Posted on 30 September 2017 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Yet again we are here in a new season of anime even though it feels just a moment ago the summer season had started. Seasons come and go, stupid controversies rise and fall and yet life goes on as it has always gone on. Well then enough with the sloppy rhetoric and let’s just get to what you are all here for. I must say that this season is looking very promising indeed as while we don’t have the abundance of shows present in the summer season, we do have quite a number of shows with the potential to be something real special. Depending on how this turns out I may be dropping less shows than I usually do and end up watching a majority of the season.

Same values as usual apply as I check out the source material of everything in the season along with the staff to give a better idea of what might turn out well. Below is a poll which can influence what we writers pick up to cover for this season so vote for as many shows as you want. Truth be told a lot of us have already decided on what we will cover for this season, but should we change our minds we will certainly take the poll results into account when choosing a new show.

Which series should we cover for the 2017 Fall Season?
143 votes · 1 answer
vote

Once again thanks to Mario for gathering the images and helping with the format. And thanks to Wooper and Lenlo for helping with editing. Let’s get rocking.

The sequels/Shorts I don’t care about

Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara
Himouto! Umaru-chan R
Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Yuusha no Shou
Love Live! Sunshine!! 2
Hoozuki no Reitetsu 2
Osomatsu-san 2
ClassicaLoid 2
Cardfight!! Vanguard G: Z
Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10cm datta
Time Bokan: Gyakushuu no San-Okunin
Wake Up, Girls! Shin Shou

Series I don’t care about

Anime Gataris


Studio: WAO World
Director:: Kenshiro Morii
Script/Series composer: Mitsutaka Hirota
Source: Original
The anime centers on Minoa Asagaya, a new high school student in Sakaneko Private High School. Despite being a novice to anime, Minoa’s classmate Arisu Kamiigusa invites her to make an “anime research club” at school. Through conversations with her classmate Miko Kouenji, as well as various anime-loving upperclassmen, Minoa gradually gets hooked on anime. While they stand against the student council’s continuous efforts to disband their club, and they ignore the impending end of the world, they talk about anime, whether in Akiba, or in real-life “sacred place” anime settings, or the hot springs.

I am very ready to write this off as a rather uninteresting show as all signs point to this being a cute girls doing cute things show. This appears to be an adaption of what was originally a short animation screened during intermission at TOHO cinemas. The PV points to this being just cute girls in a club as well. But there is one thing here that throws me off and that is that tiny detail in the description: “and they ignore the impending end of the world”. My interest in this show depends on how literal that statement is. That is the make or break point for this show for me, because an anime club by itself isn’t going to sell this show (I would be better off watching Genshiken). But an anime club at the end of the world? There’s something to get me interested. Director really hasn’t worked on anything of note and the same goes for the series composer unless you liked the anime X-men adaption or the New Prince of Tennis. Despite this I don’t have very high hopes for this as it likely won’t be anything of note even if it goes for the impending apocalypse scenario.

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Posted on 29 September 2017 with categories: Classroom of the Elite, Currently Watching:

Youkoso pulls off a neat trick to close this shaky Islands arc in a high note, although I still can’t overlook its sillier details. At first, I was pleasantly surprised that despite making a lot of guessing games in last few weeks, Youkoso still manages to catch me off guard. This finale details the initial plans from Class-A, Class-C perspectives, respectively, each of them believes their plan going to be perfect but as it turns out, Ayanokouji has an upper hand. There are three main big reveals that has previously been kept from the viewers: 1) Class-A’s Katsuragi forms a contract with Ryuuen from Class-C 2) Ryuuen uses Ibuki as a mole to figure out class-D’s leader and 3) Ayanokouji swaps himself for Horikita as Class-D’s leader. Although those developments make up for some nice twists at the end, some of the rules aren’t properly explained or only hint to us during an internal eyecatch, make the end result somewhat cheated and unsatisfied.

The biggest reveal of this last episode is the contract formed between class-A and class-C, Katsuragi transfers his class’s points to Sparkling Nerriot and class-C will drop out and give the top class the leader names of the remaining two classes. I didn’t see that coming and this development runs really well with the underlying theme of Youkoso. With that, Class-A has a huge advantage of being at the top by negating all the bonus points from Class-B and Class-D due to identifying correctly the leaders, in addition that Class-C is already out of the picture. One thing bald man did not expect is that Sparkling Nerriot double-cross him by partnering with the guy in Kayanasagi’s circle and thus, he knows about class-A proxy leader. But then, Youkoso goes stupid again by revealing us that there is an addition clause that each of student from class-A will have to transfer the points to Sparkling Nerriot every month until he graduates. What the hell? Are you sure that bald guy sits in the right class? Who would be stupid enough to sign a deal that has that lasting negative effect like this. My god, my head bursts.

