Posted on 29 June 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Megalo Box

Its finally here, the finale of Megalo Box. And what a finale it was. Lets just get right into it.

Cutting right to the chase, I think Megalo Box was golden until the last 6 minutes. Everything was going great, I had no complaints, and then… Megalo Box anti-climaxed itself. The final 6 minutes simply didn’t fit with the rest of the series. It’s not a bad ending per-se, the status quo has changed and arcs have all been wrapped up. It’s simply an ill-fitting ending. I can understand why they went this way to. They didn’t want to copy Ashita no Joe, they wanted to set themselves apart from it. And I can appreciate that. However I think they went to far away in their quest to be different. Ashita no Joe’s ending is memorable even to those who only see a 5 minute clip and nothing else. Its so beloved for a reason. This? This feels less like an ending and more like groundwork for a second season.

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Posted on with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Steins;Gate 0

Hello everyone and welcome to the midpoint of the season! This week we have the weirdest game of anime telephone I have ever seen. Lets jump in!

So first off, the big thing, Steins;Gate 0 this week is a B-plot. A side-story almost irrelevant to the main story. Its cute, its fluffy, it gets a little dark at the end and it all wraps up in a single episode. Thats not necessarily a bad thing. Its pretty clear that Steins;Gate 0 is going for a time-skip, we already skipped 2 weeks. Instead of jumping straight there it looks like they are taking the chance to tell some side stories. Considering how “finale” episode 11 was, the timing works out. Its just… it wasn’t the best episode. The problem with B-plots like this is they don’t really push the story forward. We get context and moments of certain relationships which we really needed, we will talk about some of those later. But what really happened this week? A glorified game of telephone, that’s what.

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Posted on 28 June 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews

This is a remake of a series made way back when which is one of the most highly acclaimed anime in the medium. It is of legendary status but you would be hard pressed to recommend it as to many the barrier of entry is too high to consider. A 110 episode OVA with dated animation and art is hardly an appealing show looking from the outside. Thus we have Die Neue These, a remake which takes the story of LOGH and sticks closer to the original source material of the novels. Acting as a small offering of what makes this series so highly regarded. LOGH is a story set in the future that plays out like actual history, for the stage is grand and the cast is huge. It is about a war between the Free Planets Alliance and the Goldenbaum Dynasty, one being a democracy while the other a autocracy. The series explores these two systems exposing the ideals and flaws of both as while there are large space battles, the true worth of this series is the great amount of politics that surround this war. Even though the story was made over thirty years ago, it’s messages still ring true today making it excellent food for thought.

The series mainly follows the two heroes representing each side, with Yang Wenli being the believer of democracy and a man who seeks a easier life but is pulled time and time again into historic battles due to his talent for strategic combat. Reinhard is the young upstart of the empire who wishes to rise through the ranks to reform the heavily corrupt society of the class system of the empire. The story can be a bit erratic as it jumps forward in time and it can be hard keeping track of the large cast of character which just seems to expand infinitely. The space battle remain the weaker aspect of the series and from word of mouth it appears the strategy employed is only base level tactics. There is also a common factor of highly incompetent people in high positions that gets reused time and time again as justification for the actions of the plot though not necessarily unrealistic. Also is the factor this is very much only a tenth of the full story of LOGH and when this show reaches its final minutes you may not even realize that it has concluded for the story just cuts off like someone slamming a book shut while you were in the middle of a chapter. There is plans for movies to continue the story but you will be left hanging quite a bit if you don’t intend to watch the original OVA.

Presentation wise aside from some rather odd character designs this series is leaps and bounds over it’s older counterpart. Thus I can conclude that this series is the prefect means to recommend this series to a newer fan of anime to encourage them to check out some of the older greats the medium has to offer. Even after all this time this series remains a standout tale within animation and one anime fans should at least attempt to watch in their lifetime. It loses points for being only a part of a story which has barely begun but for those seeking something that’s away from high schools and teenagers with more mature themes then LOGH is right up your alley. Perhaps even sparking an interest in shows of a bygone era.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:

Well this is rather embarrassing. Believe me when I say I fully intended to cover every episode of this series but life finds a way of ruining your plans. So rather than waste a post just talking about what happened in these past four episodes, I would think it better to just give my thoughts on the series as a whole and follow it with a review. Even then i don’t think it would take too long to summarize the bare bones of what happened here as it was basically the FPA deciding to invade the Empire despite literally not being able to sustain one all because the top brass wanted to scrape a win to improve their chances of reelection. An idea so dumb that even Truniht the snake that he is, saw it as doomed. The army gets dragged into this dumbass plan, the flaws in the plan become apparent immediately from the start and Reinhard shows up with his army to give the FPA a whooping they ain’t gonna forget. In some ways it’s painful just seeing this whole plan get pushed forward despite everyone and their mother seeing it as a terrible idea and when looking at the series it does seem that incompetent people in high positions is abundantly a common factor here. Aside from the main character it honestly seems like any side character is just a bumbling idiot which could be a flaw of this series…if it wasn’t a rather accurate portrayal. More than once in recent times we had top officials pushing for plans which everyone clearly saw as bad ideas, yet were pushed through regardless. It is funny seeing someone like Folk who is basically a high commander and main originator of this stupid plan be someone so ill suited to his position that he has a mental condition that literally means he will go into seizures if things don’t pander to his ego.

As far as adaption goes this is a very good adaption. Of course loyalists to the OVA will find flaws with it and even I feel the OVA had the time to focus on the small details like that one episode that showed things from the ground view of that whole revolt due to Reinhard’s scorched earth tactics. A particular moment that stands out to me is the FPA preaching to the people of the first planet they took from the empire of how in democracy they have freedom and the response being “Well that’s great and everything but we would prefer if we could have food and water.” Indeed it didn’t matter who was in charge or what platatues they offered as people will ultimately be concerned with their own survival over idealism. As well as pointing out that Rienard may be a genius tactician but his methods certainly are morally questionable as well as his ruthlessness in killing an army who are only following the orders of idiots. But back on adaption this is indeed a pretty version of LOGH that seems to be loyal to the books and in that regard makes for an excellent introduction of the series to a modern audience. The themes and messages of LOGH are just as relevant today as they were thirty years ago, maybe even more so. To the anime community LOGH is very much a white whale of a series for as acclaimed as it is, it is about as appealing to a newer anime fan as vegetables are to a lion. Not to slight newer anime fans as the artstyle of the OVA is rather outdated, the animation is bare and a 110 episode series is a huge time investment. In that regard the new LOGH of twelve episodes and a more polished presentation makes for a far more digestible offering, at least to the level that people could give it a chance.

But indeed, this is just a small portion of the story which brings me to what is undeniably the greatest flaw of this series. People give Re:Zero grief for being a “Prologue” of the story but I have always said that while it does set up things for future story arcs, the arcs in the anime itself do have conclusions. LOGH on the other hand is a story far too big for a twelve episode series and when this series reaches its final episode the story doesn’t end, it just stops. Now there is word that movies are going to be made to continue the story but that is also something I find concerning as this story was too big for a one cour series so having a continuation be in a even smaller format is unsuitable. Let me put it this way, the original OVA took nine years to reach its conclusion so how long will we have to wait to see the new series reach the same end? Wouldn’t it just be as inaccessible as before if the series is chopped up into movies and anime cours? The benefit of this is higher production values but the minus is a story that no matter how good, could lose people due to time between releases. Sure one could go to the OVA if they get impatient but I feel this series would only be worth getting into once the entirely of the story has been covered. But will the entire story be covered? Well who knows really.

Posted on 26 June 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Hinamatsuri

Comedy anime doesn’t always yell out confidence, so imagine our hype when there’s one that been on everyone’s lips since the manga come out, Hinamatsuri. The show starts with simple premise: a girl with supernatural power unexpectedly drops into the house of a yakuza, hilarity ensues. This concept sums up very well the source humors of Hinamatsuri. We have seemingly stock characters at first, put them into some bizarre situations where they are out of their comfort zone, and observe how they react. As such, Hinamatsuri is at its best when it turns these absurd events into unpredictably directions; and when the show uses these absurd elements to flesh out the characters. It’s so succeed in giving hearts to the characters that, for me, it stops being a laugh-out-loud show somewhere in the middle and now in the end, I’m not quite certain if I still consider Hinamatsuri a comedy show.

But stop being an all-out comedy show isn’t a bad thing at all. One of Hinamatsuri’s best assets has always been a strong and memorable cast, especially from the younger ones. Hitomi and Anzu, in particular, make one hell of an impression. They embrace these two qualities I mentioned earlier, not only it’s hilarious to see how these girls behave when they’re thrown out of their elements, but also throughout those bizzare events our girls have matured right before our eyes. We have the always kind-hearted girl Hitomi finds herself making cocktails in an adult bar (and eventually come to love that job); to the bratty Anzu finds the meaning of responsibility and home in homeless group. Some segments just are down right heart-warming that they ring sad and sweet in equal measure. Even a proper drama show can hardly do that right, let’s alone a comedy one like this.

