Posted by psgels on 4 May 2017 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Busy weekend so I am late! As usual, this summary is about all episodes that aired in the month April, ranked from the ones I like the least to the best. If I kept adding I’d never get these posts done.

There’s lots of great stuff this month, and I managed to keep up with twelve shows till the end of this month. No short 5-minute episodes, so fitting them all in was a challenge. General themes this season seem to be fantasy and racism. Overall production seems very solid. I mean, the bad shows were really bad and all, but so far the good shows really seem to want to deliver something good, and seem to all more and less understand what they’re doing. I feel a lot of them are trying to take their viewers seriously. You cannot imagine how refreshing that feels after 2013…

Anyway: yarr there be spoilers! And obligatory these are just my own impressions and nothing else. 3500 words which doesn’t seem too bad this time. Let’s go!

#12: Sakura Quest (01-04)

I liked the first three episodes. They were chaotic and colourful, yet grounded. The lead female was naive, sure. But she was thrust into this new situation and just had to figure out how to deal with everything being thrown at her. I like that. After that though… I’m afraid that the creators have already hit a bit of a slump. Episode four was all over the place in terms of how much it wanted to be taken seriously.

The show spent so long try and get the female lead to accept her place as the queen. And then it just pulls the other four leads into the team like it’s nothing. Their motivations are all hazy at best, and now they’re suddenly all working together (getting paid, I think) like they don’t have anything else to do. And then there was that inventor. Like, there are more series that have a character that totally doesn’t fit amongst the rest, and it can work, but the difference is here that his inventions totally transform the context of this series from out of nowhere. This used to be a fairly grounded series: it was colourful, but it could have happened in real life. Not anymore. This is actually very important, because how are we going to have to relate to it now, if it can just pull stuff like this out of its ass?

And with this, this show has become a “5 girls doing cute stuff”-series, instead of the Hana-Saku Iroha-wannabe. Hana-Saku Iroha did some crazy stuff, sure. But its sharp drama was what made me return to it. Sakura Quest so far hasn’t been sharp. I’d sooner describe it as dull and forced, very in danger of being dropped.

#11: Atom – The Beginning (01-03)

This show frustrates me. Not because it’s bad, or I wouldn’t have kept up with it, but because I see potential that this show is trying to not draw attention to. Like at first sight this is a really childish robot show with annoying characters. And yet I cannot name something that it’s technically doing wrong. And then once in a while it delivers something surprisingly poignant.

Now, three episodes in, I understand that Atom – The Beginning is an homage to Tetsuwan Atom, the very first anime series ever made. That explains the characters: Osamu Tezuka’s characters always were out there and exaggerated. The creators are doing their best to re-create his charms, but they do miss something that the old master had. His stories were about absolutes, big plot twists, and teaching kids harsh lessons instead of sugar-coating everything. But who knows where this series plans to be going.

But I admit: it knows how to write its annoying characters. The whole point of annoying characters is that they serve to bring in energy, and if they’re rounded enough you as a viewer will warm up to them. This is actually very difficult to do, and most attempts fail and become excruciating to watch, because failure means that you have to spend an entire series with a character that you hate. Like this show is seriously doing something right, but then on the other hand it spends an entire episode on finding a lost robot dog.

#10: Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho (01-03)

The animators are really struggling with properly bringing life to these characters, but thankfully the rest of the show does a really good job at making up to it. The setting in this series feels alive. The characters visit a lot of different towns and cities in these first three episodes, all of them populated with different people who actually feel like they live there.

What makes this series stand out the most is the racist themes. A lot of the fantasy series this season deal with them, but this series does it best, because there is not one side who is morally right in everything. It presents three different parties, who all are against each other due to complicated reasons and misunderstandings that grow because of some overreactions. There are evil characters, but they are individuals who mess things up for everyone. It really stresses that things are complicated. I like that a lot.

In terms of the characters, I still really like the two main ones; their chemistry is as solid as ever and they’re a delight to watch. It’s not all well though, because episode 2 introduced a really annoying character who seems to be tagging along for the whole ride. And I can’t stand this kid. All he does is whine or make bad jokes. And that’s basically this series: there are some things that it does really well, and some things that it’s really bad at. What makes me want to continue is that it’s the core of this series that’s really good. I mean it’s really onto something with its racial themes!

