Posted by psgels on 1 February 2017 with categories: Monthly Summaries

I know I missed Onihei, but it’s just impossible to find much about it. Perhaps in February I’ll give it some more coverage. Aside from that, this was a good month. I’d say that overall the winter season is more varied than the past autumn season, but at the same time the good series are not AS good. All of course according to my own impressions. Like always spoilers beware, and this list is on order of my own preferences, worst first best last, only about the episodes that aired in January, minus the first episodes that I already talked about. The number after each title signifies the relevant episodes.

#15: Granblue Fantasy The Animation (01)

This one aired a bit later than the other shows this season. It’s also a fantasy series, probably another kind of game adaptation like Chain Chronicle, but I liked that one a lot better though. That I’m not watching Chain Chronicle anymore should say enough for Granblue, but the gist of it that while Chain Chronicle was simply generic, with Granblue I got the feeling of gradually losing brain cells while watching. Granted, a bit reason for that is that incredibly annoying dragon that keeps floating everywhere, but what also ticks me off is that we’re given very little reason to care about any of the characters. The main character doesn’t really have a reason to go along on this life-threatening quest, he just happens to be at the place where a cute girl falls from the sky… and starts following his boner, I guess… Why am I supposed to root for these people? Do the bad guys have any other reason to attack besides being evil? I don’t expect answers to those questions in episode 01, but at least hints or some other kind of nuance. You just can’t think you can get away with this simplistic mess just because you’re a game adaptation, right?

#14: Spiritpact (02)

In the end… I just can’t. Snappy dialogue is one thing, but if everything else is just amateurish i’m not really sure what I’m gaining by watching this and I’ve got many better things to see and do. I can see where they’re coming from, but episode 2 didn’t really convince me to just keep watching. For one it wasn’t as fun as the first episode, but the first episode also just felt worse in hindsight. They introduced this new character who is the fiance of the white haired guy, and obviously she has her issues, but they all seemed to be trying so hard, and nothing really came out of it.

The animation is partly to blame for that. I watch anime because I also care for the “animation”-part of the whole deal. I want to see people bringing characters to life. If you have to use short-cuts then so be it: be clever with the jump-cuts, pull some visual tricks, use your music. It’s not an exact science at all and it’s an art form, however this series doesn’t seem to try any of this, with awkward jerky motions and no attempts to hide it. Japanese anime has the experience in these cheap tricks, but Korean animators still need to find their own way. Mind you, I am not suggesting them to follow anime’s example. Let them go their own way, as long as that way works of course.

#13: BanG Dream! (01-02)

This is another series that came out a bit late this season, about a bunch of middle school girls starting a band. I gave it two episodes because there is one thing it seems to understand: build-up: it’s not like “Wheee band!”, but instead it is carefully building up the different girls, why they’re going for it and how they end up meeting each other. Really, one of the most difficult things about being in a band is actually starting the band and finding the right people. By taking its time, the series makes also sure that the characters are well fleshed out in the process.

Still, I’m not going to continue with it. The teenaged girls are just too annoying, and I think a lot can be contributed to bad acting and voice acting: characters hamming it up a little too much. There is one shy girl and nearly all she does is breathe very loudly. That’s not how shyness works! The main character also feels a bit weird: they really tried to make her this enthusiastic girl whose energy pulls the entire band together, but in the end it just feels fake, like they try too hard. She too has this habit of just breathing very loudly, which after a while just gets distracting. These random squeaks and moans instead of just actual dialogue. This obviously isn’t the only show that does this but that doesn’t make it okay!

#12: elDLIVE (02-03)

elDLIVE could have had potential if they kept the momentum of the first episode going. A fun light-hearted show about alien hunting with quirky characters, but in the end it lost this quite quickly. Episode 02 and 03 pretty much repeated what episode 01 did, only less interesting, and quite witless to be honest. These episodes had a bit of high school hi-jinks, dull aliens, and nothing really interesting. It wasn’t fun, and at times they also got way too dramatic for their own good. You don’t want to be dramatic for a series that involves a bunch of kids busting aliens, that just serves to highlight how stupid the show is, unless you invest really heavily in suspense of disbelief. But ultimately this show lacks any sort of ambition or desire to be special. This one is dropped.

#11: Demi-chan wa Kataritai (02-04)

This one turned out to be not as good as what I hoped. On one hand, it managed to portray this world in which a small percentage of people is “demi”, or half human, half mythical creature like a vampire, dullahan, etc. It’s an interesting look at minorities, being slightly different and a bit of bullying here and there. Its characters are very vocal about their issues and that makes this a very honest series.

On the other hand I really don’t like how this show pulled a Sword Art Online and made every single one of these “demi-girls” fall for the main character. Granted, the verdict is still out on the snow girl, but it’s getting there, trust me! I find that cheap, and it’s also just pointless. This is supposed to be a series about teenaged issues, and the romance just feels shoehorned in. There is no reason why these girls can’t have boyfriends, or at the very least guys interested in them if they also want to handle things like sexualities. This is also in the main character’s favour because now we just end up with him getting demi-boners half of the time, which just turns him into this slime-ball rather than a scientist. It’s a real shame because I feel that there are two groups among the creators: one that really wants this to be a character study, and one that want this to be a romantic comedy. The result gets very awkward in a bad way.

