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
Kaiser-Eoghan
I may aswell finish it given that that its the last episode.
AidanAK47
So Planet With ends and the madman actually did it. Besides needing a bit more of a epilogue, that was a great finale.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I try to understand, make sense of the other sides views within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really want a successful fantasy go on an adventure style show though, I feel like I'm genuinely in the mood for one, I've actually considered watching some old ovas of that nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The most common thing my father and I talk about is Brexit really and how once upon a time we actually went after tyrants.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And even though I have the God thing, never became a burn the witches kind of person. I do want to put the far right/fascist people in gulags though lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Kaiser thing, now that I think about it is actually really odd, I speak minimal German, am no monarchist and am a leftist. Yet even though I hate the bougoiuse , I love aristocratic costumes lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again, it may not be overly odd, there were Maoist priests.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This is pretty common here too. Organized religion isn't popular but most people believe there is a God and, depending on the person and cultural background, that parts of the holy books are true (or not, if they're real agnostics), usually in a metaphorical sense though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*upbringing
Kaiser-Eoghan
That mixed upbringoing of having a communist father and religious relatives is an interesting thing.....for all of the exploitation I watch, I ctually feel nunsploitation is going too far lol I also sometimes check with my dad before watching certain things to make sure it isn't "too anti-left/anti socialist".
Amagi
@Animosh: No problem. I think it depends a bit on how people were brought up decades ago. It's probably different nowadays, no idea. The arguing was kinda fun though, especially for the teen me (I bet I annoyed the shit out of my father).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet having no regard for organized religion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I however am a mutt though, believer in some kind of a God to an extent....while also having communist sympathies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh@Amagi: As it stands neither my mother or brother are communists, actually my mother while very left wing would criticize my father when going "too communist". My parents and my brother are the only members of my family who could be considered leftist/non-religious.
Amagi
@Animosh: Planet With definetely needs some sort of epilogue OVA. You can somewhat guess the dragon's story but it's not the same as seeing it and there are still a few of semi-loose strings like the people who are still dreaming.
Animosh
@Amagi: my apologies for my presumptuousness. ;) My mother occasionally also participated in political discussions, but yeah, for some reason it's often men who have strong political opinions and are not willing to admit defeat in discussions.
Amagi
Also I don't spoil anything but the last minutes of the first episode just feel stupid. I think/hope there will be an explanation later for how something has worked so perfectly that shouldn't have worked at all. In general it seems to be a show that tries hard but can't deliver for some reason. I won't completely judge it yet though.
Animosh
Planet With also wrapped up things nicely. Unfortunately the dragon remains a bit underdeveloped, which makes it difficult for me to care about his fate, and I would have liked to see at least the main ship officially confirmed, but other than that it was an excellent finale that satisfactorily ties up all loose ends. This is how you do a one-cour.
Amagi
Regarding RErideD I have conflicted feelings. As said, the premise sounds pretty good but the budget is damn dab, especially for the beginning of a show. There is a scene in which the MC is so badly animated you can't even recognize what's going on at first.
Amagi
@Animosh: funny enough I am female, but yeah somehow these discussions only exist with fathers while the mothers are just trowing the towel and say "fuck it", I mean it usually doesn't change anybody's mind so it's more of a hobby I guess.
Animosh
It's a bit late, but Hanebado is finally giving me what I wanted from the show: tense, well-animated badminton matches. The match does feel a bit rushed, the overexplaining can be annoying and there's still plenty of melodrama, but it's a lot more enjoyable than what we got in the previous weeks at least.
Anonymous2822860
will be seeing what kind of flaws Ash has. Also, I think this way of characterizing him also fits into the narrative. This strength that Ash has is what pushes his gang members away and see him not as a normal human, but a "king."
Anonymous2822860
That was some interesting insight on Ash as a "perfect" person. While I do think that Banana Fish shows that Ash is an extremely capable person time and time again, he cannot win this "war" alone. There's too many enemies and too many things that need to be done. Also, I think as we get further on into the second cour, we
Anonymous2822162
Also, it's neat watching the first few episodes again after what goes down throughout the first half of the series; you get to see all of the characters together before everything blows up in their face.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect characterization, I should say I mean the way he's characterized as this perfect supremely capable person. The other characters do help reveal other aspects of Ash though: Eiji is his age and allows him to be a normal teenager; Max is like a surrogate father and lets him act like a son; Arthur and Dino are kind of evil inverses of that.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect charac
Anonymous2822162
Anyways, not to hate on Ash because he's still a fantastic main lead and anchors the whole show. It's just that because he loses sometimes I push some of the problems of his perfect characterization to the side, but when you actually think about it, he seems more like a character than a real person.
