Posted on 31 July 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Welcome to another week of Banana Fish! I don’t have any clever hooks for this one sadly, it’s just too good to lampoon. This week we have more attempted prison rape, both of which end badly, and more info on the elusive Banana Fish. Lets jump in!

So general stuff out of the way first, Banana Fish continues to nail the pacing. So far, it never feels like nothing is happening, like a scene is just filler. For example, comedy. In a lot of anime there are little gags thrown around to keep everything light. Most don’t mean anything at all, and are often an entire scene. Banana Fish uses comedy to bookend its more serious scenes, to signify that we can relax for the moment. Like Shorter revealing himself as the waiter at the restaurant. Or the Afro Prisoner barging in on Max and Ash. The comedy doesn’t exist for the sake of the gag nor are they sprinkled throughout to just to keep the tone light. I love how Banana Fish’s comedy actually serves a purpose. So yeah, I gushed on its writing, lets get into the actual meat now shall we?

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Posted on 30 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight

Well, we have a slower week of Revue Starlight compared to the first two episodes, mainly because the first half is more about setting up the girls’ dynamic than introduction. It’s not a complaint, either, since this week we see the girls go for different pairing, as a result they create a more complex web of relationship now. The audition duel this week is a classic “two steps forward – one step back” for our main Karen, as she fight the Top Star and realizes how much of a gap between her and Maya Tendou. If I have one issue during the episode, it seems so random that Karen fights with Maya because there’s no proper setting up prior to the underground audition. Other things stay ambiguous without any actual explanation and so far I pretty enjoy those. There’s apparently another duel happening simultaneously with Karen’s fight, for example, but for whatever purpose and even what those fights even mean remain a mystery.

But in this episode 3, we learn a lot about other cast members of the Starlight team, so let dig it up. First, we have Banana who steps down of the acting role in pursuit for production design. I suppose we learn more about this development once we get into her episode. For now though, it feels like a set-up to get every piece into place. On other notes, we get a better look at the duo Kaoruko and Futaba, but amusingly when they’re separate. Futaba, the most boyish character of the group, is the only member who aware of Claudine’s struggles to surpass Maya, as we see last week she lost to the fight against Maya. That, however, doesn’t explain why they battle at the end of the episode (another note: Futaba uses an axe as her weapon, an interesting choice). At the same time, Kaoruko proves to be more than her sleepy, spoiled appearance, as the way she talks signify that she’s a calculated, and maybe a bit manipulative character. The character that receives the least treatment so far is Hikari. We don’t pretty know much about her apart from her tsundere act which kinda get on my nerve in the beginning of the second arc.

I also noticed there’s a theme for each audition’s sword fight. Last week, it was “Revue of Desire”, this week, it’s a “Revue of Pride”. Now whether it’s mean those are the themes of the week, or about the personality from a character Karen has to fight is up in the air, but I’m leaning more about the latter. Maya is full of pride, and the main conflict between her and Karen is mostly about the idea of every woman for herself (Maya) vs I fight for me and my partner (Karen). The visual motif of the fight shows how out of depth Karen is compared to her opponent. Maya is always stationed at a higher place, and everytime Karen tries to climb up the ladder, she immediately fails. This fight also serves as the reality check for Karen, that in order to achieve her dream, she has to put more efforts. In addition, Hakari isn’t pleased at all the way Karen put everything down the line for her sake. It means nothing for Hikari if Karen is the sole person who work for the goal. Despite it’s a less dense episode compared to what we had seen so far, it’s still a pretty good week for Revue Starlight, all things considered.

Posted on with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

Like Hinamatsuri last season, I wouldn’t have expected that Chio-chan having an “arc” for their side-characters; the “supporting casts start to grow whereas the lead stays the same” bit. This is the third week in a row we encounter Andou, each time he’s in different position (not to mention that Chio is the very core behind his life-changing events). What I like most about his character is how in these three appearances, we see him get sucked in three very different scenarios. While the first two display him as a badass gangster, this episode shows a more vulnerable side of him. I mean, trying to act cool as soon as he sees Chio? Boy, he’s like a teenager. Despite knowing the truth about Chio faking her badass persona, he grows even more fond to the girl. Is there, as Manana suspects, a romance going on between this former biker and Chio? I suspect Chio-chan will flirt with the idea in upcoming events.

One thing about Chio-chan that I don’t expect when I saw the PV though, that it’s much more slice of life and mundane than flat out over-the-top hijinks. These events that Chio face on her commute to school are something we could experience ourselves (well, if you walk to school that is). The whole delivering newspaper affair, for example, is something you might do if you sure is amusing. The jokes about people making a big fuss out of delivering papers late hit home for me. In particular, “I already knew that on TV news”. I find the part where Chio ninja-jumping up the stair a bit over the top, but overall it’s a fun ride from start to finish. The most important thing is that Chio’s enthusiasm once again changes Andou’s mind about keeping up with the job. It might be simple like what she said: even if the job isn’t for you, if you’re really into it you might find a joy for the job.