#10: Piace – Watashi no Italian (02-03)

Piace is clever: it knew that if you want to be interesting, you need some kind of material to work with. Slice of life has been done to death and there is no way to make something out of it, and you have to be really funny for a pure plain comedy to succeed. However by basing its setting on an Italian restaurant it can interchange the jokes with Italian cooking. And it’s not like you really learn something about this, but the creators make a point of showing that the characters are making good food. When you combine this with the banter between the different characters, this becomes pretty decent for 4 minutes per episode, because let’s face it: the only jokes in this show are based on the characters’ banter; do not expect any food puns. The characters are also grounded and fun to watch: the voice acting here is good. The slightly-faster-than-usual pacing along with portraying the characters variedly, yet fairly wasn’t something I expected from a series like this.

#9: ChaoS;Child (02-03)

ChaoS;Child is chugging along nicely, along with its own issues. The thing with this series is that it’s all about its mystery. You can see that the story behind this series, the string of weird murders and the strange connection between them is the strongest point of this series. While no Higurashi by any means, I admit that after three episodes I’m curious to learn what is behind everything. Apart from that though… the gore is laughable, the animation is jerky, but my most important issue with it lies with the characters.

When telling a story with a clear main character, the audience needs a way to relate with him or her. A key part of that is the reason for his/her involvement in the story. And this doesn’t need to be complicated, as long as it’s something strong that can take the audience along for the ride. The lead character here is this sulky high school kid who keeps poking his nose in ridiculously dangerous murder cases. He knows this and still goes after them. Even after his loved ones get hurt he still tries to get more and more involved, even though there is no guarantee for the safety of his other friends, he gets told this plenty of times, and he realizes that he’s being incredibly reckless. How the heck are we supposed to relate to that?! I mean the lead of Chaos Head was a loser, but the creators used his panic very well to engage the audience. With him, it’s all so weak that I kept thinking “stop getting involved! Let the cops take care of it! You’re a high school kid, you can’t do anything!”

#8: Masamune-kun no Revenge (02-04)

Four episodes in, and Masamune has still retained its wit that we saw in its first episode. I didn’t think I’d be praising a romance between two high school kids, but it’s enjoyable enough to see just what an incredible dork the male lead can be. For once he’s actually balanced well: he’s flawed, but not a complete idiot, diligent but not perfect, his attempts of hitting on the lead girl are a refreshing combination between desperate and surprisingly effective. The tropes that have been done in other romances, it really tries to subvert them. It’s like a cat and mouse game between the two of them.

However, I’m very afraid that we just saw the best of this series. Episode 04 ended with something really questionable that has ruined many series that came before it. Up to that point, every twist, even though unexpected, sort-of made sense. You could see things happening that way if you put yourself in the characters’ shoes. Then completely randomly there’s this girl that offers herself to the lead’s feet as they’re about to have this serious moment. The episode ended right afterwards, but the creators are going to have to come up with something amazing to try and explain that one, because it also just does not fit the storyline at all, and I really doubt what this show can benefit from her. This was the “will they won’t they”-love-triangle I was afraid of when I first saw the OP and ED of this one, and there’s gonna be another girl! For now I enjoyed this show plenty, but unless episode 05 makes a very good case for itself I’m going to drop it then and there.

#7: Youjo Senki (02-04)

Okay. I did not expect that kind of back-story for the main character. It’s far-fetched, but.. fair enough it works. In fact, episodes 02 to 04 have all pain-stakingly spent time dealing with the issues I had with the first episode, setting everything up and actually doing a very good job at it. At this point I don’t see this as a dumb war-series anymore, but definitely something with its own qualities. Something totally different from what Shuumatsu no Izetta tried to be.

It’s ironic: Shuumatsu no Izetta made sure to portray soldiers as actual people, but in the end it was about the survival of the actual kingdom. Youjo Senki throws heaps of unnamed soldiers under the bus, but in the end its central theme is survival of the individual. Everyone in this series is thinking either about themselves, or their close families. The people next to them. The patriotism feels more like a formality here. In face, what I like is how it takes many serious issues of other war-series, and turns them into formalities. The whole goal of the main character isn’t to win, it’s to live a comfortable life and winning just happens to be very convenient for that goal. It’s a different look at war politics than usual. And the fact that she’s a child… fair enough. It works and they use it well.

#6: Hand Shakers (02-04)

There\s something really interesting going on with the music here. During the fights, notice how the soundtrack is completely different from what you’d usually suspect? It’s all dreamy, instead of the hard, dramatic and edgy sound that series usually go for. It’s very much on the foreground, rather than mostly lingering in the background. That is awesome! Back in the days lots of series had these incredibly complicated soundtracks with creative tunes, to scenes that totally didn’t match your expectations, even blasting over the dialogue and it was glorious! At a certain point this trend stopped though, only resurfacing very rarely. This needs to be brought back! Obviously not in every series, but let’s revive the spirit of Bee-Train! Hand Shakers is obviously no El Cazador, but obviously a step in the right direction.

Aside from that, this show has me pretty baffled. On all accounts, on paper I should hate this show. A boy meets a girl and they use powers to fight others. And yet this show is just so incredibly genuine. I find the lead couple so adorable for some really weird reason. The rest of the cast: I just like them. Everything here is just enjoyable to watch. Like I said, there’s something inherently cute about a show that’s about hand holding, something most romance shows don’t even seem to realize exists.

I am not a fan though of how passive the female lead has been so far: the male lead pretty much did all of the work here. You could replace her with a pet dog and pretty much the only thing that will change is the sexual tension. Don’t think too much behind that comparison…

#5: Little Witch Academia (02-04)

What makes this series special is that the creators really seem to have made this with an international audience in mind. This show is a weird amalgamation between east and west, but some parts really feel like Trigger putting a global audience first, rather than what most shows do: just produce your series for Japan and afterwards just release it internationally because hey, why not? Or make your show so generic that it doesn’t matter what country it’s from. I mean, otherwise no sane writer would include a reference to Hanna Barbara so randomly there. Episode four was also was about fandom, and it felt uch more like we were watching western fandom than Eastern.