Ibuki, as expected, turns out to be Sparkling Nerriot’s mole and her mission is to identify the leader of class-D. Ayanokouji notices something she buried before – a digital camera – so he’s basically figures out the plan, speeds it up. He destroys the camera and uses Horikita as a pawn in order to get Ibuki into action – stealing the card. Sparking Nerriot actually sold me a bit of his character as he appears more determined than we previously assumed, but like I said above the last bit (the contract) rings so lousy that it took away all my goodwill for him. With this twist, Ibuki, on the opposite end, appears more shallow than previous episode. Ayanokouji then plays his triumph card: uses Horikita’s sickness as an excuse to change class-D’s leader. While it’s a nice surprise to come up with that idea, I feel that the rules are bending too much in favors for this plot twist. When you really think about that, the rules established favors too much on figuring out the class leaders. Other missions like securing spots and using the points sufficiently are never the top priority thus, making a whole thing very unbalanced. Class-B, who favors latter methods never raise to the top, for example. It doesn’t help that they never properly explained that rules, instead they dropped details little by little, which is very frustrating for us viewers because the little details they drop through bulletin board can change the game greatly.

Another issue I have with the ending is how class-D won despite all they did was pointing fingers at each other, and I guess I gave too much credits for Tarzan as it turns out, he truly gave up to admiring the moon. Ayanokouji seems to use this as an opportunity to teach Horikita a lesson that she will need to rely on others in order to succeed. It’s a pretty deep thought, except… coming from the mouth of Ayanokouji it sounds so false and alarming. So no, despite this arc ends on high note I don’t think this is a good arc at all. This has been a very bumpy ride, and from what I gather Lerche adapted the story with some questionable changes that it pisses off even fans from the LN. Full review will come soon but I believe you all know how I am going to rate this.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection and Akibas Trip. I bring this up not because this is a new event, but because the anime I want to talk about today, Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu, is one such anime.

Ranbu is based off of the online video game Touken Ranbu, along the same lines as Kantai Collection. It focuses on a group of warriors who are the human personification of famous weapons, sent back in time. Their task? To protect history from the forces of the Time Retrograde Army, who seek to change history for an unknown reason. Ranbu focuses in on the 2nd Unit, newly minted and formed from a group who have never worked together before. Together they will face the hordes of the Retrograde Army and defend the past from the future!

Let’s jump in.

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Posted on 28 September 2017 with categories: Game Reviews

I don’t plan to do this often but after playing this I wanted to make a post recommending it. I could have done a review like I usually do but in this case the story is so short and the VN can be downloaded for free so if I was to write a full review of it i would most likely spoil the experience. The length of the game is about 3 to 4 hours and while it likely doesn’t look like something all that interesting I can guarantee that it is well worth reading. The first hour is a bit tough to get through as it is rather dull and starts up slowly. But once things get going this story picks up immensely so power though till you get to that point. The visual novel was made in 2 years by a former Smash Bro’s Modder and despite it’s style it is an English Only Visual novel, meaning that it is not made in Japan. You can download the game from this site but it will also be available from Steam here. I highly recommend checking it out as it’s certainly a fascinating experience.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Kakegurui

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members of the student council in a series of gambling games. The setting is absolutely ridiculous with a unnecessary school setting that makes no sense whatever considering what happens in the series. The cast is made up of people whose main trait is being crazy in some form or another and go over the top with facial expressions. Yes to judge this show on these qualities would have it fall low indeed but that is not what makes a show enjoyable. I believe that style over substance is what I am getting at here as Kakegurui works mainly due to it’s presentation.

While gambling is the focus of this anime, the games themselves don’t really amount to much as we never really get a chance to look inside Yumeko’s head and see her work out plans or countermeasures. If you have just finished Kaiji and walk into Kakegurui expecting something similar then you will be undoubtably disappointed. For the common factor here is to see how smug the opponent is in how they rigged the game and having Yumeko eventually unveil that she knows about it and manages to win. Often putting her previous smug opponent down a peg.

