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

Delayed by a day, because I wanted to include Classicaloid’s ending in this. Word currently says that this turned into an article of more than 4500 words, Jesus Christ what am I doing. At the very least I’ve got the passion to write back, but at the same time this format works best: write a huge amount once a month (or twice in the start of a season) and take a bit of a break the rest of the time. This works when balancing this blog with the rest of my life. There will be some weird months here and there, but eh, we’ll see when they come.

As usual: yarr there be spoilers. Really major ones this time because this month delivered some really good plot twists and endings, but I also really want to talk about them and all of their contexts. Again these are just my impressions of whatever aired the past month, the episode numbers are indicated next to the title, and these are ranked based upon the shows I liked least to best this month.

#10: Piace – Watashi no Italian (08-12)

This month, something happened to Piace: it stopped being funny. This is a pretty big deal for a comedy.

It’s classic what happened: as the show goes on the best jokes run out, and the creators hope that they can continue on, on the merits of the characters. The problem is that you need to have good characters for that, and it became painfully obvious that Piace only had its comedy to write home about. Without it, these characters are empty shells. Stereotypes and cardboard boxes who just depend on their own two quirks, rather than being actual characters.

Yeah, it’s pretty serious for a show of 12 episodes of only 20 minutes to run out of material. Like dude, it’s not that hard! It’s Italian food! I mean I finished this up because of how short it was, but this last month unfortunately was another strike against series like this: their creators are a bunch of lazy bastards. This was one of the few that actually had some effort going into it, which makes it all the more sad that they couldn’t even remain fired up for a measly 36 minutes.

I am a completionist, but next season I will stop giving every tiny show the same kind of attention. Only if they’re notable in some way, because this trend is getting too much out of control.

#9: Onihei (08-12)

So of course Onihei has to be the oddball here to have its final episode air on april 4th, while the new season is already well under its way. Ah screw it, unless the final episode does something really unusual this is going to be my final say on the series, I don’t want to wait that long.

Onihei always stood apart from the other series this season. It attempted to show samurai tales from a different perspective, and it didn’t shy away from the ugliness, while not going completely overboard like what Shigurui did. Every episode showed a different story, which tried to be thought-provoking in some way or another. Last month I complained about there way too many pure evil minor-characters who only existed for the story’s sake and had no depth to them whatsoever, and this month improved that. They were still there, but not as abundantly as before. The stories all were interesting, I saw no real big slips or overly stupid episodes.

However my problem with this series is that thinking back… I kindof have to say that I liked the first episode best here. And that’s not a good sign. The fist episode to me was the sharpest. Had the best ideas. And while the other ones aren’t bad by any means, you just keep hoping for something as good as the first impression, and that tends to sting more and more as the show goes on. Thankfully episode 12 came close to it, at the very least I consider it the best of the rest, but even then I can’t get rid of this slightly bad aftertaste for Onihei.

Also, I’d like to say a few things about the acting in this series: the show has this look that’s different from the other series this season, and the creators tried to put in a lot of details in the characters’ faces. But the problem is that it’s also really had to emote that, and what irked me through the entire series was that all facial expressions just look weird. The budget was very obviously limited, but the creators here need to learn the art of cutting corners. They did the basics of course, but strangely not in the area of facial expressions. I mean I can forgive bad animation of course, but the whole reason why I watch anime is watching characters being brought to life. And watching these weird expressions in this uncanny valley… it didn’t work as well as the creators hoped to.

#8: Hand Shakers (09-12)

Okay, that ending. First of all it was obvious sequel-bait, but even then this episode definitely also attempted to close things off in case the investors aren’t gonna bite, and with that in mind you’d expect some sort of closure. That happened, but as the final two episodes went on I found myself really scratching my head because the main villain really wasn’t making any sense.

We’re talking about a former partner, who broke off without saying anything, who went on to kidnap a young girl and drug her into fighting for him and keeping her from disappearing. I know the alternative was putting her to sleep, but even then this seems wrong on so many levels, especially seeing it develop into this weird Stockholm syndrome relationship. And when they revealed his reasoning behind everything things made even less sense. Holy crap what an anti-social dork!

Only when I really started to read inbetween the lines did I see the values of this ending. Handshakers isn’t just about a bunch of people fighting, it’s about deeply flawed people, connecting with each other through something as innocent as holding a hand. Even the two leads: one born doomed to be different, the other haunted by the death of his sister. And a big theme throughout this series is characters trying to pretend that nothing is wrong and things are perfectly normal. People being afraid to show their true colours, and being beaten allows them to fully open up and accept themselves. Within that context, this all makes sense, and it fits within the central theme of hand holding. But yeah, this really is one of those series where reading inbetween the lines is absolutely necessary, otherwise this was a horrible ending.

So yeah, I was preparing to write this whole rant about wasted potential, but in the end I just can’t. I appreciate this series, I really do. And I do not regret watching it. If anything, it tried a whole different way of storytelling, and just for that it deserves credit. Hand Shakers is nice. If has warmth. It’s cliched on the surface, but beyond it’s worth it. However the cliches on the surface remain. If there ever comes a second season, I’d love to see less typical stories. Don’t start with idols, thugs and incest, start with actual characters. Dare to stay away from the stereotypes.

#7: Kuzu no Honkai (08-12)

Again that final minute! What Kuzu no Honkai did in its final month was different: instead of focusing on unrequited love, it had two other focuses: moving on, and actual love. Moving on was the logical progression: everybody got their time to show their feelings come to a breaking point, and being able to move on from their desires, accepting that it never was gonna be something. The actual romance though… sorry but I just didn’t buy it. It was just way too cheesy for me to take seriously. This show was always good at the dark side of romance. The bright side: nope. Especially not so quickly after Fune wo Amu.