Also in this world, everything is exaggerated. Everything. That makes the plot pretty random and stupid, but the energy. Good lord, the energy of this show! This show always manages to conjure up something creative for the magical hi-jinks that the characters find themselves into and especially the main trio just bubbles with personality, and yet they’re grounded and varied. This is what makes characters who usually would have been really annoying, it makes them actually fun to watch. I mean we all know about the blond girl who is good at everything and incredibly posh, but in this show she works. Her henchmen are annoying at first, but we see them do different stuff besides fangirl about how amazing their sempai is.

And beyond that this does just about all of the basic stuff right. These four episodes were random hi-jinks, but they were perfect in fleshing out the characters and making the audience familiar with them. This light-hearted note is something I missed from Kill la Kill for example. Trigger still hasn’t forgotten to do action either, so bring on the rest of this series!

#4: ACCA – 13-ku Karusatsu-ka (02-04)

Okay ACCA, let’s talk for a minute about immersion. Consider the Twelve Kingdoms, a series that also focuses on a world with about a dozen different countries inside it. One thing it did a lot, especially in the beginning, is show a map of the world, including a pointer where the story was about to focus at. This happened a lot, and while tedious at the time, because of this you always knew where the story was in relation to the rest of the setting. It made you feel part of the world. ACCA has a map, but we only see it very occasionally, and only brief, so we as a viewer are constantly having to guess where the heck we are, especially since every episode deals with a different country. What if the beginning of each episode could show for a small bit where on the map we are? You could incorporate it in the OP if time is the issue. It’s a very simple detail, but I feel like it would add a lot to this series.

Now, ACCA is an incredibly ambitious series, and it’s obvious that it can’t fit everything it wants into episodes of 20 minutes, so it has to compromise. The option it went for is to try and get as much information as possible into just one episode. The big difficulty with this approach is keeping thins personal, and I have to say that when taking this into consideration, it’s a very good attempt. Obviously the huge focus on consumables helps. Characters have this “tell, rather than show”-approach to their characters, but this is fixed by the creators using subtle non-verbal clues to flesh out their characters.

The big sacrifice though is continuity. This series both doesn’t have the time to deal with the aftermaths of everything that it does (lots of minor issues are just explicitly assumed to just get resolved), plus the way it leads one thing into the other… just happens. Coincidences pile up and there is no quiet time. It’s impossible to add those and still get everything within 20 minutes. Because what it is doing is powerful stuff. Makes you think, it’s interesting. Not to mention here that the potential for this show is virtually unlimited.

#3: Kuzu no Honkai (02-03)

Okay, so they’re not brother and sister. They just grew up together, with different parents so he always was the person she looked up to. Fair enough, that takes away my big complaint of episode one, but this series is not entirely in the clear. After all the “they’re not really siblings”-schtick was very often used back in the day to give the illusion of incest, while allowing for a back door for the creators to say “what do you mean? It’s not incest! They’re not related!” – we all knew what they were alluding to and it was disgusting. If this show ends up bringing back that trend I will punch it.

So, now that that’s out of the way: this show has been pretty incredible here; it does so many things right here. Episode 02 and 03 showed that it’s really trying to balance like six characters together, all intertwined in a web of crushes and all having their own issues, and we keep hopping back and forth between different perspectives, although the lead girl does seem to be the main character here. The lesbian girl was particularly surprising: for once they took a honest look at what it means to be attracted to the same gender. It doesn’t have the squee-material of the likes of Yuri on Ice, and while there is nudity, it doesn’t feel like fanservice like most other series of the past five years. This is how it should be done: treating them as actual people.

This series really isn’t glorifying anything, and that’s what makes it so great because it’s a side we very rarely get to see because of how wishy-washy romance is in anime. Fune wo Amu showed how you should do romance from the light side, this one flips things around and shows how to do romance correctly from the dark side. This show is ugly, even though it looks so pretty, but the amount of detail they managed to put in here. Mugi’s wet dream: they actually had the guts to do that. Or how the teacher wore the same outfit twice. They don’t explicitly say it, but it’s obvious, and when it hits it’s glorious!

Also can I get a thumbs up for the soundtrack here? It doesn’t just sound dreamy and sad, but it’s also used really well here. Every single note here fits, and there are a lot of tracks here! Someone really put some thoughts into how to place the music, otherwise it wouldn’t fit this well!

#2: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2 (01-04)

I managed to marathon the first season during the past month (though for the sake of this ranking I only consider the first four episode, otherwise it’s impossible to compare). And oh yeah, this is the real deal! I can’t believe they actually made an anime about Rakugo, a performance art where so much is dependent on acting, tonal changes and gestures, and they pretty much got away with it. I still consider Fune wo Amu my favourite series of 2016, but that was because that series managed to breathe life into its characters in a way that I had very rarely seen before. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shunjuu has its own list of things it does incredibly well.

The best being the character-development. Like seriously, there are very few series that can boast the level of detail that this series can put in it. Usually series have one flashback, or a number here and there for each character if they’re lucky, but most of the story takes place in one time frame. This series is the examination of the life of one guy, and every single episode it jumps forth a few years. And we don’t just see him change, a huge emphasis is also put on the side characters: they too change realistically and believably. The voice acting here is also wonderful in changing along with the cast. Top notch! Characters rise and fall, we get to see both their heights and lows right through each other. Every episode manages to change something.