#9: Uchoten Kazoku (01-04)

Uchoten Kazoku is really tough to measure, because of how different it is. On one hand it’s slice of life, but enough things happen, and yet it doesn’t really have a plot: just a sequence of events in the lives ot these characters it plays through. It’s chock full of culture, references both really obscure and popular. It lacks the dramatic bombast that every other series had, but in terms of world-building it’s pretty darn excellent: how these tanuki are living their lives, and all their customs and strifes.

I think this lack of dramatic flair is what got to me in the first season. I mean, I couldn’t call this bad at all… it’s just hard to find a structure here to follow. Like, certain points or scenes that stick out or stand out as memorable. You could say that this series’ flaw is that it’s too consistent. Sounds weird of course, but anime remains an art form, and art can be really weird in how it sticks to people.

But don’t get me wrong: the writing here is very good. It always has something to talk about, characters are well rounded with rich backstories, the writing is also excellent, and you can definitely see that the creators did their homework.

#8: Sagrada Reset (01-04)

Okay yes, that was one hell of a misleading opening episode. I can understand why some people were turned off by episode 02, and let me warn you: if you were turned off by that, stay FAR away from episode 04, because it’s going to get even worse. As for me though, I like what the creators are trying to do: they have got this world chock full of people with strange powers, and every episode they try their best to make an as complicated story with them as possible. They just keep throwing stuff at you as the episode progresses, and combine that with how characters are constantly trying to explain each other’s motivations, constantly seeking the truth amidst these bizarre rules.

But let’s get one thing very straight: this is NOT a high school show where characters happen to have powers. This is full on mystery. And the way this show looks at death and pain is really weird. It’s like: “oh by the way, Pete died”, right as the characters are casually talking about something else for example. And none of the characters show any sign of being put off. There is plenty of remorse, but that initial shock you get when something terrible happens: that doesn’t seem to exist in this universe. It’s really weird, but they’re very consistent at it, which leads to a number of really bizarre situations, culminating in that incredibly disturbing end of episode 04.

I still like it a lot though. This show dares to break with conventions, and it’s constantly trying to one-up itself. Some of the logic either flew past me or is not consistent with itself, but eh: not enough for me to find it bothersome. The characters still are very enjoyable, and their calculating chemistry still works quite well. Perhaps not as good as with episode one, but in the meantime they tried to put in enough to make this work for the long run and make this not a one trick pony.

#7: Warau Salesman (01-04)

You’d think that this would become a novelty. Yet I keep returning, every week, despite how similar each episode is. Is it some sort of Stockholm Syndrome or something? Like every single episode is a big kick in the balls, and yet I keep returning. Falling for the charming salespitch, being drawn into this show just as the characters are tempted by the titular character. Seriously this guy is one evil sunovabitch.

The strength of this series is that it shows how easy it is to fall for temptations. While everything here is exaggerated, the core truth that they want to portray rings everywhere: its criticism at these sales constructions that are set up in such a way that breaking them and ruining your life is wraught with temptations that are just too easy to break. The same temptations keep returning: lust and stress relief. And some stories are stronger than ever, but there are some particularly biting ones. The first one of episode 04, for example. Like holy crap!

Make no mistake, despite the cartoonish look, this is an incredibly dark show. Also look how the Laughing Salesman also manages to wiggle his way into innocence, by pointing out the faults of his clients. It’s now gotten as far that during episode 4, you could see the traps he laid out miles beforehand. And that’s what makes this such a good horror series: by making these traps so easy you’re constantly screaming “don’t do it!” at your screen, yet unlike your average dumb horror character, you can understand where they’re coming from.

#6: Alice to Zouroku (01-05)

A big theme of 2017 is pushing powers to a new level: have characters with powers that are more all-encompassing than before, that have less limits. And not in the way that they create bigger energy-beams, but with the way that they start tearing the whole fabric of reality. Alice to Zouroku puts this in thriller-form, with a lot of childish innocence.