Thus the satisfaction is in seeing the over exaggerated fashion at which this all goes down. The music, animation and art are often as over the top as possible with the soundtrack sporting trumpets and jazz like music while the characters faces distort into vile contortions be it in victory or defeat. Every character is crazy and none are crazier than our lead who often elapses into sexual excitement over the idea of risk. This aspect can get admittedly too much as it’s used to push fanservice as characters essentially orgasm over gambling and there are quite a few times where in female characters seem to be visually seducing each other in what would be otherwise a normal conversation. Yuri undertones are apparent here quite blatantly despite none of the character being made clear to be homosexual nor interesting in anything besides gambling and their own ambitions.

As such this is a series that I can’t really provide value through words, instead I say if you show interest then check out the first episode as that acts as an example of what you will receive for the entire series. However I would warn you to not expect something more than that as Kakegurui is only good at one thing and it will not move far from that one thing. This is a series about a crazy gambling girl showing smug assholes their place. That’s all you are going to get. But if you are fine with that then this is the show for you. Personally while i enjoyed it at first, I began to grow tired of it in the final episodes of the shows run so my rating for it’s that it’s a decent distraction but not one I will return to.

Posted on with categories: Ballroom e Youkoso, Finished Series: Sports

We’ve reached the halfway point of Ballroom e Youkoso’s projected 24-episode run, and along with a new high school life for Fujita Tatara comes a new OP/ED combo. Unison Square Garden returns to do the intro for the second cour, and I’m loving the new song choice. Both openings have been serviceably energetic for a shounen series, but I prefer the backbeat-driven danceability of the new one to the vocal theatrics of the original. The new ED trades clever waltz-pop fusion for even more J-rock, though, which is a definite step down. One notable thing about both visual sequences is their heavy emphasis on Chinatsu, the redhead that we glimpsed last week and to whom we were briefly introduced this time around. The OP’s use of a thunderstorm as the setting for her dance with Tatara tells us everything we need to know about her personality, and the contentious relationship she’ll have with her eventual partner. But that’s a topic for another time, as the present episode features Gaju and even Sengoku more strongly than any one newcomer.

Unfortunately for our hero, Tatara’s first year at his new school doesn’t get off to the blossoming start he’d hoped for. The cute girl sitting in front of him mocks his hobby, which he was brave enough to mention during his class introduction, and a new gang of thugs recruit him to be their errand boy on day one. The poor kid just wanted to make some new friends in high school – he even thought to himself on the way to homeroom that five was plenty! A hooded figure appears to save him from a year of subservience, though, who is eventually revealed to be our favorite mullet-head Gaju. It’s great that the elder Akagi sibling happens to go to the same school, and that he properly befriends Tatara after beating up the bullies who were on his case, but I’d love to see Tatara meet new people or stand up for himself using some of the confidence he’s learned from dance. For now, though, I’m glad he’s got somebody he can talk to between classes, even if Gaju’s the kind of weirdo who gets upset that his sister has started wearing a bra. Anime keeping it classy as always.

Something I noticed while watching this episode were the minor tweaks Ballroom made to its characters in the move to its second cour. There’s been a bit of a timeskip since the Tenpei Cup, which could explain a slight shift in their attitudes, but it was still troubling to me in a couple spots. Gaju’s sheepishness when asking for Tatara’s cell number was one instance, since it doesn’t gel with his brash personality. It felt like the show was working overtime to make him sympathetic, since he functioned as a bully himself just a few weeks ago, but in most other scenes he was his usual hotheaded self. The bigger sin, from my perspective, was turning Shizuku into a blushing Tatara fan and beacon of encouragement. Her speech about enjoying the Tenpei Cup because of his presence bore zero resemblance to her ice queen demeanor at the event itself, and while we know that was just a façade, I don’t understand why she’d drop it so completely now. Nor am I able to grasp why she wants to compete with him again so badly, since she’s light years beyond his skill level. Their whole conversation was a setup for Tatara’s new goal of finding a partner and rising through the JDSF rankings, but Shizuku needn’t have become the Perfect Girl for that to be communicated.

The show’s second act was devoted to a professional dance competition where Sengoku (and his partner Chizuru) were the main attraction. Tatara and Gaju go to watch them perform, which is a rare opportunity now that he’s traveling abroad once more. There’s a distinct sense here that the world of Ballroom is expanding, as Tatara realizes that Sengoku spends most of his time overseas, being a major figure in the DanceSport world, and that it’s a miracle he managed to attract his attention. Tatara’s self-doubt comes to the forefront in this scene, leaving him unable to make eye contact with Sengoku as he leaves the floor, but as his former coach passes by, he instructs him to “watch closely.” What follows is an exhibition of skill that the show really needed to nail, and I think they pulled it off nicely. There were several clear, fluid dance sequences here, nestled amidst the disorienting effects used to illustrate Sengoku’s unorthodox movement. (Even the CG background dancers looked better than usual, although that could have been my imagination.) His performance is so captivating that a mob of screaming fans chase him as he leaves the arena, and who else should Tatara happen to spot among them but Chinatsu? Hearing her explain away that earlier dismissal of ballroom dancing ought to be good, but then, so will everything else involving her character – she’s my favorite!