What also makes this series really rare is that it managed to teach me something. And I don’t just praise this because I had no knowledge of Rakugo prior to starting this series, it not only gave an overview of how it evolved, it was an in-depth look at it, through the characters it analyzes, praises and criticizes the format. And it also encouraged me to look up the parts that they assumed the audience already knew. I like that: assume that your audience knows the meaning of Google. You don’t need to hold people by their hand. Inspire; and dare to go deep!

One thing I did not like, or rather one thing I found annoying is a better way to put it, is the romance. I know why things happened the way they did, the creators definitely make a good case for themselves and all, and they really try to make it complex and interesting, and yet I found that the most boring parts of the series. Perhaps it’s because episode 1 already told what was going to happen in the end, you could see them building up to it and the actual moment of the “big death” felt rather… forced. It probably worked well in manga-form but in the anime it just looked silly. And building up the romance… it took some patience to sit through even before it happened.

However the new season the romance is thankfully refreshingly down to earth, if you can call it romance anyway. It’s almost politics, and it knows its place much better. The characters in return are a bit less interesting, but they’re really starting to grow now, which was probably the intentions of the creators: how the heck are these newbies going to fill the shadows of the old masters? Yes, a lot of thought was put into this. More series like this please!

#1: Classicaloid (13-16)

Yeah, yeah. I know that the above series have more substance than this one. I know the characters are complete idiots. I know that the past four episodes of Classicaloid have been completely stupid and have established absolutely nothing. And yet… and yet… I can’t. I can’t label my favourite show of the month as anything other than Classicaloid. It just had me completely in stitches, all four episodes even though they all were completely different. This show just makes me happy whenever I watch it that no other show this season manages to do.

So let’s get things clear: in these four episodes we have people turn into fishes, become idols, make horrible music, and hunt for a merleopon. All of them focused on a different character and were mostly used to flesh them out. All of them were hilarious, but my favourite was the fish episode. There was something magical of following a mute fish around for 20 minutes and looking into the despair that ensued. It also becomes more and more apparent that this show has the second director of Gintama. This is a compliment by the way.

This series takes me back to the good old days. Back when series still understood how to properly fill in a 26-episode series. The first half being a build-up, and the second then using it as a board to jump off of. In this case the first half has made sure that these characters are so much fun, that I just smile whenever they’re on stage. This is what I consider terrific characters. The ones that just make you happy, no matter what they’re doing. When manga and light novel adaptations got more and more the norm, and more and more series only turned to 13 episodes max, this was a format that I unfortunately missed deeply. I don’t want to be that guy who goes “gahw things were so much better in my days, you kids with your stupid trends and stuff” – I used to get very annoyed by these people – but in some areas I really have to give in: we are not living in the glory days of anime anymore. I do have hope though, I want to see anime evolve again. Try to see what it will turn into next. For that we need a constant flow of new talent, because at this point the old guys have mostly all left, while the ones who remain are the only ones still bringing in interesting and fresh stuff. The new talents need to get the confidence and the connections in order to be able to do their own things. They need to step up and realize that the future of anime lies in pushing the medium forward. They have the misfortune that the focus today lies much more on consistency: having clean frames, and a higher resolution makes anime more expensive, and it makes it harder to have experimental series, and therefore it makes it harder for the real geniuses to get noticed. The likes of Satoshi Kon, Mamoru Oshii, Masaaki Yuasa, they would have had much more difficulties breaking through in today’s atmosphere. Classicaloid is our hope: the director is relatively new, and I remember when he first took over Gintama I disliked the changes he brought forth. Over the past ten years though, Classicaloid showed that he did learn a lot. He’s using his influence clearly, while at the same time keeping the viewer’s attention. Entire episodes are devoted to one really weird idea, yet he knows how to make it tick now. I’m in no way saying that he is among the greats, but what I am saying is that he’s on the right path there, though unfortunately it’s not entirely there yet. Classicaloid is amazing, yet the great series of 9-15 years ago and the volume with which they came really was special.

I really believe that anime is due to improve. We just need to wait for the people who grew up in the golden age of anime go work themselves up to the top. I do not know how many years this will take. 10 years? 20 years? No clue. However I am interested in sticking along as long as fun series like Classicaloid keep getting made, and I also honestly believe that the worst is already behind us.

I know the above two paragraphs are really weird ramblings, poorly formulated and not that connected, but these are thoughts that I’ve been having a long time. I hope that I’ll be able to put more structure to them in the near future…

9 Responses

  1. SuperMario SuperMario says:

    I was actually expecting this post from you to see what you have been following this season. Nice post psgels. Hooray that you finally got around to Rakugo, that one is such a gem. I’m still pretty much digging Demi-chan, and Hand Shakers still fascinates me.
    About your thoughts on the current state of anime, I don’t have any deep comment to add, except that I do think anime is evolving even now, not necessary all in positive ways though. Like you pointed out that the industry cares more for short-cour anime and CGI and whatnot than back in the old days, but it just means that the industry is adapting new trends instead of staying the same. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn’t but that is always the same in any eras.
    Even I think that mainstream anime with terrible trends (like incest-love comedy, harem light novel shows, most recently idol industry shows) have its merit because without it the more art-house projects cannot survive. After all, those mainstreams anime sells well and brings the money into the industry, so that the art-house sections have resources to do their passion projects (like Little Witch Academia or Yuri on Ice); or create more niche anime like Rakugo or Fune wo Amu that aim at different types of audience. So even the worst kind of shows still support the anime industry in some bizarre ways, right?

    • psgels psgels says:

      Yep, and I do believe that we’re behind the worst parts. We had such a period as well around the year 2000, where just hardly anything good would come out at all, and I think that we’re not going to get any worse than the period around 2013-2014. I haven’t watched anything of 2015, but it also looks like it lacked the positive force forward that 2016 had, and 2017 seems to be continuing that trend. At the very least the really bad writing seems to be much less of a problem now.