So yeah, the entire final episode was hinting at that the two leads were gonna end up as a couple after not seeing each other fr a while. The hints were so obvious and cliched, you see them everywhere. And then… they don’t! They actually realized that they could return, yet they chose because they wanted real romance and went their own way! The only correct way for this show to have ended. Move on! There are more fish in the ocean! Any relationship between these two would have been doomed from the start.

I do think that this is the month I enjoyed the least of this series. It mostly had to do with how good it was at its unrequited love. This ending wrapped everything up perfectly fine and it left the cast as very well rounded, so it was definitely necessary, but it didn’t have that “wow”-factor that the first parts had. Although I still want to praise it a lot for that ending. And also one other thing: it’s Noitamina. Ideally, I would like to never again see a series to take place in a high school in this timeslot again. The timeslot was meant for adult series, and we have plenty of room for high school series in the other timeslots that don’t have this context.

#6: ChaoS;Child (09-12)

Okay, yeah. ChaoS;Child had a really juicy ending. It pervailed through the sheer force of its original material, and I’m not going to spoil anything more. It just has to be experienced. Instead of that, I’m going to talk about the context of it all.

Because aside from Steins;Gate, make no mistake that this was the best semi-colon series to come out. It took Chaos;Head’s potential and actually made it better, which is very rare for an unplanned sequel. It was less solid than Robotics;Notes, but instead of falling apart at the end it came together. And while the characters weren’t the best, they were miles above the annoying shells that I had to witness in that one episode of Occult;Nine. Steins;Gate remains miles above it though. I mean Chaos;Child’s problems are really big. But damn, this was some wasted potential overall. In the right hands this would have been one hell of a series.

I can really imagine the original visual novel being a really good one, and a great ride. That doesn’t have the horrible pacing and acting problems that this series had, and it’s something I’m going to recommend, especially for those who are familiar with Chaos;Head (because let;’s face it, you need to have seen that one before watching this). Will I end up playing the games at one point? Hell no.

Leaving aside that I already know what’s going to happen, the bigger issue is that I’m simply not going to touch games, or light novels, or even mangas for that matter. Even though their stories may be better than in anime, I’m not gonna. So there. Even in the case of Chaos Child, where it’s obvious that the story of the game is better than in the TV-series, I would still have picked the anime if I knew this beforehand.

“The original story is better” is something I have heard, almost since the start of this blog, and it always irked me, even though I couldn’t always explain exactly why. It confused me for a long while, and I did dabble into manga for a bit. And what I read there were indeed some awesome stories. But in the end, while I was in my two-year slump of not watching anything, I realized that I wanted to return to watching anime, while I couldn’t be bothered at all with the mangas I checked out. The reason in the end is simple: the reason why I’m so drawn to anime is the sum of its parts. The way everything comes together to make something bigger and better than what they individually could have done. This means that stories may be done better in novels, mangas and games with more time, there is better music in the medium that specializes to music. Pure art and movies will have better visuals. But it’s everything coming together that really is my passion. That’s also why ratings splitting ratings up into various sub-categories, like story, characters, animation, et cetera always felt weird and unnatural: they miss synergy!

And of course, your mileage may vary. Everyone enjoys entertainment in a different way. It’s useful to listen to others and give things a chance, but in the end the person you need to listen to the most is yourself. Your time on this planet is limited, so you’d better spend it on the things that pique your interests. Because of that, I’ll gladly take this collection of badly acted blobs here, because somehow, despite everything against it, this show came together and delivered something that should have been impossible.

#5: Youjo Senki (08-12)

The finale set up for a sequel, but to be honest, I’d be glad if it didn’t get one, as weird as it sounds. The open ending fits actually quite well with the themes that the final number of episodes were going for: fighting to stop fighting is a bloody stupid idea that’s only ever going to make more people mad at you.

What disappointed me though was that they did very little with Being X. There was lots of silence from it, and it’s much more that its presence loomed over the entire series. And yes, I never thought I’d ever say this, but God won, and was glorious. I quite liked how it pretty much passed over the baton to the new superpower to emerge.

It’s a simplistic depiction of war sure, but to me they quite got away with it. I had quite an enjoyable time while watching this series, and “Tanya” actually turned out to be an excellent example of an anti-hero. Clearly the protagonist, but obviously not on the moral side of rightness. The war here was presented as something that sucks for every side, even the winning one. The tactics used were simple, but not the reason to watch it. Surprisingly, it’s the human element. It did so in a really different way from Shuumatsu no Izetta, which while it had a better start, lost my interest after a while, while Youjo Senki remained strong. I think the reason was because it was about something: through the series it really drove home that everyone wanted the war to end, especially as the show went on. Izetta meanwhile got lost in its boob jokes and its main characters ended up being a bit too… perfect. And too morally one-sided now that I think back to it: the evil empire is evil and must be stopped, while the small country with lots of pretty girls in the center has to fight it off.

Seriously Youjo Senki I really commend you for not using any boob-, loli- or any other kind of fanservice pandering joke here! Well done!

#4: The Dragon Dentist (01-02)

Kazuya Tsurumaki comes along with his team of former Gainax employees at Studio Khara, and basically shows how it’s done. Dragon Dentist consists out of two 50-minute tv-specials, and they’re apparently continuing a project Khara did a year ago with a compilation of 35 different pilots and short films. Now there’s one movie that I’m really interested in checking out – I thought that the genre was dead!

