don't think it works as movie-format
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of the very rare times where self-awareness works.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can be nice and say of course Ryan Reynolds+ violence, comic was funnier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: But I'm sure if you think it over, the first deadpool was trapped in origin story mode, as an advantage, the sequel, is probably free of that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Deadpool 2 had John Wicks director, which at the least means something in terms of action direction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: There was a whole run of deadpool issues called Cable and deadpool, which I suppose that pairing together gets the best out of the character.
AidanAK47
Seen Deadpool 2 tonight and I have difficultly deciding if it's better or worse than Deadpool 1. Still it's quite fun and I enjoyed it.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I feel somewhat similar in regards to Franxx. When this series finishes I won't be singing high praises for it. Yet I do feel that it's worth watching.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Now I get ya. Yeah I understand that. I might even feel the same if I didn't already know the story from the VN.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The second film seems to be in cinema this year but we won't get it until it hits blu-ray.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: As I expected, I am disappointed that they have held back . And you might just be right about Castrollop/Caligula/Nero, when I originally attempted to watch the show years ago, that was the episode I stopped on.
KTravlos
Yang really is stealing the show this time. But I wanted the "Alcohol is mankind's oldest friend" rant. I need it.
KTravlos
my expectation is that they will take this to the Battle of Armistar, and then the films will cover the dual civil wars etc.
KTravlos
...CASTROP REBELLION! Why the hell sacrifice an episode to the most useless and bad part of the original! I hated that episode. Well let us see if they can give it a better twist this time around.
KTravlos
The Iserlohn arc at LGOGH:NT was ok. I liked how they presented the preparations. I like the new Murai face. The music was quite good. But they did tone the violence. I expected Walter to stab the imperial officer in the neck. They have toned down the violence a lot. And I missed Seeckts "Long live the Empire" death. That said it was not bad, and I think in general it was good adaption. But....
Anonymous2115268
for example, I think Darling in the franxx is pretty average, but that's not because i think it doesn't have cool shit in it or things that make it appealing; I just find that what the show tries to achieve is not that stupendous or worth lauding with praise. As a result, the flaws stick out that much more to me
Anonymous2115268
@Lenlo and that's pretty much how i felt. Everything is subject to criticism; hell i criticize my most favorite things in the world because i know they're not perfect. I evaluate art and media on whether what it achieves overshadows the flaws and to what degree. Which i think is the best way to approach criticism
Lenlo
I want to repeat though, Heavens Feel wasn't bad. I know some people take any criticism to mean I hated it, but I actually quite enjoyed it. I just think ill appreciate/enjoy it more once the other 2 movies are also out.
Lenlo
@Anon, you nailed it. I couldnt describe it, but what you said /feels/ right.

