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

vlcsnap-2016-08-20-00h17m29s486

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.

Flowers of Evil 10

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.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous3197172
Unlike Uma though, Zombieland doesn't have Granblue codes in the BDs this time, so it might not reach those same sales heights. Makes you wonder if Uma did well in Japan solely because of the codes.
Anonymous3197172
Granted, like Zombieland Saga, I didn't hate it. But unlike Zombieland where it became what it purported to parody, this was exactly what I was expecting it to be. Safe and really dull.
Anonymous3197172
And to top it off, they included SSR codes for Granblue with the BDs of the series as a form of cross-promotion. That managed to maximize sales for the series. Not even Zombieland Saga was this obviously safe.
Anonymous3197172
Let's see, it's a sports anime complete with the stereotypes you'd expect, a CGDCT show, a moe anthropomorphism series where the horses are girls, and an idol series with most of the trademarks of that genre (yuri undertones, banal songs, creepy fanservice, etc.) and it's a mobile game adaptation to boot.
Anonymous3197172
Of all the shows I watched this year, Uma Musume was probably the safest, most conservative show that I've ever seen this year which took the least risks, and threw in everything they could in the hopes of maximizing blu-ray sales. It's saving grace is P.A. Works' animation, but that's to be expected with even their worst shows.
SuperMario
I haven’t watched the latest one yet but isn’t it a bit too... quick?
SuperMario
What the hell? Only one episode and BF already wiped out 3 bad men?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unrelated, but I wish more ecchi/hentai genuinely tried to mix in emotions and sensuality even into the more fetishist stuff. I like everything to be y'know sad and stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Seeing that bastard get it in banana fish is so satisfying.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still wish this show had 24 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think there's enough time for Shoko's arc though and this episode was rushed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*in bunny-senpai
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh my God I wanna save the sister bunny-sepai =<
Anonymous3196773
All 3 of BF devil trio are out :) Now we have to deal with Foxx as final boss though? Not sure about that
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I enjoyed what I read of gunsmith cats but I've only read parts of it, not the whole thing, I also saw its prototype riding bean which was schlocky fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'm honestly not sure. But I'll say this, wasn't there some campaign to get a new gunsmith cats anime out?
Animosh
I wonder where they're going with Yut Lung though. I expected Ash to kill him in a mad fury over what happened to Eiji, but his conversation with Blanca (about finding love instead of being ruled by anger and hatred) suggests that some kind of redemption may lie in store for him.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan How is it compared to Gunsmith Cats?
Animosh
I knew Banana Fish wouldn't go through with Eiji's death. But hey, at least it looks like Golzine is finally dead! Although I really wish someone with more of a history with him had done the deed. Or you know, someone with some actual personality. Foxx is such a lame blend of villain tropes I wish he would die already. If he really ends up as the final boss of the series I'd be pretty disappointed
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Its possibly because its so old. As for myself I've only seen the first series and read a few volumes of the manga, what I followed was largely episodic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It isn't as heavily marketed, I wasn't aware there were that many. It's this a niche series?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: There are several films live action and animated and three anime series based on it.
Vonter
The new City Hunter movie looks great. It seems to have buddy cop vibe. Were there only OVAs or did this manga ever got a TV series? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRFrmaZa1OY
Animosh
Oh right, that makes sense. Heh.
Lenlo
Ha, you merged his names.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, that is the curse of watching an episode a week, forgetting things like that, can't believe I couldn't remember that.
Animosh
Eh, Kurahara. Where did I even get that name from.
Animosh
@Lenlo: he's a reporter. He's one of the people interviewing Fujioka in episode 7 (or more precisely, he's watching him being interviewed). He also seems to notice Kakeharu then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or maybe a washed up former runner from years ago?
Lenlo
Im sad Kaze Fui has a 3 week break, but cant wait for January now. As for the guy at the end, I want to say he is probably a reporter of some kind? Kurahara was a good runner in highschool and seemingly quit, yet is now running for a no-name team. Thats a scoop