      And yes, passion projects are the ways to go forward, I also believe that. Somehow in the glory days of anime, we saw tons of those passion projects or huge gambles air at the same time, and somehow they got away with it, and they were probably part of the reason anime blew up so much as it did back then, with a backing of the big shounen to serve as a backbone.

  2. Spencer says:

    Looks like I need to pick up ClassicaLoid now. Can’t say I’m a Gintama fan, or even a fan of anime comedies in general, but I’m always down to watch a show that makes people happy.

    Glad you went back and watched Rakugo, as that show needs all the love it can get. To me, it was the best series to come out during the two year break you took from the blog, but there were a few other gems during that time. Hopefully you’ll be able to discover them at your leisure.

  3. AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

    Not this again. There has never been a golden age of anime. Ever. That’s just good old selective memory playing tricks on people. There were annoying trends back then just as there are now. Only difference is that there is so much more anime coming out now than ever before. Yes that does mean more bad anime comes out but it also means more chances for great anime to come out. We got better animation, more studios and plenty of perfectly legal ways to watch anime. Way I see it, things are already up, perhaps in the future people will refer to this era as the golden age of anime.

    • Vonter says:

      I think certain vibes change. Like how people embrace the cheesiness of old stuff. How people want their entertainment to be dignified or how the limitations of yesteryears made for a particular tone or mood. (Berserk, DBZ and Rurouni Kenshin come to mind).

  4. Mentar says:

    I’ve got to admit that it made me smile to see that you didn’t drop Kuzu no Honkai in the end, but kept with it, and that you enjoy it as much as I do. Because in my opinion this is a little gem which I once never thought it could be animated for public TV at all, and it’s still a mostly-unrecognized horse in the anime community.

    Those who watch it seem to really enjoy it to a high degree, but it’s nice to see when high-profile anime sites list it and recommend it. Because I love it to pieces and think it deserves more prominence, because it is done SO well.

    About objectionable content: I’m curious what you will think about the show after episode 4 :->

  5. Zoop says:

    I am so happy you are back, you have no idea. Your taste is as unique as always! I look forward to some quality criticism, even if it’s just once a month :)

  6. donhumberto says:

    Thanks a lot for your post Psgels. As usual, it’s a real pleasure reading your thoughts on the series.
    Overall, I think this season is turning out pretty good, what with 3 top tier shows on the schedule (Rakugo, Acca and Onihei- by the way, please, try to watch Onihei, it’s really awesome and the kind of mature themed anime you’d like), apart from a bunch of other enjoyable ones (Scum, Tanja and Yami Shinbai for me). Obviously this is not the best season ever but it’s waaay better than Winter 2013 (by far the worst season in recent memory anime-wise)
    In any case, I do agree with Psgels that we need more ambition in the anime landscape as we had 10 years ago. I mean, as much as I love Rakugo, 91 days or Onihei they are nowhere near shows like Monster, Ghost Hound or Gankutsuou in my book… oh well, let’s hope that at least with the huge success of Yuri on Ice Mappa can get the funds to keep on making great series (they’ve been consistently one of the best studios since they started and 2017 looks set to be their year)

  7. Lord Nayrael says:

    Always glad to see you psgels! :D

    I know that the “love triangle” in the 4th episode of Masamune is making you worried, especially due to how other shows have dealt with this trope, but I suggest you to give it another episode or two even if you don’t like the development. I say this because her purpose here isn’t to be a harem tease, but… well, the writer uses the trope to accomplish something else.

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Kaiser-Eoghan
Mooooommm, I want my Lu over the wal subs and I want them now OMO!
Niello
...Can't torrent where I am, grrrr.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm quite fond of Go Nagai's devilman, so I'll be interested in seeing Yuasa's adaptation of it whenever it comes out.
SuperMario
@Kasier: ha! thanks Kaiser. Finally it's out... gonna download it now
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Here is a link to Night is short walk on girl English subbed: https://nyaa.si/view/979508
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: OR JUST MONIKA Amirite =P
SuperMario
in all seriousness though, I hope they can use one week break to smooth out their production.
SuperMario
so Just Because's taking a break this week. The reason: just because
Lenlo
Mhmhmm Inuyashiki was great this week. I just love this show.
Amagi
The hell- no didn't know that. I really wouldn't have expected tribute songs to this series
Niello
@Amagi: Did you know this exists? And it's by Igorrr no less. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhQQ57N-9ys&list=PL9ku-W0xIzd4EYUL9bUG2CZXBIy7cCiSk
Niello
And yes, I'm just waiting and waiting for the day the anime get announced. No doubt it'll becomes a classic.
Niello
@Eoghan, I don't think it becomes a mess though, the story threads all come together amazingly well.
KTravlos
I too recommend at least watching 2nd episode of Tanya before passing judgement.