But I digress, The Dragon Dentist: basically had this been a 26-episode series, then it would have been the epic of the year. The mainstream show that got people talking, draw in people who aren’t usually interested in the medium, and that would still stand ten years after airing. Perhaps no Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, but bigger than Attack on Titan, it was that solid. And only something that could have been done in anime. I really liked the idea behind this series, of giant near-invincible dragons floating around, and the whole world built around it. Its own religions, customs and traditions. From what we saw of the world here, the creators were excellent at bringing life to it. Plus the action was amazing. The two episodes did it in completely different ways, but it had me glued to the screen, and this show getting really gorgeous in the second episode only helped this.

But yeah, we only got two episodes. This basically was a pilot, in the same way that Kyousogiga, and Little Witch Academy did their thing. Now all that’s left is waiting for an investing party to bite, to try and make a full fledged one. I mean it just felt weird that in episode one, everything just happened too fast. There was no way to really build up urgency or context before things started happening. This show really did what it could, but it really feels we just skimmed the surface of all that’s possible in this setting. Like the creators ran home with a clump of gold while being inches away from this gold mine.

Full Metal Alchemist, Attack On Titan… I don’t think that those shows are the best to compare this with. You know what this reminds me most of? Bounen no Xamdou! It’s got the same inspiration behind its setting, it too looked incredibly solid, while still daring to break barriers. Both toyed with their own religions and had very relatable characters. Now Bounen no Xamdou made the mistake of lingering on a bit too much near its ending. I really think that if this gets green-lit for real, then The Dragon Dentist will be able to avoid the same fate, because the way episode 2 ended was actually really, really good. It’s the type of thing why I watch anime: watching everything come together. The action was great, while in the meantime the setting got fleshed out, characters kicked ass, the plot thickened, the graphics got gorgeous, the music. It gets it! Everything just fit.

I remember how I disliked the Evangelion movies. Made by the same guys. I think what irked me the most there was watching a recap, and things didn’t really mesh well. And while I still need to watch the third Evangelion movie, I do think that they were on to something, and this really feels like they took what they learned there, and are experimenting further. At the very least, these are the guys that need to be influential. These are the guys that need to inspire the next generation that there is plenty of kick-ass material just waiting to be brought to life, and the best way to do it is to be bold and show some balls! Instead of being too safe.

#3: Classicaloid (21-25)

Wha? There’s gonna be a sequel? If you said that at the beginning of this season, this was going to be one of my last guesses for a continuation. It is all the more weird because this definitely is not the most popular series, and with an announcement this early this definitely was planned in advance… yet the final episode was pretty conclusive. I was about to praise this series for avoiding the dreaded comedy ending, but here’s another hurdle it’s going to have to face: the dreaded comedy sequel. Will it have enough material to keep fresh for 25 more episodes? I am writing this like immediately after that twist and it puts like everything in a different perspective. And don’t get me wrong: if the creators know what they’re doing then the result will be beautiful. This cast has that potential. However if this was a decision from the producers against the writers’ will: oh dear god the pain!

But anyway, to the ending. Classicaloid was completely different from all other shows on this list. Most of them, at least the best ones, were tasked in wrapping up their stories. Making everything come together in a clever way, with layered plot twists, themes and characters coming together (which they all did really well by the way). Classicaloid however never was based on logic. For Classicaloid, the point was to deliver a bang of an ending. Bring it to an emotional climax. And they went to heaven and beyond for that!

Five episodes. The first two were the standard episodic ones, but they rank among the funniest of the season, including the single greatest rap track ever to have appeared in an anime. The final three episodes delivered the finale, and you know these parabolic graphs? Well, it was like that. It started off quite standard, with a lot of exposition that made me fear that they were going for a completely serious ending. Then things got better with anti-climax. And then the aliens arrived!…!?!?

Like Deus ex Machina much?!? And yet in the context of the series it totally fit, and it allowed the creators to just keep surpassing themselves in atmosphere. They saved some of the best tracks for the finale, and especially the ending was just a visual orgasm of colours and shapes and musik, it was glorious and incredibly fun! Really if it wasn’t for the sequel announcement I might have placed this at the top of this list!

So yeah, for now I’ll spend the next half year without Classicaloid, and when they return, let’s hope it will be glorious. Please be even better! You can do this! You have half a year! Use this time to plan out the best possible course for this show! It deserves it!

#2: ACCA – 13-Ku Kansatsu-ka (-)

Thinking back, the season that set my writer’s block in motion was the Autumn of 2013. This is where I became disillusioned by the series that came out, and even though I tried to hold on, my interest became less and less, and the reason for that was the sheer amount of series that had very interesting premises, yet utterly failed at even the most basic elements of storytelling. The worst offenders were Galilei Donna, and Copellion, but also Nagi no Asukara, Yozakura Quartet and even Samurai Flamenco and Kill la Kill: they all were disappointing because of their lack of respect to the rules of basic storytelling, to the point where only Kyousogiga ended up as a success.

I feel that this season, we have the antithesis of that: lots of different series who actually KNOW what writing is. One of the best examples for that is ACCA, simply because of how much it had against it. I mean, now that the final episode has passed, I can confirm that they actually did it: they managed to squeeze this huge story and setting into one season, and they made everything fit. The pacing feels natural, there were no forced episodes. And despite all of these constraints, it was constantly building up to the final episodes, and never forgot what it was trying to do.