Other characters still manage to make an impact just from the little segments they’re in. The trick is that they all have different voices and add different energy to the show. It’s no coincidence that Hinamatsuri is fond of introducing new characters, even late in the game. Being said that, the central relationship between Nitta and Hina isn’t as well-developed as say, the developments of their side characters. At the end of the journey, when Nitta thinks about their journey so far, it just hits me that we haven’t really invested to them much. If we’re looking for a parental bond we’re set to be disappointed. If we’re seeking for a buddy bond, it was underwhelming too. Their relationship is some kind in the middle, where they can easily ditch each other but there’s still something that bring them back together.

In term of visual execution, feel does a pretty decent job of transferring the essence of the manga to this adaptation. The visual hits its mark whenever it embraces the quirky visual that only Hinamatsuri can do. I’m talking about whenever these girls doing their supernatural power, or when Hina just floating around in the air in the middle of a conversation. That brings me to another complaint. By design, this whole season is about these “gifted” girls accustomed themselves to the new, ordinary world. As a result, there’s simply not enough crazy, wild fights. This lack of truly over-the-top superpower hurts the show’s chance, as Hinamatsuri has a knack of bringing whimsical humor by their visual. Secondly, the lack of these supernatural power means that the show’s more content for traditional slice-of-life shenanigans, which in truth countless number of anime shows doing the same thing.

In term of segments, I noticed that the anime adaptation change the order from the manga, which I think work for the show’s benefit. We have more direct continuation from Anzu and Hitomi, for example, and so far I can see the love from the creators to make this show as memorable as possible. Only one plot thread I feel rather weak and uninteresting in general is the Nitta’s yakuza part, which rank amongst my least favorite segments. Hina has become more active in the second arc, despite my early criticism that she might not hold her own. This series, as entertaining, whimsical and surprisingly heartfelt as it might be, might never seen the day of life for another season. While personally I’m not over-excited about this show, it still remains a solid offering. The show that has its own voice and visual quirks. That alone make it a far better show than your average anime crop.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Golden Kamuy

Before I start, I just want to bring up the news that indeed, Golden Kamuy will have second cour, airing in this Fall season. For now I can’t say for sure if I’m up to cover the second cour, it’ll have to depend on the crop of Fall season. As a result, this final episode doesn’t even attempt to have any kind of closure. New character again get introduced, and again, this new blood is awesome. Western genre in general doesn’t have a good track when it comes to female character, and so far I wouldn’t say Inkarmat a great character, but hell does she leave an impression. Although everyone save Shiraishi make it pretty clear that they think fortune-telling is rubbish, she knows more than what she lets on here. For now I can’t say for sure if she’s an ally or a foe, but based on my impression she will be the one who chip in at unexpected time to help Asirpa and Sugimoto on their quest.

This week, we also get another unlikely setting that you don’t see often in anime that era: horse-racing; and in turns we have more screen time from Kiroranke. I still don’t trust him that much to be honest, and the events led to him become a temporary jockey isn’t subtle at all, but we still learn a bit about this guy’s own character. He’s the man who has his own justice and doesn’t afraid to do what he likes. Regarding his influence to the gold chase plot, I have a feeling he’s in for the gold for something not for his own gain. He has a special bond to Asirpa’s father so it might be the main reason he’s involved in all this.

Speaking of another ally, Shiraishi proves to be a guy you can’t fully trust. Not because he has any dark motive, but more because he’s prone for trouble and he just isn’t capable of making the best decision out of the situation. This week, we see him offering another way out, another way to get rich without risking his life. And in a way, he’s right. The prospect of gold is tempting, true, but if he can be rich through other means why the hell not? I’m really digging the way he sells out the tattooed skin, he does it to save his skin without harming his comrades. That’s a very Shiraishi thing to do. Sugimoto understands this, but he’s too deeply involved now. The quest isn’t only about him getting rich to pay for his friend’s wife hospital fee anymore, but also about accompany Asirpa and find out more about her father’s mystery. He would say time and time again that he’s immortal because he has nothing to lose, but now he does have something to protect. Asirpa. Whether that remains his strength or his weakness remains to be seen.