Posted on 27 September 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be brought down by the remaining supporting characters given that Selecia disappeared in the blue ether beforehand. Predictably, it comes down to Altair convincing herself that the world is worth saving and the conversation between Altair and Setsuna was really well done with both voice actresses going back and forth with their arguments about placing the blame on the world that was so cruel to Setsuna. There is a parallel between those two and how Bltiz choose to switch side when confronted with the opportunity to gain back the very reason for their motivation to end the world. As well, the transformation from the PPSh-41 machine gun to an actual violin is a visual symbolism of her ultimate choice to create and not destroy. As the far as the main plot goes, Re:Creators is finished as its antagonist goes happily off into sunset with her creator into their own world of adventure and fun. It’s not the best twist ending but I’m perfectly satisfied with how the series build itself up to that point and concluded it.

After everything’s said and done, the final episode wraps up with everyone having a celebratory meal, saying their goodbyes and reflecting on past sacrifices. The creations go back to their own fictional world but Meteora, due to the untimely death of her creator, which begs the question of what happened to Magane. Curiously absent from the final episode, I would infer that she would have lost her powers just like Meteora and go on to become a regular trolling schoolgirl. It’s not quite the ending for those who wanted to see justice be served for the murder of the shopkeeper and her own creator but I think it better to see her leave quietly than having a upbeat epilogue scene for her. The ending summarizes the points of the series in that creators will keep on creating even to the point where a creation, like Meteora comes full circle and end off the series with her own work of Re:Creators.

Re:Creators marks the third series that Studio TROYCA have made with Aldnoah.Zero and Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru being the first two. While their original mecha show was a wild ride of disappointment that really needs more time to flesh out its characters and concepts and the episodic nature of its investigative show took away from the overarching narrative, I felt that they succeed in having and executing an interesting premise while having a few flaws. The biggest glaring issue I had was the uneven pacing in regards to the infrequency of actions scene and mid-series lull of dealing with Sota’s underlying guilt and laying of the foundation for the Elimination Chamber Festival. Also, as Rei Ham (Writer of Re:Creators) regretfully mentioned in an interview, Mamika exited far too early in the show as she was probably one of the best characters arc by growing out of her naive magical girl persona. Her replacement of Hikayu wasn’t all that great despite the creators having fun with her backstory and power-ups. Finally, the 3D stilted animation of the mecha hasn’t been improved over their effort of Aldnoah.Zero and just cements the reality that 3D and mechs don’t mix (Knight of Sidonia is an exception). Aside from those quibbles, I enjoyed my time with Re:Creators over the past half year and looked forward to watching it every week. It looked nice, had that sweet sweet Sawano soundtrack and always had something interesting to say about the nature of artistic creation.

7.5/10

Posted on 26 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, The Reflection

This week The Reflection finally gives us some quality time with our main villain, as Wraiths plan hits its final stages. Lets jump in.

Reflection opens on Elen arriving at the mansion we saw at the end of last week, meeting evil!Stan Lee. Deciding that her decision to give herself up for the sake of others was a poor one, Elen immediately starts running through the mansion. Teleporting from intersection to intersection, rather than simply… exiting out a window? Not sure what she is doing here, but its necessary for the big reveal at the end. Meanwhile, our crew continues to follow Vy as she leaps through the streets. Eventually she reaches the mansion, busting in through a side window! Inside, as Lisa and co arrive, we see evil!Stan Lee sipping a nice cup of tea, expecting them. Apparently, he was the one telling Vy where to go and how to reach him, leading her to this very room, but surprise! Its a trap!