It’s a show that has many layers. The foundation is the 13 countries. All of them get visited throughout the series. Above that is Jean Otis and his colleagues and his sister. On top of that is the central government. In between them are the storylines around the coup that was to be attempted, interwoven with the background stories of all of the different characters, who due to the nature of this series all came from a different part of the world. The focus on food was fluff to flesh out the setting and characters. And even then the final episode delivered a twist that was lurking behind all of that in the shadows and tied everything together. This is the example of what happens when you put a lot of time into planning out your series’ structure, instead of rushing it or outsourcing it, to make sure that everything is just right.

Of course, this method is not perfect. The benefit of spontaneous writing is that it’s better at bringing out emotions, it’s more spontaneous. But that was solved by the very consistent mood this show had. It always was mellow. There was no drama whatsoever in this show, and instead it hinged on intrigue, and that made it work. I also loved how diplomatic everyone was. Sure people have their own agendas and stuff, but instead of the yelling and irrational fights, putting groups of people against each other, people just drop grudges, accept things and go on with their days. Obviously this show does present a very simplified form of politics: it assumes that everyone in a country has the same opinion. which of course in real life is a bit more complicated.

Of course, Natsume Ono, who previously wrote the original material of Sarai-ya Goyou and Ristorante Paradiso delivered some amazing story again, but that is no guarantee that it translates well to the anime format. But they did it, and let this be a lesson for future writers: this is how you write a series and make it interesting. It takes both itself and its audience seriously and simply wants to write a good story with the means that it has. Kudos to Madhouse&co!

#1: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Season 2 (09-12)

And finally it’s Shouwa’s turn to end. The final four episodes of this series had a lot to live up to, after such a series. And all in all I have to say that this ending was totally rock-solid. The past four episodes all wrapped things up perfectly, really taking their time to make sure that everything got closed off in a satisfying way. All that this show had been building up to: the main characters, the side characters, but also all of the themes when you start reading between the lines.

This whole series was the story of death and rebirth. You see it everywhere, with the main one being Yakumo’s life, but the death of Sukeroku, and him surviving through the next generation if another really big one. How Rakugo almost died under the 8th Generation, but was revived by the 9th generation. How all the rakugo titles keep getting inherited whenever someone passes away. And not to mention the following: I cannot recall any other series that featured more generations than this one. Four generations, all changing as time goes on, growing and weakening.

The big challenge with endings like this is that they tend to just wrap everything up like a good schoolkid, while forgetting to actually tell a story, make it interesting, make sure everything is satisfying. What Shouwa did really well was that the final episodes all managed to keep the balls in the air, and they kept delivering new stuff. We worked towards Yakumo’s death, but even there it wasn’t a simple case of him dying, but he was really clinging to his last moments in live like a living paradox. Then the afterlife episode came, and we finally got to wrap up a lot of questions that the big death left us. I think that this would have worked even better for those who watched the first series as it came out, instead of me, catching up to it in January. Everyone got to accept death, and it felt good. Then the final episode showed yet another time-skip, but there was much more meat to it than usual, because it showed the rebirth of Rakugo, with new rules that could finally be implemented now that the eighth generation has moved on. It was essential to show this. Plus, it even came with an extra twist to boot, hinting that Yakumo may have had a descendant. They could have easily done without, but it made things even more interesting in hindsight, and while awkward, it fits strangely well.

This series is not perfect though. I was not convinced by the romance, and I don’t think that this show really understands it. It was definitely the most annoying part of the series. Also this is not the easiest show to watch. You need to pay attention, and this definitely isn’t a series that you can watch while relaxing. There are parts that while vital to the story, are a tad difficult to sit through. No, in terms of pacing, I don’t think that the creators could have done a better job here.

And yeah, this is the type of series to set a new standard for future shows to live up to. Last season this was Fune wo Amu, and together they create a very solid baseline to hold shows up with. These series show how you should tell a story, where Fune wo Amu shows how to bring characters to life, and Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu shows how you should pace your series. And what’s also important about these two series: usually series as solid as them are the product of a big name director who has already proved him or herself. This is especially true of the past ten years, remember Sayo Yamamoto’s Yuri on Ice last season. But Fune wo Amu’s director? He had done Sukitte Ii Na Yo and a number of episodes here and there, but nothing as vibrant. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu was directed by Shinichi Omata, the director of Sankarea, Rozen Maiden Zuruckspielen. While good, they always lacked something, and here he really managed to make everything come together, and you can see a very tight control from beginning to end. This is the new generation waking up and coming up with their own styles, rather than just doing the same popular thing over and over again. This is a trend that needs to continue. They have demonstrated that they know how to tell a story. From here, it’s time to add more and more guts and balls. Dare to be exciting! Dare to challenge the status quo! You have the power!

3 Responses

  1. Konstantinos Travlos says:

    This was a good anime season for me. Perhaps one of the best in a long time. I followed Onihei, Youjo Senki, Acca 13, Little Witch Academia, Chain Chroincle(theTV series) and Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. It has been years since I followed so many different anime series in one season. And all of them did a good job.

    ACCA-13 was the best for me. A well told tight story, that was able to be interesting while easy going, but still be about politics. Very very good. The political scientists in me loved it. I also adored the soundtrack.

    I like Onihei exactly because it is diffrent as you pointed out. I liked the setting the characters and the story.

    Onihei and Acca-13 gave me the mature stories of this season.