Out of all the series with action this season, Alice to Zouroku is the most grounded in reality because of how it keeps stressing responsibility. The characters all have lives, and backgrounds, rich in detail. And yet, it doesn’t shy away from anything, that’s what makes it scary. Seriously that hands woman was one hell of an effective villain in how she just completely doesn’t mess about, but even then I didn’t expect her to actually shoot something resembling a child. But that’s the strength of this series: this incredible contrast of childlike innocence on one hand and just this businesslike harshness on the other.

In april, Alice to Zouroku got five episodes out. It was not the most entertaining series of the season, but still I have to say that at the end of episode five, when they closed off the arc, they did so in a really adorable way. And it was thanks to all of this careful build-up. But erm, show… you do realize that you’re 12 episodes long, don’t you? Everything seems resolved now… how are you going to be able to top this?

#5: Re-Creators (01-04)

Re-Creators may not have had the most exciting start, but it’s clearly and visibly growing: every episode has gotten more interesting so far. This series came with a really interesting premise: what if characters suddenly came to life? It shows how they’d react to this new find knowledge, and also how they view their creators: the ones who write their stories. Every character looks at the issue in a different way: that’s what you need! A look the matter from many different angles.

And on top of that it also just got the basics right. It knows how a story and characters are written: rounded, instead of simple stereotypes. It takes its time to establish the kind of world it’s in. Characters behave in believable and consistent manners, there are no weird leaps in logic, and the acting is powerful, yet nobody is overacting. Animation is overall consistent, and the soundtrack also keeps getting better. These guys are really trying to put down something solid, yet exciting, and the kicker: the dialogue is also really well written. Heck, the main focus of this show is on its dialogue: the action is just there as a vehicle, to create tension.

My only complaint is how average the male lead is: like nothing sets him apart. But ah well: you can see him as a jar of glue; he holds everything together. Because of him this really diverse cast of characters managed to gather together and interact. And what this show did really well is keep him in the background. It realizes that this is in no way his story, and instead keeps the main actors the main actors, without him trying to wiggle himself in the important positions. And thank god there’s no romance yet!

#4: Shingeki no Bahamut – Virgin Soul (01-04)

Okay, so Virgin Soul is the sequel. Unfortunately I cannot find the time to watch the original like what I did with Shouwa Rakugo, so I’ll just watch the second season. For now it seems to be quite accessible without any prior knowledge, unlike Berserk, which I really want to continue, but won’t, for the same reason why I haven’t continued Mushishi’s second season.

There is one thing in particular that Shingeki no Bahamut does better than any other show this season. Yeah okay, there are multiple. The fluidity of some of its action scenes is un-rivaled, even when put next to Shingeki no Kyojin, which makes for a great spectacle. But the reason why it’s so high on this list is because of how expressive it is. The characters are alive and vibrant with emotions, they just pop out of the screen. The female lead is the best example of this where she just continues to bubble all over the screen, but the other characters do this to. Some obvious, but others subtle. Because of that it has a very engaging villain. Just the way he’s posed and drawn: this guy got presence. He beams royal confidence. That, combined with the setting in which a bunch of humans are the assholes for once in a fantasy-show makes the plot simple, yet very effective.

And it doesn’t need a complicated plot like what the other fantasy series have. This show is all about power plays. Taking what it has, and really trying to get everything as right as possible. That has lead to some impeccable animation: the poses, the stances, it’s all right. Notice how few still frames this show uses. When characters talk, it’s not just their lips that go up and down, no their chins move subtly as well. There’s more life in this series than any other show this season.

#3: Shingeki no Kyojin (26-30)

Ah, it’s just as I hoped: Shingeki no Kyojin decided to screw some conventions here. Not the ones I expected though, which makes it in a way even better. Five episodes aired this month, and in a move that very other series dare: it pretty much put the main cast on a bus in order to focus on some side-ones: all Eren&co did was travel, while the side cast got bombarded by all of the weird plot twists. And consider that this second season is only 12 episode makes this even more special: for this show to have the balls to really take its time, instead of doing the most obvious and put more focus on Mikasa, the most popular character of the series.

On the technical terms: yes. Great animation, soundtrack’s good, pacing’s terrific, storytelling had me on the edge of my seat. It pretty much did everything right. One thing in particular that stood out was the way in which this show does its horror. It combines it seamlessly with its mystery here: the characters were terrified, and it used that fear brilliantly while hinting for certain plot twists. It created such a paranoid atmosphere. Well done, Shingeki no Kyojin! Sometimes, not saying anything can do wonders.