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was pretty tense actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't cry during that scene in made in abyss, you know the one where riko freaks out, the arm scene. But it was somewhat stressful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't come across ojisama to neko. Perhaps I'll read a few chapters of it.
Amagi
Hope they will do a first season of it by turning it into a 5 minute anime now. I mean it has an old man who tries to be the best father for his pet and it has a CAT, what else does a series need to be successful in the age of the internet?
Amagi
I didn't know Ojisama to Neko was a hit. The series is so cute that every harmless piece of seriousness makes you feel like crying, it's pretty good but didn't expect it to be popular. Seems like it sells around 350k copies.
Amagi
There are so many movies or anime that kill tons of characters and throw in even more tons of cry scene and I am still unable to feel anything.
Amagi
MIA showed that it is always about how you depict a death scene and not so much about what's actually happening. I usually want to be sad whenever I am supposed to feel sad but it doesn't work. I had to cry during the MiA scene though even though it was "just" about some kind of pet, because that character lost her humanity long ago and suffered, so death was actually a good thing here. But still.
Anonymous3189472
I guess we'll have to wait three weeks for the second cour to find out.
Anonymous3189472
I really wonder who that guy at the end was though. He seems to have some beef with Kakeru judging by that look.
Anonymous3189472
Man, seems like the next episode of Kaze ga won't air until January 8. I was really getting invested in their continued training, even through rough weather this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Although definitely different and admire it for that, the stage like aesthetic of dogville didn't work for me. He did do comedies though such as boss of it all, the idiots and some of Kingdom .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I always thought he could have fleshed out the first half of melancholia more, but it really gets going in the second when she really starts re-lapsing, I loved that part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You gave dancer in the dark 4 stars though.
SuperMario
My favorites are Breaking the Waves (although I do need to rewatch it), and Melancholia (mostly because there's a hint of hope at the end). Dancer in the Dark is so stupid I freaking hate it. Dogville, AntiChrist are depressing and Shia Labeouf and the ending kill Nympho for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: can't wait to see the House that Jack Built, although no release date here yet. Lars Von Trier is like depressing drugs. His stuffs are goddamn depressing
SuperMario
@Kaiser: she was like "omg MARIO, you're serious crying while watching a TV show?" well, she invaded my privacy and still had the guts to say that huh?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Matt Dillon is great in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Also, I saw the new Von Trier film, the horror one House that Jack built, its an acid black farce comedy that never takes away from the darker elements of it or the violence, even if it isn't as violent as people are saying. I loved it, even if it went off on tangents sometimes. My favourites by him are this, boss of it all, dancer in the dark and especially antichrist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*their
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: What was there reaction out of curiousity?
SuperMario
*Catch me right at the act
Kaiser-Eoghan
And visually it is immersive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss does depend currently on what its second season will deliver and it does start out in a way that you kind of need to make it passed the first few episodes to really get into it. But it flows better than the manga and THAT scene in the middle and Nanachi's backstory elevate the series to a higher level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
BabyMario as in like super Mario world 2 =O
Kaiser-Eoghan
=O BabyMario
SuperMario
True (shameful) story: when I watched the finale of Made in Abyss, my housemate opened the door to ask me sth and she saw me sobbing like a baby
Lenlo
Made in Abyss was really damn good
Sash
I just recently watched Made in Abyss.... and i cried real hard. I was worried that this story was going down the loli route at first... but how this show frightened me... and how it pulled at my heartstrings at the end.
Amagi
Also being immortal would meant that I finally had enough time to finish all the games and series I am interested in.
Amagi
@Kaiser: the hate against immortality is overrated, I would totally be okay with observing history for centuries.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, it’s supposed to be the final one that closes the whole franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