    I got my action in droves from Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans 2nd seasons and Youjo Senki. Iron Blooded Orpahs did some mistakes this season. For example it toned down the violence. Now I am not a sadist, but the violence in IB played for me an important role in taking this seriously. But beyond that it continued the good work of the 1st Season. I especially loved the new antagonists, who gave the “heroes” a run for their money. Depending on how the last episode goes, they may have defeated them. While it will not beat Turan A gundam as my favorite long-form Gundam series, it is a close second.

    Youjo Senki was a blast. The political scientist and war studies in me loved its look at the politics of war. The last episode dropped so many references to concepts from my studies and courses that it will become part of my future classes. I did miss Being X. But you know what. In many ways it was never away. The whole situation in which Tanya is, is thanks to Being X. If God it created the humans as it did. Creatures of what game theorists call bounded rationality. And the show did well to show it. And Tanya did turn out to be a great character. In the end the thing that worried me the most, her being a child, worked.

    Little Witch Academia is just a feel good anime done well. I have missed that so much, and they give it to me. That wonder, that if you will attitude of playful mystery.

    Chain Chronicle was surprisingly ok for me.Nothing to write home about, but a done competently enough that I loved it. Great soundtrack also.

    The new season is less exciting, and I am attached to fewer shows, so I will be catching up on Dragon Dentist (if it has Bounen no Xmadou vibes that is a very good thing in my book), as well as Zipang.

    All in all a good season. I cannot complain. It gave me a lot.

    • Konstantinos Travlos says:

      also if you combined ACCA 13 and Youjo Senki you have some sort of Legend of Galactic Heroes for me :p Dunno why, but both shows reminded it of me. That is a good thing.

  2. donhumberto says:

    Hellyeah you liked Dragon Dentist ! I knew you would so I’m really glad you checked it out. It’s truly one of the best pure fantasy shows I’ve watched in a long time (even though it was really a pity it wasn’t a fully fledged tv series).
    Overall, I’m pretty glad how this season turned out: Onihei, Acca, Rakugo and Dragon Dentist are all pretty damn excellent in my book so no complaints here.
    Spring does look much worse than Winter, though :(

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CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
@Anon, that respect seems on different levels for people though. I mean I seen people championed Yuri on Ice as a major win for LGBT representation in anime while I myself just saw it as queer baiting seeing as the series itself couldn't admit it's characters were gay.
Anonymous1829806
Travlos here: I know many of the AoTitan fans hate the new direction of the manga, but I love it. Gimme more war!