The first cour of this acclaimed manga adaptation has come to a close, and we’re nowhere to the finish line. Heck, I don’t even think the second cour gonna cover all of its material. The 3 month break is necessary, however, for Geno studio to improve the production aspect. The visual has been unfortunately quite bare-boned with limited animation and some certain unBEARable CG design. Hopefully the creators take note on these criticism to improve it better. For now, Sugimoto and Asirpa have established a strong chemistry all around, and while I think the plot wanders around too much, I can’t deny that meeting those twisted gruesome side villains have a charm of its own. This show has a huge pacing issue, humors can be a bit on a missed side for me, and I would prefer it much better without all these Ainu-centric cuisine, but I also know it’s part of Golden Kamuy’s identity so I guess I’ll just roll with it.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory

My hopes for a second cour of this series grow all the more fainter as I see the clear production issues that the animation studio are having. Bless them as this series is still provided to be excellent quality and a proud representative of the source despite all these woes but I really do wish they would continue for just one more cour. As one more cour would be enough to cover the last of the novels and after all these years it would really suck to leave Full Metal Panic unfinished yet again, perhaps at a worse ending point than second raid many years before. Which would be a great shame on many levels for I have seen many anime beginnings but very few true ends.

This episode was mainly focused on Tessa whom after the events of five episodes ago is left wandering the streets and brought into a hospital. She seems traumatised by the whole affair and puts forth a tale of the mithral staff turning against her in mutiny. It is rather interesting as we seen suggestions of mutiny before though those were given a cold reception. But when you aren’t getting your pay and supplies run short then loyalty can waver. Considering the dark turn this series has taken as of late this development actually fits which makes it pretty believable despite the fact that it was all a clever ruse. Got to say that if I didn’t know the story from the novels then i might have fell for this hook, line and sinker. Amalgam took the bait hard and proceeded to kidnap her though before that we had Tessa talking to a psychiatrist who took her talk of mythril as delusional ramblings. So it was immensely satisfying for Tessa to reveal it all a bluff to lure out amalgam and the ensuing action was pretty great as always. Also Tessa cursing like a sailor telling the man to pass on the message that she hates fucking pieces of shit like her brother, as well as mythrils reaction to hearing her, was pure gold.

Indeed this was another Tessa moment of badass that cements her status as best girl while Chidori makes omelettes. Speaking of her though she briefly shows up and seems to be treated well at Amalgam then certainly a lot colder than before. It’s nice to see she isn’t balling her eyes out and has enough backbone to give Leonard snide comments but it would certainly be a shame if this was the last position we see her in by series end. Sousukes still alive of course though it seems he suffered hard by his last encounter and now he’s in an even more dire situation as Amalgam are attacking the base and he can barely move. Lemon does show a bit more character her as he lets him know that he truly cared for Nami and even going as far to say that he might have loved her. He says he doesn’t hold a grudge but also says that the only reason they won’t torture him is because he wouldn’t survive it so perhaps there is some misgivings. But even he might be next up on the chopping block to join her if the end of this episode hints right. I am quite interested in seeing just how the hell Sousuke is going to defend himself with his body bedridden. One thing I haven’t really mentioned is that the anime is cutting out details a bit. For one the girl who was programing ALs core is in fact the girl sousuke rescued in episode 1, who I mistakenly thought died. But one detail I thought was a shame was that when Sousuke woke up he quoted the name of the painting on the wall in the book, which was “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” and Al quoted that exact same thing when he first woke up. Which is certainly an interesting connection these two have.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Honestly looking at this episode as a whole I could very well call it a prime example of the problems with Franxx condensed into a single episode. Previously I guessed that Franxx would go one of two endings being either starting a counterattack against VIRM or setting up the new line of humanity. This episode actually tries to do both and the end result is rather mixed. Mainly because the majority of the episode was quite bleak but I still found myself apathetic to the plights of the protagonists. As to why I wasn’t quite invested, the reason was proven by episodes end as for all the grim tidings, everything was just washed away while friendship wins over all. It looks like the Nines are dying, oh wait they have enough strength to pilot Franxx and are good guys now. The farm the kids were building has failed and it seems that the earth is too far gone to support plant life anymore but wait, turns out there is a lush plantation nearby which can support plant life so huzzah!The old Nana returns and is facing an existential crisis, but hey she finds her way giving some random kids some headpats.