The mansion begins to burst into flame, as the Russian Ninja and Human Thunderbolt appear in the room. The man who can phase through walls comes up from the floor and whisks Stan Lee through a wall to safety. Unprepared, our heroes are quickly overwhelmed. The floor gives out, causing them all to fall. As they do, we see Elen through a doorway, walking down a hall. Its a slow-motion shot, with her looking into the room, so clearly this isn’t real. Could it be the one who can create illusions from before? (more…)

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Kakegurui

It’s been awhile since I seen an anime original ending and honestly I was rather dreading it when I started this episode. Anime original endings don’t have a good track record as of course attempting to tack on an abrupt conclusion to an ongoing story is not going to turn out swimmingly. Even if I wasn’t aware this would be anime original, I believe the dialogue at the beginning of the episode would have clued me in. For I always notice a level of artificiality when it comes to anime original endings, like here where the characters are attempting to string together some feeling of conclusion from what is essentially the start of a story. However against all odd this actually worked out for Kakegurui. We have an ending which brings a feeling of closure while leaving open the potential for a second season, a second season which I don’t think this series needs. I will be blunt and say that this series has run it’s course and the only thing that lies ahead is more of the same. There is only so many times you can see the same scenario before it grows tiresome and so it’s better to stop while you are ahead than run yourself ragged. For anyone that wants more there is always the option to start the manga from chapter 27, where the anime leaves off.

So Yumeko bets against the president and in the source it was supposed to be that the president’s secretary challenges her instead. leading to a high stakes bet that involves a giant tower structure that the president built for the sole purpose of a single bet. Here though the president challenges Yumeko to a simple game using Tarot cards. Admittedly anticlimactic considering that if the president was dying to bet against Yumeko then she would set up a much more dramatic gamble but well we got one episode to wrap this show up and when you get down to it the gamble isn’t really the important part. The rules are simple, three people pick up a single tarot card. Each tarot card is worth a certain amount of points and depending on whether it’s upside down or rightside up those points could be plus or minus. The president wins if the points are minus while Yumeko wins if the points are plus. Both pick up one card and the last card is selected by Ryota. The loser of the bet must leave the academy forever and never come back. It is rather funny that out of all the bets Yumeko has been in, this is by far the most fair. In most other games the opponent was cheating but here it really does appear to be a game of luck and nothing more.

Though thanks to luck the president manages to put Yumeko in a position where the only card she can win with is the fool and Ryota must be the one to pick up that card. I really love the mindgame here however as one of the cards was marked by the president’s nail polish during a small demonstration, making it that all that needs to be done to win is to pick up the marked card. Though the question is whether the president truly marked the fool card or some other card in other to throw off her opponent. This leads to what might be quite frankly, my favorite moment in this series, where Ryota more or less confesses to Yumeko and ends up picking a card at random. The way that Yumeko practically transformed into a demonic entity guiding his hand is an image that’s likely to come to mind whenever I think of this series. Thus the game ends in a draw and neither have to leave the campus. Though whether the president marked the Fool card or not is left up to debate, to which I guess that she probably did. Thus we have a confrontation showdown between the two without compromising the possibility of a second season. I may require some rewriting to make it work but it can be done but much like I said before, I think it’s fine to leave this story like this. Kakegurai isn’t likely to get a second season and an ending like this is fine as she managed to challenge all the student council members and not leave too much hanging. Sure there is a bit of a sequel hook but it is my hope that this will be it as this show came, did it’s thing and now can leave the stage graciously.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Made in Abyss

Today’s topic is the curse of the abyss alongside much needed revenge against the creature that put Riko in a bad spot. We get a rare glimpse of the topside village where one of the orphan kids we saw previously is deathly sick on his birthday. This caught me off guard as I believe I heard Regu mention that the boys birthday was soon when he left and it hit me that the two really have only spend a few days in the abyss. Over the weeks of watching them the journey certainly felt a lot longer and that really is a great thing for a series to make me feel a disconnect with time that Riko and Regu feel. The child suffering from a fever is taken to a medical ship and just by looking at it is bound to remind people of Ghibli works. The reason for that is simple for the background artist for this series has indeed worked on Ghibli movies. The purpose of this scene is to show that the child’s sickness disappears once he leaves the island which does seem to suggest that the curse of the abyss doesn’t just affect those diving but also the town on the surface.

Nanochi goes into greater detail over how exactly it works by using a thin sheet as a representative of the curse. One her word the curse appears to be some sort of forcefield that is affected by things pushing against it. The important aspect to this is that more dangerous creatures of the abyss can use the curse to anticipate how targets move, making it seem like they can see the future. Nanochi appears to be able to see the curse and she sends out Regu to take down the orb piercer as a test for him to get a feel for it. In the test Regu manages to save a cave raider and even surprises Nanochi with his beam cannon ability. But even so the beast manages to escape before being blown apart. Our episode ends with Nanochi making a request to Regu to have him kill Mitty with his beam cannon. Quite a depressing turn for the end of the episode and really makes you think on an earlier comment by Nanochi. For earlier Nanochi started that Mitty’s blood can neutralize orb piercer poison but the question is, just how did she find that out? By anyones guess she may have attempted to kill her by injecting the poison into her, only for it to backfire. Nanochi seem reluctant to do the job the messy way so it’s likely she tried alternatives to kill Mitty. Of course not because of hate but rather to put the poor thing out of it’s misery.