While I love the ideas in Birdy the Mighty, the pace of the mangaka is maddening.
Anonymous1829447
Well, one last thing. I understand that anime like games or movies are a refuge for people who want to escape from politics for a second. But when mangakas bring those topics up themselves with stupid yaoi, gender bender, or yuri fan service, they're the ones politicizing anime and manga, not people like me. If they'd treat it with respect, then there would be no need for outcry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Eh sorry about that, I almost launched into a rant about tumblr.
Lenlo
Yeah, id prefer not to get to political in this chat, but I agree with Aidan. Theres a limit, and I strike that limit at the + of LGBTQ+. There comes a point where your just making things up to be special
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back I probably read hourou musuko initially to get a better understanding of the topic it covered.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not looking for cares/attention/fellating/self promoting, just felt a moment to pseudo-intellectualize because it was related to the identity topic.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From a psychological standpoint, apparently this is linked in with autism to some level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of cosplay as a thing is fascinating honestly as an escapist thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I imagine it would probably be easier to interact in a relationship as someone else, of course with them being aware of that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More in a religious/spiritual sense however and having a greater sense of identity/feeling through temporarily taking on the role of someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
but the person themselves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did have ideas after hourou musuko and also finding out someone was trans that that might have applied to me and I still use female names in some sites but I really just came to realize it wasn't about trying the female clothes thing numerous times, wasn't trans(vestite or sexual), really pretty much found out I temporarily can take on roles of what/who I dress as, not due to gender
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, tumblr sjws are a parody of leftism /activism .
AidanAK47
People have the right to be whatever they want to be. That said there is a line when it comes to respecting peoples choices. For example, I don't think we need Tumblrs 40 different Genders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I haven't read the lesbian experience one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Love my life was another good one, a serious shoujo-ai manga.
Anonymous1829213
That's unfortunate. TvT
Anonymous1829200
no thanks
Anonymous1829213
In the future though, I'd like to see something exploring sexuality as a whole even further. Even LGBT in and of itself implies a gender/sexuality binary. Let's get into the gender neutral/fluid, pansexuality, and so on as well. :.D
Anonymous1829200
and i like the
Anonymous1829200
i have one
Anonymous1829213
And I definitely agree - those manga exist and are excellent. ^_^
Anonymous1829213
*Shimanami
Anonymous1829213
And in regards to the celebrities themselves acting flamboyant or playing into stereotypes, why do you think those are the ones who are famous? They are allowed to be, because they paint a comical picture that is more easily accepted by the public. This is why Hourou Musuko and manga like Shiranami Tasogare/My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness are so amazing by painting people as actual humans
Kaiser-Eoghan
There ARE good shoujo-ai manga of course, girlfriends, aoi hana and yaoi like haru wo deiteita.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I notice that bisexuality isn't much addressed in these things , the coming out thing doesn't often come into it.
Anonymous1829213
@Other Anon: You might add that a lot of those shows also perpetuate some pretty extreme stereotypes and male light of other of serious issues (i.e. the perception others have of LGBT people and that LGBT people have towards themselves, the experience of coming out, etc. etc.)
Kaiser-Eoghan
By lol coincidence he seems to have also voiced a pokemon character too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*re-incarnation of, not evolved
Kaiser-Eoghan
Totally based, hilarious guy to, once claimed jokingly in an interview he was the evolved form of pikachu.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: There is a view of the transvestite as a "silly joke character" even in live action media there thats connected to homosexuallity but I'd say in most cases the person themselves is into it, Akihiro Miwa, famous Japanese gay actor played up that flamboyant drag act since the 60s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: That is well known to me. Also its seen as anti-conform and I heard that the teachers don't know what to do when people are bullied over it, some of them think its down to mental illness.
Anonymous1829154
How japanese media portray lgbtq issues is a problem to this day. Sure shoujo, gender bender, and yaoi genres are mainstream, but at the end of the day people are expected to eventually "grow out of it" and find heterosexual partners in the end. Pretty patronizing
SuperMario
Oh shit, I didn't realize I put Wandering Children instead of Wandering Son in the title. Thanks for pointing that out Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Shuu, mai precious lil' Babbu *hugs*
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol Okadas best anime work cause she didn't really write it lol
SuperMario
I will read on the manga to see how these kids growing up. Boy do i love this cast
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I suppose thats fair enough.
SuperMario
@Aidan: yeah, I know I stretched that image a bit but for some reasons I was goddamn hard to find an image for Wandering Son that I liked. Will make a slideshow later today to see if it looks better
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah I call them by their physical gender because at that stage, they haven't come out yet, right? If I remember correctly, Shuu still regards himself as "boku" rather than "watashi"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess this amuses me mostly because theres a jokey line later on in the manga where the girl with shu says "Ha, guess this makes me a lesbian"
Kaiser-Eoghan
There has been some theory/suggestion that Doi is attracted to shuu seeing shuu's femininty, seeing shuu as a woman .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Later in the manga Takatsuki stops having these feelings toward masculinity, which is addressing adolescent confusion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry about this really hope I don't come off as trying to start anything/an arguement/coming off as an asshole here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats really interesting about hourou musuko is that in addition to Takako Shimura being a Lesbian , by choosing a mtf character as the protaganist and with shuu's relationship with a biological woman later in the manga, she is dealing with an even more interesting issue of whats called by Lesbians as Trans-lesbianism.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Transexual, mtf or ftm are probably the more accurate words to use as transgender also includes transvestite which is a different thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its a very good review though, you don't have to change anything I'm probably being overly anal about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was wandering Children chosen instead of wandering son to avoid suggesting pronouns in the title? But then the text of the review uses shuus physical rather than psychological gender. I'm not preaching or asking for changes or complaining, I just found this somewhat contradictory.
AidanAK47
Oh Tomogui Kyoushitsu? That is a weird death game manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Checks manga cover* Goes in expecting bondage manga *its a cannibalism horror manga instead*
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably just me, but I feel the top two pictures should have a gap between them.
AidanAK47
I would recommend replacing the top image of wandering son. Cause you killed the quality of it by stretching it. Never stretch an image.
Lenlo
Id recommend some kind of slideshow or something Mario. For me, its a big sudden blob of images. But thats just me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny a single criticism of the Junji Ito adaptation, and yet despite it all it works for me , I forgive it because the imagination goes such a long way with me, I don't even mind that some of them aren't fully developed either, don't need things to be too tidy or explain everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Eh, Maverick was a fairly rubbish, thrown in villain but I liked Lunatics backstory how it linked in with the twist his father was that big hero guy mentioned at the start who ended up becoming a washed up mess.
SuperMario
And I won't take "No, you don't need these pics at all" for an answer
SuperMario
Guys, should I put the 2 arts back-to-back at the begin of the post like this, or should I use slideshow?
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: 91 Days was not too bad.
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: Thanks for those two historical manga's head-up.
Anonymous1828434
Akumestu soo satisfying to read
Anonymous1828321
Thank you
Lenlo
A shame. Kokkoku had the first truly dull episode this week. Suppose one had to come eventually, but this one was mostly an info dump.
AidanAK47
Like lightning, I strike. Junji Ito is basically interesting ideas with deeply flawed execution. It's not scary, doesn't really capture Ito's style and the animation is bare bones. While the stories themselves can have there interesting points, they are often not fleshed out enough. Honestly I am getting rather bored with it.
Lenlo
Holy bejesus Aidan. Nice triple post. :P