There has been serious losses in this needless war, but wait it turns out all the failed pilots were refrigerated below the plantation all along and are alive. Even Naomi from episode goddamn one is still alive. Zero Two is a comatose vegetable, but wait her brain is fighting aliens up in space and now Hiro is going to save her! SIgh…look Franxx, grim storytelling requires consequences. You can’t just hand wave the consequences because it’s inconvenient as that just renders all the drama before now for naught. This is the Maeda problem where in the writer wants all the emotional weight of heavy storytelling while doing everything in his power, regardless of logic, to ensure a happy ending. But a happy ending completely negates the scenes pire for if you have a scene where a character grieves over the death of a loved one, only for that loved one to walk right in moments later then that makes all the grieve and emotion of the scene before pointless.

I now have full confidence that none of the main squad are going to die and that a happy ending is inbound so whatever gaslighting these series attempts will be just a waste of screentime. The writer doesn’t have the balls to kill anyone off so let the shipping happen and lets get this ending over with. Well at least this final battle with VIRM could prove interesting, we got two episodes so I am guessing the battle will take one while the last episode will be some kind of epilogue. So otherwise besides the teenage hissy fits we got Kokoro finding out that she’s pregnant much to her dismay seeing as she has no memory of the conception. Which does pose an interesting question as she was fully up for it before the memory wipe but now that the memory wipe has happened it seems to have removed all her previous interest in parenting. Indeed the trigger for all this was the book she found on the beach episode and if we take away that memory then her interest in children wouldn’t have bloomed. So it’s surprising that Kokoro is the same person yet due to a change of memory has two entirely different opinions of pregnancy. I admit that I am finding new Nana quite amusing as she seems to be reacting to the situation in a manner very similar to mine. She quite frankly holds no interest in anything and is withholding power control from the kids on the simple grounds that she will only follow orders from father. Upon being told that they will all die if they don’t get it she responds that “Yep, guess we will die then.”

Old Nana and Hachi look to be jumping in as the plantations new caretakers under the last orders from Franxx with the general idea of them becoming the new “Adults”. It’s nice to have old Nana back but it does feel a little cheap t have her turn up alive after all. Again this series has heavily insinuated that individuals removed were killed only to have it that nobody was killed and while I am not bloodthirsty I just find the means to keep her alive to be contrived. My readers, few though you may be, I fully concede that I am feeling burned out for keeping up with the anime this season has been tough and work has just gotten burdensome. Some of my dissatisfaction with this series may be due to that mindset though I do feel my complaints are still valid. From the look of things it seems to be a popular sentiment of this show as of late though I find the comments regarding Franxx’s Atheism to be absurd. Franxx didn’t do what he did because he was an Atheist, he did it because he wanted expand his knowledge of science and make himself closer to the Klax queen. If anything I was consider him a religious man who had yet to find his god, which ended up being the Klax queen. But that aside while Franxx has be a rather enjoyable ride, when you look at the package as a whole you find that it falters on many levels. We near the end so as we do I find that this series is beginning to feel like a waste of time. And I value my time highly.

Posted on 25 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

What’s there to say about HisoMaso? I’ll be blunt but I see this whole final arc a missed opportunity. It builds from neat ideas, but the way the show creates and resolves its conflicts are hammy at best. Take the two main struggles this episode: Hisone decided to quit the job altogether and the grandma possible yuri relationship with the old miko. All of these are established and quickly resolved in about 15 minutes, and I can’t say I feel anything about their conflicts. For Hisone, I can ‘barely’ get the reasons for her quitting. She doesn’t want to hurt the people she love. But for me it’s just an easy way out, she’s running away because she can’t deal with it. Now, I realize that this is HisoMaso’s point all along, but consider this: why the show introduces this drama too late of a game? Is it creating conflicts for the sake of conflicts? This new development effectively kills little interest I have left for Hisone character.

And then we have a brand new conflict in the name of Sada and that opens up another can of worms. Sada formed a special “relationship” with the old miko, just so that she witnessed the death of that shrine maiden and still hanging on it. It’s a nice little drama in concept, as it questions the necessity of sacrifice someone. But in practice, we have HER piloting Masotan instead of Nao, which for me makes completely no sense. Isn’t it another case of creating conflicts for the sake of conflicts? And then all this plot is building up for HISONE JUMPING INSIDE MASOTAN. Have you ever heard of the expression “Jumping the shark”? Well, it’s the same here (Jumping the dragon!). And it comes up with some more issues. First, how the hell it’s okay now that there’s two pilots inside the dragon and second, it feels that all these developments feel utterly calculated, and I must say, cheap.