That may be something RIko objects to as Mitty and her seem to have had some sort of spiritual connection. The dream which RIko had was odd as it seemed to involve some memories of her being carried in the relic when she was a baby and taking comfort in the eye of Mitty staring at her. In regards to Mitty I had a feeling that she was going to have to be gotten rid of as she is the only thing tying down Nanochi to this place and without her she can then join Regu and Riko on their quest to the bottom of the abyss. Though Mitty’s blood would make for a useful thing if it really can neutralize any poison but it certainly would be cruel to drag her down into the abyss. But she also clearly cannot survive on her own, even if her survival depends on Nanochi’s horrible cooking. That’s an aspect I wonder about as I am not certain if the transformation has killed Nanochi’s taste buds or her childhood was so messed up that she didn’t know what good food tastes like. Next week is the last episode of the series and while we are getting an hour long episode i wonder just how this series will close off. The way it’s currently looking is that Nanochi will join the group and the series will end with them journeying to the next layer which would be a rather anticlimactic conclusion.

CHANGE USERNAME
Animosh
Well, you still deserve credit for suggesting the series, because otherwise I wouldn't have even known it existed. :) But yeah, I like that people here are so open-minded. Anime is great and all, but there's plenty to discover outside of it (though to be fair, I'm lagging behind with many of them: following anime seasonally is great for discussion, but it can eat up a lot of time).
SuperMario
@Animosh: don't mention it. I'm glad you enjoy it. I don't take credits in this case since I myself haven't watched it yet. I love it how this community is willing to try other medium and not exclusively anime
Animosh
Really surprised this isn't more well known. Not that there's been much competition, but it's easily the best (western) cartoon I've seen this year.
Animosh
@SuperMario: thanks again for recommending Lastman! I just finished it, and it was a lot of fun. It doesn't have much depth, but it was incredibly entertaining: it just keeps throwing these bizarrely over the top action set-pieces at you without pausing, it oozes style, and its soundtrack is killer (it reminded me a bit of Hotline Miami). And it can be pretty damn funny too. It even ends strongly.
SuperMario
"I swear if I see some nonsense like her not being able to stay “Professional” due to having a boyfriend then I will have to strangle something" --> is that why you had screenshot of kitties up there?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: little sister has a strong chance to be a protag in the last arc. I'm genuinely surprised that Futaba is the main girl in this arc thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see the little sister looking scared in bunnygirl agrain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yay! Sing and eiji are doing something and Ash's freakout while melodramtic and ridiculous was still bleak, learn a bit more about Blanca which is good. Didn't like the goofy bit with yut-lung.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Not intellectually non-intellectual enough for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl has redeemed itself. Also my favourite part of this weeks episode was 7 or 8 minutes before the end .
SuperMario
I mean, just reading that title alone I might check out what this movie is about. lol
SuperMario
Well, I come across an unusual film title today. A Japanese film called "When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to be Dead"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Lafalle arc (as thematically I probably engaged the most here)and the final arc both elevated this series for me, even though I did enjoy the bit with Vann early on.
I’ve heard people don’t like the ending it hit with me.
Really solid.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dramatically this even kind of clicked for me and the antagonist surprised me as did twintails girl and bestghosts eventual roles, comedy isn’t exactly funny but I did laugh at points.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Apparently I got third time lucky with Mizukami, because I found this a very fresh take on the re-incarnation genre while actually DOING something worthwhile with it, his pacing/story telling style definitely feels a better fit to me in a short manga like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After a degree of indifference to planet with and only liking Biscuit hammers last arc, I ended up approaching Spirit circle expecting to not really have any opinion on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just my kind of weird.
Anonymous3093267
sword eyes
SuperMario
Here's another experimental animated short for you, Kaiser, Tango (1981) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo8O8lYDzIU
SuperMario
@Animosh: yeah the second part was released in VOD earlier this year and I watched it. Prefer the 1st one much better
Vonter
I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about Tomorrowland. That Disney movie that bombed and everyone seemed very lukewarm about. I suppose because I don't know exactly what was the problem with it, didn't see much discussion about it.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
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