Theres going to be another euphonium movie next year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I say sit back and just let it wash over you if you get on board with its slow rhythm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The soundtrack is pretty understated aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also quite naturalistic in how it uses/animates movements/body language.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do wish that it went further than baiting the audience though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*is in
Kaiser-Eoghan
I watched liz and the bluebird, the storybook segements give the film a certain magical feel to it, even if they feel obvious and on the nose, what this film achieves if in its silent, quiet and visual exposition rather than spoken words, its also more sensitive and low key than Euphonium.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gah, one of the gutting things about being into historical stuff or stuff about things that happened decades ago, is that I'll never be a direct witness to it as it happened. It'll never hit me as someone who lived through it. I having all the fun second hand.
SuperMario
Thanks, Amagi. They look pretty cool
Amagi
Why would I waste my time watching other people shopping or working. Not to mention that the scripted part turns everything worse than it usually is by shoving in terrible cringy moments everywhere to.. don't know. Entertain(?) the audience or something.
Amagi
I mean unless you want info dumps you watch fiction and you watch that because it makes you indirectly experience adventures you can't have in real life. Even when fiction is down to earth it's usually about special situations like the MC becoming a professional runner like in Kaze ga or something.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Me neither, especially because it seems to be the exact opposite of the reason why people consume media, and therefore fiction, in the first place.
Amagi
They probably used these in Irozuko because they look like're part of some J-RPG town.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I never really understood why reality television ever became a thing or how someone could give it any form of attention.
Amagi
Seems like they even have a wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trullo
Amagi
@SuperMario: It's some specific type of house that only exist in Apulia. https://cdn.getyourguide.com/img/tour_img-437617-146.jpg - the whole historic disctrict looks like that
Amagi
I shouldn't use so many brackets.
SuperMario
Trulli? What does that mean?
SuperMario
We have all kinds of international film festivals here. I watched Roma in the Latin Film Festival. Yeah that aspect I mus say that I feel lucky
Amagi
There are Trulli in one scene of this week's Irozuko (after they entered that painting), how funny. I just visited this city (Alberobello) last month.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You are lucky, Roma gets a one day limited release here for one time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Just imagine going to the west of Ireland and asking them about the internet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes there are people turning up to the one art cinema we actually have. But Ireland is not a good place to be in general if you are a film/anime/gaming fan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol this country is incapable of giving a proper wide/long cinema release to anything that might even be considered slight non-mainstream.
SuperMario
*week-long
SuperMario
Well, we have a week-log screening here and I already lament how undeserving these films have. Guess I should be more appreciate now I know that other countries have 1-day screening only
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if anyone started out in the light novel industry as a stepping stone before moving on to real book writing. I also wonder how easy it is to get published.
Anonymous3183156
Progressive is good from what I heard since he went back to his older material from a more mature outlook. Ordinal Scale is decent too coming from the same matured Kawahara.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes there are re-showings, some cinemas will play Akira for the billionth time for example.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine seeing scenes like that being recorded in the recording booth would look quite strange.
Anonymous3183156
Apparently, he even apologized to the voice actress for being subjected to voice a rape scene, so I guess even he has deep regrets about it. The LN doesn't have any more moments like this so I guess he matured a lot.
Amagi
@Anon: The problem is that he was still a teen when he wrote Alicization, he just edited it a bit later. But I also wish he would have cut this scene, it's always so forced and feels so stupid.
Amagi
Pancreas has no subs yet AFAIK
Anonymous3183156
Ugh, ep10 of Alicinization reminded me why I disliked SAO so much years ago. I assume Kawahara still had some nasty tendencies in him when writing Alicinization despite being past his edgy teenage phase.
Amagi