Regarding how this story gonna closes up, I’m guessing that Hisone will find a way to save Natsume and all them come back safely. Remember they are inside the great dragon, right? Couldn’t they pilot or do something the same like what they do with Masotan and other dragons? One more thing that struck me is that the old lady might not die yet. We see her shredded clothes but surprisingly not her body, and regrading it’s HisoMaso we’re talking about, it could go in any direction. I still feel a bit betrayed how Hisone gets off and comes back a bit too quickly and easy, and worse the worldbuilding just isn’t strong enough for me to completely suspend my disbelief. For me it’s just another case of creators don’t think about this world hard enough.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

And so it ends, but it feels much more like a beginning chapter for the next arc. feel studio opens up for the possibility of next season here, by bookending Mao’s 3-year-later arc. Although I love little Mao with her kungfu storyline, I still feel it’s devoid from the content of Hinamatsuri has established so far. She appears in only 2 segments, and they can easily fill it up with more content from the present day. The biggest reason to include her, I suppose, is because she will become an important figure in later arc, and despite all my “qualms” earlier, I love her presence and her talking to handmade dolls struck a sweet chord for me. With enough screen time she can become one of the favorite character, but is there a good chance of Hinamatsuri getting second season? Well, from what I gathered, the chance doesn’t look promising despite the critical reaction it has. I guess it’s more because Hinamatsuri doesn’t subject itself within one set-demographic, and it’s frankness regarding homeless people and pre-teen kids attending bars might hurt its chance a little. A total shame since Hinamatsuri deserves another season.

The first segment is a continuation of last week, and I originally thought it’d involve more Nitta and Hina. Turn out Hina is stranded in the middle of snowy wilderness with Hitomi and the two boys, and this segment serves as a character development for Hina as she opens up her secrets to her friends. Well, not at first since she never regards “getting lost in the snowy mountain” as a serious issues until she learns that there’s no food. I especially love how she only has one line, and it’s “feed me” (Mao understands this girl well). The other kids take this shocking news surprisingly well, and they prepare a make-believe sushi to recharge Hina’s energy. The whole sequence is warm (despite cold sushi) but I admit it doesn’t reach the impact I hope for. In fact, it’s often the case I have with Hinamatsuri, it’s unpredictable enough to hold my attention the whole way, but isn’t flat-out hilarious or make a strong impact to me.

After getting themselves rescued, Hina wakes up in a hospital to find Nitta there, and they have a quiet time together to further reflect their journey from the beginning. It’s not a subtle way, but it’s a fitting one for the final episode to have montages about their time together, and about other characters at this precise moment. But where’s Mao in the montage? I asked myself until we leap three years forward to see her not only doing well (being the famous pupil in the now-commercialize martial arts dojo. Not because of the skills she learned there I’m sure), but she still keeps a habit of talking to her Hina and Anzu dolls (despite we all know that she isn’t completely delusional). This fact that after all this time she still talks to them in her native language like a lonely kid talking their puppy got me personally. It may play for laugh but there’s a sad feeling buried underneath.

She meets Rocky, himself wanted to learn the “magic” power of Hina. Upon hearing about Hina, she decides to leave, but of course the dojo doesn’t want to lose their golden goose. I like the final test well enough, mostly because of the spinning machine is just way far-out when you think of the dojo martial arts. Mao easily defeats it, while pretends to use her martial art skills to fool others. While my earlier comment might suggest that I feel the whole Mao’s arc as a filler (it is), in truth I understand the reason for it being there. It’s a crime NOT to see her in anime version, considered this might be the only anime version we’re ever going to get. Overall, I enjoyed Hinamatsuri on a weekly dose. While it’s not the show I find myself thinking back a lot, it proves to be an enjoyable little show with its quirky cast, especially the younger ones and surprisingly heartfelt for a comedy show. Full review will come up soon.

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

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Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

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Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 13 [And Then Start Running]

Kaze Fui returns, contending with and maybe even beating Mob Psycho for best episode of the week! We have introspection, backstory, and the team coming together to protect their emotionally stunted friend! Lets charge in! Everything about Kaze Fui this week was fantastic. From the narrative to the VA’s. But one I want to hit […]

Dororo – 2 [The Story of Bandai]

Hello and welcome to show number two for me of the new season! Dororo is an interesting one, based on a 1960’s manga, with this being its second adaptation. This week we meet another demon, learn our leads name and that not all spirits are bad. Let’s dive in! Visually, Dororo is sort of a […]

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