And Aidan, I loved Lindsay Ellis's videos on the whole Hobbit debacle. A shame, cause the original Lord of the Rings is a landmark in film for me.
Amagi
@Aidan: Do we know if the next HF movie will be finished this year?
Amagi
I love how and how often they say "Fujimi no Sugimoto" in Golden Kamuy. It's pretty hype for some reason, especially when it's said by his enemies.
Anonymous2114206
yea. heaven's feel is nothing like the situation with peter jackson's hobbit; this story needs this many movies and that large runtime. The thing with these heavens feel films that is probably bothering lenlo is that they feel like very long episodes and that particularly the first film felt like a giant prologue rather than a film with a beginning, middle, and end
AidanAK47
And just to make it clear, Heavens Feel needs at least three movies to cover the entire story. It's too big for one movie.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I ain't unhappy about it though. Sucks that I need to wait so long for each movie but there is higher production values as a result. Though in regards to the Hobbit I recommend watching Lindseys Eillis videos on it. As it not only talks about how it screwed the Hobbit but also how the movies screwed New Zealand.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I could never immerse myself in Tolkienistic world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Man, the hobbit, lord of the rings and that shit king kong film, he sold out so much , this was the man who gave me Heavenly creatures , Braindead and Feebles.
Lenlo
It is very beautiful indeed. And Aidan, that Hobbit metaphor made me weep for you. I hated what happened to the Hobbit
Anonymous2112805
other than that; HF is a very beautiful looking film; ufotable has improved with their digital compositions...holy crap
Anonymous2112805
heaven's feel seems to be embracing its more horrific elements. Aside from that, watching this film made me realize how much i prefer rin over the rest of the girls; kinda wish we got to spend a bit more time understanding Sakura's psyche in the film
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: This was part of some film fest thing, ended up missing big fish Begonia though, that Chinese animated thing =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: they'd invited him to introduce the flick.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Had this really unexpected run in, in my nearest arthouse cinema, seeing some film about the Soviet space program , I bump into this eastern European guy, assume he's an audience member, awkwardly say something in Russian to him, turns out he's the Russian federation ambassador to Ireland.
AidanAK47
It's sort of the hobbit situation where they chopped one book into three. Expect here we aren't getting extra fluff to pad things out. Well there are extra scenes but they are actually relevant.
Point is that in it's orignal form there are no stopping points here were you need to wait a year to continue. It was a straight story from start to finish.
AidanAK47
Well Fate is essentially the tutorial section that introduces most of the concepts and whatnot. But even then some of the things here are explained later in Heaven's Feel. Cause yeah, not only is the Fate/Stay Night VN not supposed to be split up into three seperate things, the routes aren't supposed to be split into movies either.
Lenlo
Im only familiar with the UBW route, cause Ufotable
Lenlo
I see.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, In a way there is. Heaven's Feel was originally meant to be experience after the Fate and UBW routes of the VN. That the thing Fate/Stay Night has struggled with. It's not meant to be split up into three like this. It's originally supposed to be three parts of a whole. Each route complementing another.
Nayrael
And so am I
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its like....sometimes I actually want to be able to like something I end up not liking, knowing I am the problem and not the show.
Anonymous2110797
Spoiler alaert: anime is trash
Lenlo
I can understand that. I cant stand Clannad, so everytime I ask for a decent romance and it gets recommended I die alittle inside.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While thats very true that not everyone agreeing does make things more interesting, at the same time theres some sense of feeling left out when not understanding the appeal of something extremely well loved.
Lenlo
Also @Maskey +1. If everyone agreed with each other, it would be boring. I love hearing what other people think on stuff.
Lenlo
Also, @Kaiser, give Ippo a try. It is one of the longest running and best sports anime/manga ever made. I sincerely believe this. That said, Megalo Box isnt bad. I still enjoy it. Ive just seen boxing done better.
Lenlo
It wasnt a bad movie. It just felt like it had a lot going on. Like Gil had a 30 sec clip, I don't really understand what the ribbon monster is but I suspect its the grail, and the new Assassin pulling an Alien, while cool, came out of left field. Like, once I just accepted it and moved on it was a fun movie. It just felt like there was a base of knowledge I needed but didnt have.
Masky
Eh, its okay to not like something that someone else likes. I disagree rather often with blog writers' opinions here but I still enjoy reading their opinions
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There was a another idolmaster show and it had mecha in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based on that I think I'm getting more out of it because I've only seen a few ippo episodes so I don't have much to go on to compare.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats the reason here Lenlo, comparatively to you, I have seen much less of ippo so, contrasting megalo box with it isn't something I can really do.
AidanAK47
But seriously, you can ask me on discord about anything you didn't quite get, provided it's not explained later.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, you are just a big dumb dumb that cannot understand art.
SuperMario
... more films coming soon
SuperMario
@Lenlo: maybe wanting more is a right feeling since there will be 2
Lenlo
So just finished Heavens Feel and I was... not as impressed as Aidan. As someone who is not a big TypeMoon fan, I had a lot of trouble keeping up with what was happening. It was pretty don't get me wrong. Thats Ufotable for you. But as a cohesive story it left me wanting
SuperMario
@Kaser: I'll send down the link once it has something on it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll be sure to read Mario's film blog.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Likely a compliment coming from me that increasingly Cutie honey is able to one up itself constantly in ridiculousness.
Anonymous2108907
@supermario: well, i did find the Nitta interaction with his family funny... Literally convincing them with his charisma alone. But i am finally happy for Anzu. this is Sash by the way, can't change my name for some reason
Anonymous2108852
@supermario: well, i did find the Nitta interaction with his family funny... Literally convincing them with his charisma alone. But i am finally happy for Anzu
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Featured Posts

Megalo Box – 7 [The Road to Death]

Hello everyone, and welcome to the most surprising episode of Megalo Box yet. This week we have family drama, Joe’s declining health and a shocker of an ending. Lets jump in! So starting from the top, lets talk about this ending. I never thought Megalo Box would pull something like this, with its limited number […]

Hinamatsuri – 07 [Anzu Is a Greeter Now]

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Megalo Box – 6 [Until the Last Dog Dies]

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