@Kaiser: It's the same here too. One day screenings and that's it. I also believe that anime are made for everyone it's just that the West (save for France and Italy maybe) doesn't give anime a chance. They are sure people would never care so they rather die or air the same awful scripted reality show for the 5th time rather than try showing anime that could appeal to adults like Monster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anon might want to watch that though, a torrent of it recently got uploaded.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Let me eat your pancreas wasn't shown here. But it was shown in Australia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although there are some films that America gets that we don't, the Heavens feel, the Madoka movies and Nanoha reflection showed in America but not here.
Amagi
@SuperMario: That would be great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anime films seem to appeal to normies aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw an older woman in my screening of Maquia and talked to her after it and she liked it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, I don't know about elsewhere, but what surprised me was the amount of people who are seeing these in the audience who don't actually come off as anime fans and probably aren't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'm genuinely surprised that my country would actually even go that far to even show them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know about all the other countries that get showings for these anime films, but here its a one day only thing each time one comes out.
SuperMario
Reviewig anime movies/ making posts about them might be something I can do in the future
SuperMario
@amagi: anime movies are somethingn I wanna raise more awareness as well. Normally each year there are 4,5 solid anime films out there, but like you said they’re hardly discussed
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never heard of UFO no natsu.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I felt bad for the little girl in grave of the fireflies, the boy was already caught up though in "muhfascistempire is goat tier" for me to care about him as much as her.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Air movie was more focused, better paced and visually directed with more panache than the show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I have gone to almost every anime screening since the early 2000s and continue to.
Amagi
And many have barely any sort of advertising so I only notice them coincidentally by seeing a thread on /a/ or because I see some screenshot somewhere.
Amagi
Speaking of it there are so many great anime movies every year but nobody ever talks about them because the fans are split between those who see the screenings (that happen randomly depending on the country) and those who watch it a year later on their PC.
Amagi
I also found Hotori sad but it's ages old and I never met anyone who cared about it besides myself. Also, Hanbun no Tsuki and UFO no natsu although these were 6 part ova. Colourful probably too and the Key movies. I actually like all these movies like Air or Clannad but I didn't like the series that much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think ultimately its the patience some of these sad films are made with that allows then to eventually land their effect.
SuperWooper
It takes a while to get to that point, though.
SuperWooper
"The Wind Rises" is pretty damn sad.
SuperMario
Well, Grave of Fireflies hands down. or Your Lie in April if you don't mind TV show
Amagi
Then basically everything from Shinkai for example.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may need to let us now what type of drama you're into, are you okay with highly melodramatic stories?
Anonymous3180985
if so anybody have any good sad anime movies?
Anonymous3180985
anybody here?
Amagi
The more we approach xmas time the more it rains in my city. Like every year.
Amagi
Didn't know that guess I try this someday I love this setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The most recent thing I've watched dealing with a created/artificial/virtual world was an old German mini series called World on a wire by Rainer Fassbinder.
Amagi
Wonder about the consequences these last scenes in Gridman will have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to Aki Kaurasamaki's films, watched I hired a contract killer, I like dry, sad bastard black humour like that and even when it wasn't being amusing I enjoyed the whole quirky tone throughout it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to watch season 2 of sound euphonium before getting to liz and the bluebird. I would like to see more of this. I guess I liked Asuka's arc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think bloom into you has stood out in how its dealt with Nanami's insecurities and backstory, found myself liking that one side character Sayaka more. There will be an arc where they do some kind of play which compliments/links in well with nanami's character.
Animosh
But yeah, I agree the series has great character writing. In hindsight, it's kind of a shame you picked Irozuku over Bloom into You. It had a great premiere and some stunning scenes, but the characters are so incredibly droll that there's just not much to write about. They're both slow burns, but Bloom into You gives you much more to think about.
Animosh