Looking forward to the Urasawa manga as well!
SuperWooper
@Anonymous: Thanks! Reading blog posts used to be my go-to distraction when I took breaks at work. Now I have to take breaks from writing them. It's a grind at times, but Star Crossed ought to be alive for a while yet.
Amagi
Adaptions for series like these only work when they're passion projects. If they're not they end up like the Dies Irae anime.
Amagi
It's another one of those series I really wish to see as an anime with music, movement and so on. But same as with Made in Abyss, it needs a cometent director and one that is in love with the work or else it will be a letdown
Amagi
@Niello: Yes and I fucking love it. The gritty style, the setting, the characters and designs and so on. @Kaiser didn't know she was under Nihei that's cool. I love these sketchy styles
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: yes and more people I believe should so, despite that its kind of become a mess, I take the thing as one big black comedy. The woman who drew it interestingly enough apprenticed under Tsutomu Nihei.
Niello
Anyone here read Dorohedoro?
Anonymous1566521
Just passing by to say like the place, it's kinda perfect to read for whenever I take a break. And most importantly I haven't read anything stupid. Hopefully it won't die anytime soon:0
Vonter
Masky - Overlord has an OP isekai, yet I find that series compelling do to the world building, and how even with power and influence, the MC plays like a chessmaster and not brute force his way into doing something.
AidanAK47
@Masky, I wouldn't write off Tanya so fast. Make it to episode 2 at least.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel I need to actually properly get into Godzilla for some frame of reference before the anime film, I've only seen the new one and the original.
Amagi
Or the Hiroshima movie
Amagi
I know you can't have everything but considering that we currently have Blame, the Itoh movies, Lu over the Wall, Godzilla or Napping Princess this is rather a let down
Amagi
Meh, not really happy about the anime film festival decision here - a few good movies are there: heaven's feel, motherfucka (from the tekkonkinkreet guy) and another one that sounds great but other than that a lot specials like conan movie #718 or something, the third part (why?) of persona 3 and other movies that are just specials of series I dropped at some point
Masky
*WWI
Masky
I mean, op isekai mc is boring whether they are hero or villain, thats how tired I'm of that trope at least
Masky
So was wondering what was up with that Tanya the Evil show and was disappointed to find out its "Isekai were MC is evil and WWII esque fantasy setting"
Anonymous1566013
dragon ball kai
Anonymous1566013
dragon ball z
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: That Godard biopic you mentioned is showing tonight and on sunday afternoon, at the very least I'll be checking out Le Chinoise in preparation for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: and right after I just watched Loving Vincent in theatre, it's available online
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! got released ages ago and no one watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Out in cinemas in Dublin in 3 weeks though, might aswell wait.
SuperMario
Also Lu over the Wall is out, with Russian subtitle. So anyone here who can understand Russian, you're in luck
Amagi
@Kaiser: Thanks, I love quite many anime movies. Guess I have something to watch this weekend.
AidanAK47
Not many I am afraid. Though I do like it's music.
Anonymous1565678
who is fairy tail fan here
Kaiser-Eoghan
For those interested anime Godzilla is out in a few weeks. Also Genocidal organ, napping princess and in this corner of the world are out as is the Fate/ilya movie.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm interested enough to read more of that Urasawa manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't point out errors (although its part of my job at work to lol) but I feel that one thing was noticeable in the Kino review, soap instead of soup is mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I quite like it when anything deals with religion or conviction in a mature way, it makes me feel things.
AidanAK47
Not really keen on following a Urasawa manga while it's ongoing considering how much of a slow burn his stories usually are.
Amagi
To the English only people: the Urasawa manga is translated into English now - it's on Mangastream (so beware of the watermark, but better than nothing)
Anonymous1565136
The anime?
SuperMario
... still on course with the anime (my phone acting up again)
SuperMario
@afgm: welcome back mate. It has been awhile. Hope you're
Anonymous1564565
@Amagi, The sign post with Iyami's teeth symbol read something like Buddhist reseach facility, which only makes it weirder.
Amagi
Also that Iyami clone seems to be the same as the running guy on page 2 (which was also the promo page posted on sites like ANN)
Amagi
Thank you very much anon. I love how international this chat is. But what you said makes the story feel even weirder. Really wonder what this is about but I can't say I am not interested now
Anonymous1564565
This is weird, really weird.
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler] As expected, now he's in another trouble. ...He mistook a crow for a blue bird that will bring happiness. And then we go back to the scene at the beginning when he hallucinate about someone calling. ...Is that Iyami from Osomatsu-san?
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler]Then because Trump is currently popular, their plan to is mass produce the mask with the guy's factory? (He's totally getting dupe isn't e?)
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler] The wife won a lottery and got a free vacation ticket to a luxurious cruise ship. She then left the husband with another guy. The Trump parody hag person is Beverly Duncan. Then one of the husband coworker put on a mask of Trump and start mocking.
afgm
I feel like the site is finally coming back into its own :)
afgm
(and great old writers)
afgm
Great new writers on the site
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler] He's trying to look at tax avoidance and discuss it to his fam. The turns out the gov start checking so that plan was a bust. Now they are looking at potential confiscations, including their flip flop factory.
Anonymous1564565
[Spoiler] So the guy seem to be having some kind of hallucination of someone calling him, even though there's no one in that direction.
Anonymous1564565
@Amagi "but it's in Thai", :)
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. But I guess it won't come earlier than spring 2018 or something.
Amagi
If it was Japanese I'd at least understand a few parts (and almost everything if it was French) but now I have not the slightest idea what this is about but it does look interesting. I also liked Urasawa's earlier one shot. The one after Billy
Amagi
Not sure if I am allowed to link scans so here an indirect (last post) one I found, but it's in Thai (I hope someone who understands it will translate that chapter into English) https://www.reddit.com/r/manga/comments/780rve/sl_how_long_until_we_see_the_1st_chapter_of_naoki/
Anonymous1564517