So overall how is Junji Ito? From what ive read so far, it seems pretty hit or miss on the horror/gore front. Failing to live up to the manga. I havnt read it though, so im curious what ya think
AidanAK47
Akumetsu?
Anonymous1828142
Wearing a mask
Anonymous1828142
What was the name of the manga where the main character is some superhuman high school student who goes around fighting Japanese politicians
Lenlo
On a side note, I should really start Violet Evergarden at some point...
Lenlo
"Anime is dying" is just a meme that gets thrown around because of Miyazaki.
Lenlo
Maybe. I dont think average score per year is a good metric though, as the cash ins are increasing, but I doubt the passion projects are decreasing. For instance we had /alot/ of duds this year, but people only really remember/care about the good ones of which there was a fair number. It wasnt a bad year for decent/good anime.
AidanAK47
Well yeah, but they didn't have as many Animation studios back then as we do right now. So it's not so much that we lost artistic merit but rather the number of studios cashing in on popular trends for a quick buck have increased. Even then, I am willing to put money on there being just as much harem anime in yesteryear as we have cute girls shows in present.
Lenlo
Perhaps, but I would argue those were on smaller scales, and even then, thats not so different from Western animation or movies. Just look at Warner Bros and their DC push after the success of Marvel. Every industry has those who chase successful trends, yet they arnt failing
AidanAK47
@lenlo, the thing is though that before Moe crap there was eva copy crap and before eva copy crap you had space opera crap and before space opera crap you had hyperviolet OVA crap. The industry has always tried to cash in on a popular trend.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel people went apeshit over, say highschool of the dead because they never saw a bunch of old B/exploitation films, thus that show was never special to me and even failed at an imitation of such.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think people getting to excited for it being unique to a single medium or for, its setting themselve up for disappointment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just think its incredibly limited thinking to base it all on just ONE medium, you CAN hold up anime to film when anaylzing anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Why should 91 days get a free pass just because its an anime about gangsters? Go watch a film about it instead which theres probably many of, joker game fail you as the mature spy thriller it ended up not being, who cares, Tinker tailor soldier spy exists.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I dislike this "Its unique for an anime/manga to do this, so instantly lets latch on to it, despite fact that same something is already extremely prevalent in other mediums "
Kaiser-Eoghan
Case in point 91 days and Joker game "It has adults, lets pre-rejoice before the show even came out"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel though because of the level of dissatisfaction with said moe shows that people are going to leap far too quickly on anything just slightly different, getting their hopes up too high and end up feeling let down.
Lenlo
That, or it all comes crashing down around our ears. With stuff like Houseki no Kuni and Made in Abyss from last year however, I think its going to be ok. We are just getting inundated with crap right now.
Lenlo
I do think that some of the artistic part of it has been lost, its gotten diluted in the never ending river of Moe crap. But that doesnt mean its gone. Just harder to find. Eventually all the random moe shows no one cares about will fail and stop getting made. But the anime audience will still be around, to enjoy the better stuff thats left.
Lenlo
Same thing happened in the mid/late 90's and early 00's to American cartoons.
Lenlo
Eh, I dont think anime is dying. Changing no doubt. Its going through a rough growth stage right now. It has a bigger audience than ever and people are trying to cash in on that with lots of shows that are basically the same
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Tank you and damn you for posting screencap of loli-tachibana, I now have cuteness overload a diabeetus =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
I realize thats a very minor detail to focus on though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I can really really get into a history manga if the art is top quality, the costume designs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the historical thing, I have a massive I repeat massive thing for full body medieval armoured characters hacking the shit into things or just the armour in general , especially templar armour designs. I also have an little obsession with male aristocratic army uniforms from the Prussian era and world war 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That recent Urasawa manga Travlos mentioned is ending also
@Mario: We might get a complete adaptation of after the rain, the manga is ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More historical manga I found, haven't read the second one however, I didn't hear those two mentioned on here either before.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Hawkwood
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Ad-Astra-Scipio-to-Hannibal"]
AidanAK47
@Anon, yes clearly you know better than everyone else on the planet despite having no evidence whatsoever to back up you claims. Thank you nameless Stranger, we owe you a debt for telling us the same thing we hear every year. Let me congratulate you by kicking you out the door.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can generally come up with an opinion for what I follow/watch/read , but I don't really have one on kokkuu.
KTravlos
Well we watched the first episode of Kokkuku. Interesting. The ED theme is quite the fanservice.
SuperMario
@Ktravlos: If your like to check out some other shows this season then I'd definitely recommend After the Rain.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: at least Kino is thought-provoking. I can't say the same for Violet Evergarden. In fact I remain skeptical with VE
KTravlos
I am quite enjoying both Violet Evergarden and Mahoutsukai. Violet gives me similar vibes to the first Kio series, though obviously Kino was a better series.
SuperWooper
EPIC post, anon!
Anonymous1825128
Of course, as ardent fans of anime, the writers of this site would not deign to agree or even entertain the idea that their passion is no longer the same artisanal endeavor it once was.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Oh. Actually surprised I forgot about that. Yeah, when it comes to something being described as edgy I think Goblin Slayer fits that definition perfectly.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, You can still throw down your take if you want.
Anonymous1824209
AidanAK47 - Or the women shields.
Lenlo
You know, sometimes I dont regret forgetting about this chatbox. Missing the "anime is dying" conversation? One of those times
AidanAK47
Oh, Goblin Slayer is getting an anime adaption. I was rather lukewarm on it but I wonder how the anime is going to handle the rather unsavoury aspects. Like the rape. Lots and lots of rape.
AidanAK47
I remember the last guy said he would make a chart and I thought it was a brillent idea as at least something useful could come out of this old dead horse. Then his chart turned out to be a useless jpeg with series thrown to the left or right.
AidanAK47
It does stir up conversation but it's really just the same conversation repeated. I remember stating the exact same points Nayrael and Bokusen are saying around a year ago when this last came up.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Indeed Ratings are subjective but it would at least be a general mainstream consensus of the quality of anime over the years. Not final but at least it's better evidence than one persons general assumption. And other factors are impossible to quaitify.
Nayrael
A good parody of the "Anime back then and now - what happened? meme (if the links are not blocked here): https://i.imgur.com/JZqxz6f.jpg