So I think the crossing the line thing is ambiguous between your interpretation and Yuu's subconscious fear that if she initiates things, displays her affection towards Nanami (and a passionate kiss that Yuu initiates certainly seems to qualify), then that will be the end of things. Actually, it's probably a bit of both.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think Yuu is also aware that Nanami does not want Yuu to fall in love with her (I mean, it's hard not to after that death stare). And as a result she can never initiate things, because showing affection would undermine the whole reason Nanami fell in love with her. And Yuu obviously does not want this relationship to end.
Anonymous3177625
Did uh that really happen in BF? Probably not, but dang if that really was the case then stuff got real
SuperMario
@Animosh: the thing is Yuu takes the special attraction from Nanami for granted, and her mode is that she “doesn’t hate” it. She doesn’t hate it when she spends time alone with Nanami, she doesn’t hate it when they kiss. So for Yuu, when Nanami askes her to actively do it, it’a the first time Yuu feels like she’s crossing the line. Some really great character writing there
Anonymous3175137
It boils down to a female-targeted version of those moe shows that I don't care about all that much. Just replace the cute girls with hot boys.
Anonymous3175137
Compared to Katsugeki, where it tried to sell the series as something more than just a mobile adaptation and tried to court non-fans, here I got exactly what I expected; something safe and predictable, and catering exclusively to fans. So I got nothing out of it.
Anonymous3175137
Is there some sort of moe equivalent for male characters? Because this show probably counts as one. otoh, my feelings towards it are like most CGDCT anime: indifference.
Anonymous3175137
I think the oddest thing I did regarding anime this year was how I sat through both season of Touken Ranbu Hanamaru (including the one that aired earlier this winter), and didn't claw my eyes out when it's basically an unfortunate mix of a mobile game adaptation and a CBDCT show mixed in with some action segments to show that it's not just a pure estrogen-fest.
Animosh
I should also note that I don't relate to her in every way. I understand her difficulties with falling in love, but for me the problem is more that my view on love is too negative, and as a result I'm hesitant about taking the "leap of faith" that any relationship requires. Love is messy, and may well get you hurt, so it's easier to observe things from a distance, like Maki for example.
Animosh
Oh Yuu is definitely frustrating to watch. Her idealized conception of love prevents her from seeing what is obvious to everyone watching: that she's slowly developing feelings for Touko. And when those feelings evidently turn into love, instead of seeing them for what they are, she's in denial and insists that her feelings aren't special enough to be called "love". It's frustrating.
SuperMario
Then again, I can't really say why Bloom into You works for me now, but kept me in a distance in their first few episodes. It's slow-burn, and when you think back to it, not a lot has been happening. But I feel they haven't made any wrong step yet
SuperMario
Can't say I relate to Yuu thou. She's the kind of character that in real life I would find really frustrated, and I know many of my friends behave that way. That just to further demonstrates how real these characters can be. Even the side characters, Sayaka and the lesbian adult couple work well for me.
SuperMario
@Aminosh: it took awhile for me to fully embrace Bloom into You (I say about episode 5,6) but I agree it's getting very solid now. it reminds me of Scums Wish as well, mainly because how twisted romance can be
Animosh
I'm also worried it won't end in a satisfying way, since the manga is still ongoing. But otherwise I quite like it. It has its problems, but if you go into it with the right expectations (slow pacing, complex and flawed characters that make for an unusual love story, with more focus on the characters' psychological issues than their sexuality) there's a lot to enjoy.
Animosh
My only major complaint is that its characters can feel rather artificial sometimes. Touko in particular is a victim of this. She's such a weird bundle of complexes that she can be hard to relate to. Maybe it'll be better explained later on, but the whole idea of falling in love with another person because you think she'll be incapable of reciprocating it ... it's weird.
Animosh
I particularly like Yuu. I can empathize with her difficulties with falling in love, and I like her arc of slowly "blooming into" liking another person. It feels natural and earned. And like in SSSS.Gridman, the direction is surprisingly strong, and as a result it mostly nails its key moments (the river confrontation, the shed starting shot, etc).
Animosh
I finally caught up with Bloom into You, and it really surpassed my expectations. It kind of reminds me of Scum's Wish, with how flawed its characters are, and how selfish and unreasonable they can be. But like in Scum's Wish, instead of condemning the characters for their flaws, we're given the background to understand them, and they're not used for forced melodrama but sympathetically explored.
Total users: 19