It shows a lot of shots though that bring back memories of Urasawa's earlier works. Its great that he's going weird; Urasawa is one of the best at producing unique series, even if his methodical writing and storytelling style is always evident.
Anonymous1564517
Is it Mujirushi? I saw some French advert for it, (nothing said except that it's launching soon), but I can't find anything else on it.
Amagi
There is a (sadly, non-English) scan for Urasawa's new manga and it looks weird. Hundreds of masks of some presidential candidate that looks like a female Trump and a weird and shady guy at the end.
Lenlo
That said, why is PUBG on any of these lists. Its still in beta
Lenlo
Horizon on the other hand is easily understood and fits the open world mold well. I like Nier more, but Horizon is still a really good game.
Lenlo
Everyone knows it exists, but not everyone likes it/could finish it/understands it.
Lenlo
Thats the thing, it still is a niche. Its in the same category of Souls games now
Niello
Nier may not be a new IP, but it's an IP that finally rise from obscurity after being a really niche cult hit for years.
Niello
Why would being weird a negative for Nier? Doesn't that imply creativity?
Vonter
I suppose because Horizon is a new IP and also less weird than Nier. I haven't played it, but presentation alone has marked a great impression of that game.
Niello
Why is Nier in only 3 categories and Horizon Zero Dawn so many even where it's not deserve?
Niello
I still think Maho Yome is super overrated. The show so far has been more about spectacles than anything. I get it, the manga is pretty good, still not one nearly even one of the best though.
Vonter
PUBG I feel its an odd choice. Mainly because it's the only game listed that I wasn't aware it existed.
Vonter
The game awards are near, and so here are the nominations for all categories:
http://thegameawards.com/awards/
Anonymous1562244
KT Here. they did not force it. They let the circumstances do the talking and it was powerful.
Anonymous1562244
KT Here: Yes psgels is a man, yes for a long time I was under the impression he was a woman. Now and Then, Here and There is indeed excellent. The thing was exactly that, a frank depiction of what child soldiers go through. Considering how most shounen shows are essentially about kids engaging in war, the frank and gritty depictions was welcome if dis-concerning. And as Super pointed out they did
SuperMario
Yeah, I can give the show a full review (says the guy who is currently behind on his weekly post). But be mindful that as this show is in my top 10 anime, my rating might be even higher than psgels' (Usually my taste is different than his but in Now and Then we are pretty much on the same page)
SuperMario
The shounen element is for me, intentional as Now and then plays by the typical shounen rules (with a bery typical shounen protagonist) entirely in its first episode before slaming every brutal things towards him. Yep, they imply many dark contents make it much more disturbing. That girl (I think her name is Mary)'s circumstance ripped my heart
Nielllo
@Mario: I'd be interest in that! The atmosphere to me is like Jing the Bandit King but less surreal and more shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The scene where the girl is raped/abused in the prison. It stands out for the fact they imply it rather than showing.
SuperMario
Actually, I can re-watch it over the weekend and give it a full review. Again, it has been awhile so I'm intrigued to see how the show's holding up for me now
SuperMario
They're brutal but not for the sake of being brutal, I never feel the show as heavy handed on its brutality, or sugarcoating the optimistism of the main character. The show is about the scar of war and for that imo they really deliver the message
SuperMario
That's what happen when I prepared to write a long comment, but work held me up so I had to cut it short. It's been awhile since I last saw Now and Then, but I feel the show has a frank and down to earth depection of the terror of war...
Nielllo
@SuperMario, You'll need to explain it to me man...
Anonymous1561608
@Psgels is woman
Anonymous1561597
Really???
SuperMario
@Niello: i love Now and Then. One of the rare series that I rated 10/10. I feel all the drama is raw, and effective
Nielllo
The last time I check, the scanlation group doesn't have the translator position filled up. At this point I'm probably going to order the remaining volumes at some point and just try to read it in Japanese. The worse thing is it's a josei so the text doesn't have furigana and I'll be stuck with just Kanji.
Nielllo
That sums up my feeling for Now and Then, Here and There really well.I took a look at the raw of the last chapter and it pretty much ended like how I think it would (mostly the epilogue, so not much spoiler)
Kaiser-Eoghan
With how slow the updates are for Amatsuki's manga I will probably re-re-read the whole thing again when it ever finishes. I disliked the protaganist of now and then here and there , while I did enjoy the misery the characters went through as it made for good drama and that dictator guy was suitably effective, I never got the FEELs watching it.
Nielllo
My taste generally align well with psgels (hurray for seeing potential in Amatsuki? that one surprised me, really didn't expect a 90/100, not complaining of course), but can someone explain to me, the appeal of Now and Then, Here and There?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*are many
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose we do live in the introvert age, so there probably are who have plenty of time to burn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree about the having more time when your young thing definitely though, I'd argue I probably had too much of it, we probably don't use that time as well as we should come to think of it looking back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which means I also have more time because I'm not in a relationship.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this will sound terrible, but I don't really bother associating with women beyond necessary interaction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*or hikkimori
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not upset about this, just means theres extra time to be filled because everyones too pre-occupied in their spare time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I save well and don't have many people to buy for , I also pirate everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't call myself a NEET of hikkikomori, but genuinely do have absolutely no life, so I pretty much only leave my home for part time work/food/cinema trips. I don't party or drink and I see old friends once or twice a year (They've all moved), maybe my brother slightly more but not as often as most people would.
SuperMario
@Vyse: haha, you have a wild imagination. I'm pretty sure he's man
SuperMario
@anon1561372: pretty much what Kaiser said. He did came back a few months ago for monthly summaries but it seems life's swallowing him again. Would love to see him back to be honest
SuperMario
@Aidan: well, I'm at a stage where I don't have either enough time or money or anything concrete for my life. So I envy those who have plenty times to burn