Shingeki no Kyojin definitely aims to take the viewer on a ride. The most of any other show this season. It’s an emotional roller-coaster, but very different from the first season, which had a lot more bombast. And yet, when it hits, the second season does go much further. Like the gore? Much more detailed than what we saw in season one. These guys have gotten more interested in making something really special. Now keep challenging yourselves! Keep screwing more conventions!

#2: Seikaisuru Kado (00-04)

Shingeki no Bahamut and Shingeki no Kyoujin are behemoths. Their budget is huge and you see that in the animation, which is a feast for the eyes. And I like that a lot: one reason why I’m into animation is to see how well it can bring characters and settings to life, and big production-values are a great way to do this. My taste may be weird, but I love seeing a big group of people working together to animate a story, in all different meanings of the word. That this isn’t required or even necessary is proved by Seikaisuru Kado.

Nearly everything here is done in jarring CG. This is not a pretty looking series, and it was obviously done on a budget. But here’s the thing: Shingeki no Kyojin was bound to get a sequel, so you’re bound to invest in it. The other shows this season: here too you can see why investors were interested in their production: Bahamut is an epic fantasy series with dragons, based on a well received first season, Alice to Zouroku has cute girls, Warau Salesman is the next in line of classic shows to be revived. Even my number one pick for this month: it’s incredibly save. They all make sense. Seikaisuru Kado is the only one that doesn’t. I mean, how was this even pitched? “All-powerful aliens visit the earth and we need to negotiate with them”. Just, where did this come from? This is just so out of left field, it really takes balls to come with a series like this. I admire that a lot.

This show… over the course of five episodes it has done some really weird things. Note how every episode is significantly different with its focus, and yet every episode flows seamlessly into the other. Every episode is also incredibly thought-provoking. You may not agree with its statements, but that’s not the point: what IF an alien suddenly came with items that would solve the world energy crisis if used well? What would you do? What would happen? And it goes incredibly in-depth in its analysis and predictions. It’s bold, the way it’s doing this is going to piss off a lot of people, and in terms of global politics it is bringing more and more unspoken rules to the surface. A lot of shows this season have balls, but really: Seikaisuru Kado has by far the biggest ones. I was for a minute debating with myself about putting at at the top spot this month, but nah: that show reduced me to tears due to its sweetness. However, out of all new series to debate this year without a first season… yeah I can say that Seikaisuru Kado has the best and most interesting opening month of 2017.

#1: Natsume Yuujinchou (01-03)

I was about to go on about how this series really needs closure now, but then this new season came with its first three episodes, and even for this series’ standards they are excellent. Where the previous season felt perhaps like it was treading a bit of the same areas, these episode could only fit at this point in the story because of how well they’re making use of all of the build-up of the previous five seasons.

It all fits now: Season 1 was the introduction, Season 2 was Natsume getting to know more and more people. Season 3 was his growth. Season 4 was about his family. Season 5 was about his friends and the people around him. And now Season six is there to show how different he views the people around him now. He’s part of the family now, he has friends he trusts, and he’s opening up more and more to them: you see his resistance fade away more and more. Episode 02 stressed that he’s not alone anymore, and episode 03 did something really clever, in bringing back a character that used to annoy him, yet now manages to accept and see the good intentions. And vice versa.

And in the meantime he’s just completely adorable. Six seasons in and it still manages to tell these incredibly heart-warming stories. One month in and without a doubt this series is my favourite of the currently airing ones. It has this way of storytelling and pacing that makes the ending of every episode a delight, and at this rate, the other series have got an incredible job ahead if they want to be able to compete with this one. This is good! Be competitive! Strive to be the better one, this competition and wave of inspiration is what’s going to make the medium as an entirety better. The key is to learn from each other and inspire each other. Natsume Yuujinchou has nailed how to tell a story, and after nine years you can see its subtle influences all over. Holy crap the first season aired 9 years ago already! What happened to all that time!?

12 Responses

  1. AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

    Might as well get in here before anyone else points it out but Atom – The Beginning is a prequel. Not a Homage. And it’s nice you posted this now as my post are going to be weak this week. Things have been getting in the way of blogging lately as well as a lack of energy.