Star Crossed Anime Blog

7 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Planetes – 17 & 18 [His Reasons/Debris Sections Last Day]

Hello and welcome to another week of Throwback Thursday, with Planetes! This time Planetes drops it’s greater themes for some character drama, but brings it back with one big hurrah for our team. Lets jump in! In general, I wasn’t particularly impressed by this week. Every week I am waiting for something definitive to happen. […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 11 [Overflowing Drops]

Hello and welcome to the last week of Kaze Fui for 2018! This time Shindo gets dumped, the team rallies behind him and Kurahara catches an older mans eye. Lets jump in! First off, lets get the elephant out of the room. That’s right folks, no Kaze Fui until January 8th. Looks like they are […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 – 11 [The Dignity of Evil]

This week we see something that rarely happens: Gui Niao is in a fault mood. As it turns out, this little war between Enigmatic Gale and Dirty Cop is more about the Vape Wiz’s ego rather than the Glassed Boy. The usually collected-Gui Niao shows off a whole range of emotions this episode: from being […]

Banana Fish – 22 [As I Lay Dying]

Welcome to what is, to me, a very contentious episode of Banana Fish. This time Blanca gets sentimental, Ash learns Japanese, and Eiji sets Ash on a Warpath through no fault of his own. Let’s dive in! Overall, this was a good episode. It flipped everything on its head and, assuming Banana Fish doesn’t backpedal […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara – 10 [Monochromatic Crayon]

Irozuku, as meandering as it always is, has some stunning sequences this episode. It furthers proves the fact that 1) the magical sequence is where Irozuku really takes off and 2) its strength always come from its visual department, not in the storytelling. Take the sequence where Aoi steps into Hitomi’s dream, for example. He […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN – 10 [Collapse]

After a crucial episode last week where GRIDMAN reached its highest bar to date, it’s understandable that everything that follows it would be a letdown. Nothing in this new episode can beat the moment Akane jumped off the crane last week in terms of sketching her depression. This episode is where the entire cast goes […]

Planetes – 15 & 16 [In Her Case…/Ignition] – Throwback Thursday

Hello and welcome to perhaps the most intense week of Planetes yet. This time our Temp Worker gets some history and Hachimaki develops space PTSD. Let’s dive in! Off the bat, I want to apologize again for this being late. Work and doing 4 shows at once has slowed me down a bit. That said, […]

Goblin Slayer – 09[There and Back Again]

We reach the end of the water town arc and Goblin Slayer killed some goblins. I am not sure what else I expected. I must say that animation wise for a series heavily focused on action, the action itself is rather static. Sadly some of the more impactful panels of the manga were cut from […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteru – 10 [Our Speed]

Welcome one and all, to the most wholesome episode of Kaze Fui yet. This week Prince and Kurahara finally connect, Hana cooks dinner and a track meet comes to a curious end. Lets jump in! Kaze Fui continues strong this week, not content to sit back and simply milk Haiji’s condition. No, instead of spending […]

Latest Reviews

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 72/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]

Asobi Asobase (Summer 2018) Review – 83/100

In a year where comedy shows gain an unexpected strong showing, somehow a show about 3 cute girls and their pass-timer club emerges as one of the best comedy around. Yep, forget Hinamatsuri, forget Grand Blue, forget Chio-chan, Asobi Asobase delivers some hilarious absurdist laugh-out-loud moments for the ages. It helps that we were in […]

Planet With Anime Review – 90/100

Planet With is an anime that likely leaves many unimpressed when they look at the cover and makes for a solid proof that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover or even by it’s first episode. Many have overlooked this show in it’s season but for those that did give it chance it went […]

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (Dubbed) Review – 84/100

Ah, the movie tie in. A right of passage for all aspiring Shounen series. Some, like One Piece have weathered it and come out Golden, while others are better forgotten (Looking at you Bleach). My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, in my opinion, is closer to former. Animated by BONES , Directed by Kenji Nagasaki and […]

A quick and dirty review of Angolmois: Record of the Mongol Invasion

What it claims to be about: Angolmois (a reference to a Nostradamus prophesy which is rather irrelevant for the show, as he lived several centuries after the events) focuses on the first Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1274. Specifically it focuses on the early phase of the invasion when the Mongols attack Tsushima, which essentially […]

Steins;Gate 0 Anime Review – 60/100

Before I begin this review in earnest, I have to ask, who doesn’t know about Steins;Gate? The amazing, beloved original series that Steins;Gate 0 is an offshoot of. Well if you don’t, if you haven’t seen the original, then stop now. Steins;Gate 0 is not worth it. It is not for you. Without having seen […]

Mirai (2018) Movie Review – 81/100

Watching Mirai, there are two observations that spring right up to my mind: Mirai is Hosoda’s most grounded, personal film and it plays out completely different from what I expected based from the promotional materials. My feeling is confirmed when I later learned that Hosoda based the concept from watching his own children’s react, and […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore Anime Review – 40/100

To many the Fate series is daunting with its numerous incarnations and spinoffs and here in the year of many a Fate adaption we get another one by Studio Shaft which was first thought to adapt the story of the PSP game Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra could basically be considered Fate with a sci-fi twist as this […]

Darling in the Franxx Anime Review – 57/100

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and […]