Kaiser-Eoghan
Psgels professional and social life became more demanding and had a bout of writers block. Going by the photograph and voice on some of the podcasts he did, psgels is very much a man.
VyseLegendaire
psgels is a female
Anonymous1561272
@SuperMario Where did he go? Did he just stop completely?
AidanAK47
Well his posts were not as long as ours and I think he did them mostly in his secondary school years and you have plenty of time to burn back then. I remember I used to make a point of finishing games 100% back then and I replayed a ton of them over and over again.
SuperMario
And back in the day, psgels could blog like 3 or 4 posts per day, many of them on the same day of its airing. How the hell could he do that consistently for almost 10 years?
SuperMario
Fell asleep yesterday while writing Houseki review. Now that bastard will have to wait until later tonight (It's morning here). Apologize for that
Niello
Really? I thought the manga art is gorgeous. The beginning, not so much, but her art really improved. I love how whimsical it is. Other characters not so much, but Mahmut's design is really a step down from the manga.
KTravlos
ah you will hate me. Much as I love the story, I just cannot find the character art pleasing. On that one point for me the animated version was better. For example I much preferred the depiction of Einstein in the anime than in the manga. Now this is a personal thing, but I am shallow, and I do read manga partly for the art. So I am torn. I prefer the manga for the story but the anime for the art
Niello
@KTravlos: As a fan of the manga, I wouldn't say it's for us manga reader at all. I dropped this abomination long ago, I just can't stand it. It got butchered just like Amatsuki was, and tha's by the same director. I really really hope he never get to touch on an adaptation ever again.
KTravlos
also the Altai episode this week showed all the problems of the series. The pace was just too fast. Essentially this was just an episode for manga readers. Very very problematic
KTravlos
@SuperMario. I actually think that a double review of Altiar and AS would work better, as a way to talk a bit more expansively on the whole genre
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey awesome, new black mirror episodes in December.
Anonymous1558371
it's not really a plot twist, but it is a drastic change.
Anonymous1558371
I honestly don't know how well the anime will handle it. I'd like to think they will surpass the manga because they put a lot of care into the scene. It involves a fight scene and they have been handling those well, so I'm hopeful.
SuperMario
@anon1558097: will that shock plot twist whatever-it-is even make it this season? I'll be honest but if I have to compare the current anime to what I've read from the manga so far (first few chapters), The manga is more inventive and awe-inspiring for me
Anonymous1558097
@Mario: DON'T. I'm having a much better time enjoying the show ever since I stop comparing it to the manga. Still a shame I won't be getting the initial shock reaction from what's going to happen in the second half though.
SuperMario
Now you guys are really tempting me to read on the houseki manga, but I WON'T
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really wish that we could see more of the snail race things in houseki , the Gems and moon people have had their turn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honey and clover had a much stronger balance of humour and drama, with sugatsu I feel its the drama that stands out best.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay major major MAJOR houseki spoilers....sensei is really....
.....
.....Saitama from onepunch man.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've only seen the first season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And anyone who breaks your Dia(mond) must be destroyed.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just look at the lastest episode (27), juggling, bouncy, silly in the first half and then emotional depth in the second. Well, that's a 3-gatsu's tone we pretty come to expect now
SuperMario
@Kaiser: ANYONE DARE TO MAKE MY HINA CRIES WILL HAVE TO PAY. I share the exact same sentiment with Rei
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will say this...it is...an un-evenly paced series...but always jolts you before you get too bored with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Looks at 3-gatsu screenshot*
Hina =< ; _ ; QmQ *cry**tears*
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am reasonably satisfied with how the houseki manga is in its latest chapters, coming together and the answers it gave.
SuperMario
@Nielo: wow, thanks. I'll definately pay more attention to that. Love to pick up those little details like that so I'm all ears if you pick up something else
Kaiser-Eoghan
I noticed that discord button. If more show up on it I'd consider joining it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: What will happen is that I'll end up marathoning it when more episodes get released, much like I did with first. The guy from the first series (Germain his name was) was a hard act to follow , so far I do think this is more enjoy than the little of the second season I saw.
SuperWooper
LOL, thanks for catching that.
SuperMario
@Wooper: I always enjoy "deep-friend" chicken as well. Tasty, taysty
Amagi
@Kaiser: not up-to-date with Garo yet but so far I was missing the plot and consequences the first series had. So far it reeks a bit too much of episodic monsters of the week and it lacks the interaction. I like the MC and animations though.
AidanAK47
Time is the eternal enemy of mankind.
SuperWooper
Finally caught up with Ballroom and 3-gatsu, only for a new episode of each to be released. Gotta get started on Yamato 2202, as well. Why does writing about anime have to take six times longer than watching it?
Niello
As for Houseki no Kuni, there is another detail that you might be interested in. If you go back to Amethysts fight with the Lunarians, there is a certain noise that hints something about them that won't be talked about much later into the story.
Niello
@SuperMario, Yeah, it's not the usual kind, but it'd be nice if they don't made it into a real love triangle. I'd rather they focus on revealling how Sakurai is the boy she used to hang out with on the previous MMO when she was younger. You know that is totally going to happen.
SuperMario
I still don't see it as the love-triangle, yet. But with only 10 episodes total Net-juu better not expanding too much on that date things
SuperMario
@Niello: I am interested, thank you. I noticed the dark cloud in the last 2 episodes as well, but then I thought I wasn't paying attention in the first few episodes, lol.
Niello
I dont know what to feel about the latest episode of Net-juu. I was hoping they won't go for a love triangle route. Guess I'll see how it develops.
Nielllo
@SuperMario: Thought you might be interested.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 07 [In Like a Dragon, Out Like a Snake (Part 1)]

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Dies Irae – 04/05[Spider/Reunion]

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Houseki no Kuni – 06 [First Battle]

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