    • psgels psgels says:

      Ah, so it’s happened to you as well. No worries, the “lack of energy” hits every blogger at some point. I’m stil surprised it took so long before it managed to hit me.

      • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

        Well truthfully it’s not a matter of getting tired of anime or anything. Lack of sleep may be a better way of putting it. Had a four day weekend and can’t seem to shake off vacation mode.
        I will admit to having some moments thinking “Why the hell am I even bothering to do this?”

  2. noop_noob says:

    I don’t understand how episode 1 of Sakurada Reset was misleading, and how it’s going to get worse.

    (BTW, this is my pick for AOTS, and episode 2 was the best episode so far.)

    • psgels psgels says:

      Well, let me put it this way: episode 01 did not exactly allude to how Sagrada Reset would be the series with the most gore after Shingeki no Kyojin. Episode one also made it seem like most powers were useless and random, yet the subsequent episodes have brought out crazier and crazier powers.

      Based on episode one I was expecting something more along the lines of Hyouka.

      • noop_noob says:

        I’m pretty sure what turned people of wasn’t the gore, but was the unnatural monotone dialogue. If any episode was misleading, it was both episode 1 and 2.

  3. Axis says:

    Thanks! I really appreciate your good work.

    These lists (and the pre-season “potential %’s” are a lifesaver.
    I can’t watch every first episode myself. It’s not about the time… I tried it once and it honestly threatened my enjoyment of the medium as a whole.

    I like to skim the reviews as briefly as possible, then compare notes after I’ve seen the episodes.

  4. SuperMario SuperMario says:

    Basically in tune with you regarding how I feel about those shows, especially towards Sakura Quest and Zero, hopefully this week’s Sakura Quest going to get better.

    Natsume’s on top huh? Quite a safe choice tbh. I hope you’d give more chance to Tsuki ga Kirei, I know it’s not modern classic or anything but for what it does, it does very well.

    @Axis: Well, the main reason we’re trying to give first impressions for every show is for you guys to NOT having to watch everything. While at the end of the day I enjoyed what I had done, it’s a long winded, fatigued and sometimes rage-inducing ride that you don’t need to be a part of.

    • psgels psgels says:

      With Natsume it’s safe, I know. At the start of the season I did not want to put it on top, but these first three episodes really deserved it. I’ll be very strict for the rest of the season.

      And yeah, I find that I really enjoy giving everything a chance. It’s sometimes terrible to sit through, but I always find that it’s worth it. I’m weird like that though, and I very much understand that for most people it’s just too much, so I’m glad that these posts are useful.

  5. SunDog says:

    “Their motivations are all hazy at best”
    Well, yeah. That’s why the last episode ends up questioning one of the girl’s motivation. The other girls were born in the town, I don’t see how that’s hazy.

    “and now they’re suddenly all working together (getting paid, I think) like they don’t have anything else to do.”
    Getting paid? Yeah, why would they do that? But seriously, one was already working there, two still do their usual jobs and one was unemployed.

    It’s weird because these things would be understandable if you hadn’t watch ep4 already, but the review says you did.

  6. Puran says:

    BTW the “exoskeleton” that helps you lift things that they showed in Sakura Quest, is a real thing and has been for the last 5 years. So the inventor’s inventions were not *that* out there (although a lone inventor in a small rural town making them is pushing it).

    But it didn’t bother me that much.

    I also wasn’t bothered by how easily everyone came together. It sort of made sense to me. All the characters are a bit lost, kinda retreated in a small town where there isn’t much to do, they happened to do something fun together, so they decided to work together.

    The real problem of the series is the lack of drama. Or if not drama, some great characterization. Hanasaku Iroha was also silly at times, but its drama and characterizations were excellent when it wanted to.

    But maybe that was just Mari Okada at her best, so it’s quite possible this series won’t hit any highs as high as hanasaku. I do feel like it’s building up to something though. I guess we’ll see.

  7. Alt says:

    The lack of of a gantz character after the lack of a gantz remake makes me think no one actually read the gantz manga. Eaten is actually more worthy. But it is not a perfect world.

Leave a Reply

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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Featured Posts

Kokkoku – 6/7 [The Sixth/Seventh Moment]

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