Nayrael
Not to mention that back in the olden days you didn't see every Anime that aired. Official translators and fansubbers selected the best stuff, which resulted in you seeing the best shows and never even knowing about the shit-tier shows.
Bokusen
I think that people who say "anime is dying" are just getting too nostalgic. It's easy to remember the hit series from earlier seasons. It's less easy to remember all the forgettable generic series that you dropped after 1 episode, and so anime tends to "seem better" back then because of people's tendency towards selective memory.
Anonymous1820731
Why are there more bad anime? Because there are more anime being made. That means the good ones are buried under the lots of bad ones. But saying "anime is dying" from that is like saying "music is dead because I don't like Britney Spears." Why does this conversation always come up, its obvious conversation bait.
Anonymous1820589
@Aidan: You are the first to obsess over the fact that reviews are subjective. And since they're subjective, looking at anime 'ratings' over time does nothing to gauge the measure of effort and artistic talent that goes into making anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which I got my answer by the way.
SuperWooper
>average review scores
What do those have to do with whether anime is "dying" or not? You'd need to look at the money.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to add that I agree with both you and Aidan, only brought up those two topics back there because I wanted to know what shows now will be popular in the future.
SuperMario
I'm on the side of Aidan regarding to this. For me it's not neccessary means the anime industry has become "better" or "worse", it's just that it takes new shape and trends and based on the number of anime produced, the industry isn't going down soon
AidanAK47
Am I really going to draft up a chart gathering average review scores of the past 25 years just t shut up this talk of anime dying?
But even if I did that won't toss aside this nonsense.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this is complete guesswork.
AidanAK47
Plus the industry is dying? Bloody hell, we got major companies FUNDING anime. Streaming services and more anime coming out that ever before. You can argue that this new anime is weaker but honestly it's just misguided. It takes time but great shows are still coming out. Just like back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well thats kind of what I meant, what, when passage of time comes into it are going to end up being classic based on that, speculatively speaking.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats probably a much better way of phrasing it, inheriting mantles. I'm going to say that promised neverland is presently along with Titan a BIG modern shounen.
AidanAK47
Anyway my point is that the shows of the past, the so called classics, are just as flawed as the shows of today. It is only through the passage of time that they become classics. When Stein;Gate finished airing, I seen no one call it a classic. Same goes for Madoka and Fate/Zero. Now, you have people putting up the pedestals.
AidanAK47
Though if anything has inherited the Shounen mantle, it's likely Boku no hero.
AidanAK47
There is no big three Shounen and that's honestly for the best. Because in generally the declining aspect of Naruto and Bleach was mainly due to the pressure on the mangaka to put out chapters on a weekly basis. In fact it's pretty much the primary factor in Bleachs decline.
AidanAK47
Bebop is great but even it is hit and miss by nature. Doubt many remember much about the casino episode and the Alien spoof episode is likely not anyone's favorite. Eva is massively flawed but no one wants to admit it due to the massive amount of praise it receives and influence it has on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But what is the new big three shounen?
AidanAK47
If we go further back to DBZ, that has tons of issues with filler, dragging out episodes, animation shortcuts, and even complaints of it doing the same thing over and over again with it's story. No to mention the underutilised cast and the everlasting act up putting Goku on a greater pedestal.
AidanAK47
But let us dissect this viewpoint of yours. You claim the Shouen-jump canon as a great, guessing that refers to the shounen big three. But aside from One piece, the other two are emmensily flawed. Naruto is 50% filler and Bleach drops seriously in quality after soul society.
AidanAK47
Also Fate series is trash? That definitely seems aimed at me. What first series are you referring to? Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night 2006? Fate/UTW? The same thing over and over again? Sure each series has a holy grail war, but none of them every turned out the same. I am more than willing to admit that the spinoff series outside of the main canon are lesser. Calling them trash however is hyperbole.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Not this crap again. The old "Anime isn't as good as it used to be", how many times have I heard that over the years, and each and every time it proves more untrue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One point I'm trying to get at is, I don't get throwing the word bad taste around when I know I was probably in the same position as that other fan years ago.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Another thing, for shows we talk up and obviously I've been just as guilty of this, how many of these am I going to be able to recite off by heart years down the line?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't like Madoka but thats a good example of a modern classic that'll keep in peoples minds, people still care.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*its a
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The reason I want to see a new show become a modern classic is because I'm tired of this "fleeting masterpiece" way of thinking, where I a show is super popular during the season and gets talked up as if it'll stick in the mind years on, then weeks later it disappears from memory.
Anonymous1819907
And anime watchers tend to be attracted to series that are just plain boring. The Fate franchise is case and point. The same thing over and over again. It really is a disgrace, to be honest--in my opinion. The first series was great, and I look forward to the movie. But everything in between is trash. But they still get the views, since people are sheep.
Anonymous1819907
The shonen-jump canon, shows like bebop and eva were huge in their time. The industry is just not the same--it's really dying. There isn't the same desire to blow shows up like there used to be. Shonen jump is still at it, but those shows are rarely worth watching, even if they're popular
Anonymous1819907
its a good anime, but it doesn't have the same staying power since it was not an entire industry
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for the long post, I want to get people talking again here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would love for this to happen with, say, made in Abyss, that becoming a show that we remember decades from now and still talk about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something else I want to bring up, what shows do you all REALLY believe will still be talked about in the future . Bebop and Eva still come up regularly to this day, what new shows do you think will become big classics.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To base taste on things you watched ages ago doesn't really work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring that up because I remember a comment somewhere I read that said, the people who trashed guilty crown, forget geass was 10 years ago and if guilty crown had came out back then instead of geass they would have embraced it instead at the time.
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Kokkoku – 6/7 [The Sixth/Seventh Moment]

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After the Rain – 06 [Fine Rain]

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