Anonymous2822162
Also the fact that Ash has been through a super tragic backstory doesn't help a lot: it seems like the writers are trying to make him a character who has been through all the tragedy in the world and has overcome it and became the most skilled person in the world. I will say though that any onscreen tragedy is 100% believable, it just some of the flashbacks that are a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
I guess that slightly cheapens Ash's character on retrospection: of course he is still the charismatic lead, but he feels a bit too perfect at everything. Dino must have taught him quite a bit, but Ash is skilled in, like, everything. It just seems a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
Like the whole Yut-Lung Shorter Eiji situation was beyond Ash (in fact he still knew something was off but couldn't pinpoint what); that wasn't really a mistake Ash made, it was just that he couldn't have known the secret connections Yut-Lung had.
Anonymous2822162
Something I noticed about Ash is that he is, as some of you pointed out, a Gary Stu but it doesn't immediately jump at you. The thing is that Ash still loses quite a bit, so he doesn't seem invincible, yet at the same I think the majority of his losses were beyond his control. It doesn't feel like he makes mistakes, rather that other people outmaneuver him due to factors beyond him.
Animosh
@Kaiser & Amagi: I also had lots of political discussions with my father. Didn't know that was such a common occurrence. Boys will be boys I guess? And he's actually a former Marxist too, having grown up in the 60's-70's and all. Now he's just a boring socialist though. ;)
Animosh
RErideD seemed really promising in theory: an original time travel anime written (at least in part) by Abe, with the director of Steins;Gate in charge? Count me in. But unfortunately the reviews so far seem to be uniformly negative. So I'll probably avoid it for now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Four episodes of RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida got uploaded at the same time earlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Yes, although probably just for the Saturday, usually the best day to do so because thats when the sellers are there, usually everythings gone by Sunday. Friday is generally anime pub quiz.
Lenlo
Its just a saturday, so busy. And Kaiser, nice. Gonna go to the con at all?
Lenlo
As a writer for it, I dont believe so?
Anonymous2818178
is this site dead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
Anonymous2791561
3-gatsu no Lion has its ups and downs; its ups are the intense emotional drama or shogi matches, while it's downs are the more relaxed slice of life food porn stuff. When I say up and down, I don't necessarily mean good and bad, just more about the intensity. I personally found that I could enjoy both styles, but sometimes I'd find the slice of life stuff dragging on.
SuperMario
Well, I regard 3-gatsu as one of the best character-writing in this medium in recent years. As for shaft, I'm their fan but even me was worried when I learnt Shaft adapting this. They did a nice job thankfully
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I was glad that the comedy becomes more reigned in later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
Anonymous2785164
Nothing is more annoying to me than nerd doing the stereotypical nerd voice to mock people
Anonymous2785164
Either way, I kinda dislike majority geek youtubers because I find them all to be hypocrites. Like for example, complaining about commentors correcting them or nitpicking them when all of them are nitpickers themselves :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, he has habit of commenting on things way too early only to later on to be proven wrong by end of the anime :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, I don't remember Mother's Basement being that bad besides that he for most parts really sucks when talking about video games despite apparently having studied game development
Anonymous2785164
@AidanAK47: I don't actually like any of anime youtubers. They all seems to be pervs to me and I'm actually rather prude person :p
Anonymous2785164
Hmm this chat is being buggy again and I can't change username from anonymous right now :P ANnoying~
SuperMario
@Lenlo: Readers will enjoy us more if we can throw some meme references... proof that we're still not out of touch with current trends ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I mean the opposite, the posts here are good because they don't use quips. They aren't fanboyish either.
Lenlo
Are you telling me I need to insert more quips. jokes and one-lines into my posts? Cause I can do that
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Drop grand blue if its taking up too much time, I know you are busy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I enjoy reading blog articles like on here. I feel the writers on here never sound like awful fanboys or quiplords.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*I have
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Featured Posts

Banana Fish – 12 [To Have and Have Not]

Welcome to the halfway point for Banana Fish. This week Ash prepares for his final showdown with Arthur, he has some moral quandaries, and gets terrified by pumpkin pie. Lets dive in! So, general stuff first, Banana Fish’s pacing this week felt a bit fast to me. Banana Fish covered a lot of ground, from […]

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Hanebado! – 11 [Because I Love Badminton]

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Banana Fish – 11 [The Beautiful and Damned]

Welcome to another week of Banana Fish. This week it slows down, gives us some heartwarming character scenes and the beginnings of a gang war. Lets jump in! So, starting off, the general stuff. Overall I enjoyed Banana Fish this week, but we have started to see issues with the breakneck pace it’s had until […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 21 [Rinascimento of Image Formation -Return of Phoenix-]

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Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – 09 [On the Night of the Star Festival]

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