Another strength of Chio-chan is the dynamic of Chio and Manana, which they have a natural forth-and-back that these exchanges themselves can carry the show along. Their banters about “what they want to do once in their life” are just so relatable and progress so naturally (regarding Chio’s: well, smoking don’t make you look cool but returning the litter sure is). You can see right off the bat these girls act their age with their social awkwardness, as well as their bratty attitude. Another “man of the moment” is the teacher/ security guard, who is sharp at one moment and oblivious the next. It’s a good characteraction from him, as he stands out in a good way. As a whole, Chio-chan’s adventures on her way to school is not as crazy as I thought it would be, but it’s hella more relatable. Chio-chan might think she’s an below-average girl, but she’s one of the more vivid portrayal of high school girl I’ve seen in awhile. I’m happy to follow he aroundr, hopefully the cast will expand more in later weeks. As the last note, Hey girls, is there any other method of greeting tour friends that don’t involve one rolling down the ground in public?

Posted on 28 July 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Steins;Gate 0

Another week, another lackluster episode of Steins;Gate 0. This time the plot moves almost unnoticeably forward, Daru gets a date and Suzuha gets some melodrama. Lets jump in!

So basic stuff first, Steins;Gate 0 is really slowly become a Slice-of-Life. At this point in the previous series, we had stakes, bad guys and literal lives hanging in the balance. Right now in Steins;Gate 0, we have Daru’s love life. Don’t get me wrong, I like that we get to see these kinds of things. I like that it isn’t all Okabe all the time. But right now the ratio of actual plot to side-story stuff is way out of whack. We got one, maybe 2, very tiny advances/hints to the main plot this episode. Everything else was just sort of melodramatic filler, especially Suzuha’s flash forward/back. It simply feels like we are still sitting in limbo though, waiting for something to happen. It doesn’t help that currently the only “active” plot thread is “She Who Will Not Be Named” (Starts with a K).

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Posted on 25 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Satsuriku no Tenshi

I still file this anime under the category of interesting but flawed as it does hold elements that make it stand out but there are significant cracks forming in regards to the characters and lack of context for the setting. Rachel, or rather Ray as she was nicknamed in this episode, has officially run her suicidal gimmick into the ground that even Zack is wondering why she keeps reminding him to kill her. T his episode did bring out an interesting point in that she doesn’t want to be killed by just anyone and for some odd reason seems to place her trust in Zack. But the really interesting factor was that what made her ultimately decide that Zack was the one to kill her was that he swore to god that he would. This has been a bit hinted at before but it seems that Rachel is very religious, in that she stated that she cannot kill herself because God deems it wrong. Likewise here Zack didn’t seem to put too much thought into the statement but Rachel latched on to it with a maddening degree. I am interested in just who Rachel was to provoke these responses but her character as it stands now is still a bit one note.

Ever since losing her will to life she has based the entirety of her persona around being suicidal and while this has opened up a nice dynamic with Zack, it basically means that she reacts to everything with deadpan stoicness while only showing emotion in regards to anything that could lead to her death. So when Zack is out of the picture and it’s only Rachel and the newly introduced Psychopathic Edward talking, the dialogue felt it was running in circles. A constant back and forth of debating whether Edward has permission to kill Rachel or not that just kept circling and even when she finally made up her mind Edward just kept hammering the point home of how much he wanted to kill her. This kid wasn’t all that interesting character wise but I do feel like there is underlying symbolism in his desire to give her a grave. Going through each floor there does feel like there is a connecting theme and I do love that the grave he so miraculously prepared was where he was killed with his casket being closed by a falling tombstone. If I had to make my own theory I would say that each floor represents a place of death and Rachel is unknowingly conquering death so that she can finally die.

The game logic of the world is once again at work with what looks to be a clear boss encounter as well as some rather game like moments such as Zack breaking a human sized hole in the wall. Which certainly is odd what he had to use a pickaxe to break graves in the last episode because he didn’t want to break his scythe. Rachel’s logic when she comes up with solutions for problems certainly feels less like human ingenuity and more like a player with a walkthrough. How exactly did she know that the kid has a remote as I certainly didn’t see him press anything to make the lights go out. Not to mention I just already assume these characters have some supernatural control over their floor as we haven’t exactly established ground rules on what they are capable of. If you were to analyse it you can certainly start poking some holes in this series and I fear it may go down the route of Fate/Extra last encore where it depends too much on the mystery of the setting to engage you while the characters remain rather underdeveloped. Well in that regard this series isn’t at least shoving paragraphs of expository speeches down our throats and Zack still remains a pretty fun and interesting character.

Posted on 24 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hanebado!

Hanebado goes full drama this week, in fact it’s so dramatic that it sucks out all the fun of it. Hanebado just doesn’t know how to handle over-the-top character, resulted in them riding the plot in a contrived fashion. Last week we had Kaoruko who is basically a sore thumb, this week Conny serves basically the same purpose – a destined rival to Ayano. The show doesn’t reveal it yet, but it’s quite clear she’s the girl that Ayano’s mother trained, and judging from the way she was looking for a match against Ayano, I can say that there’s some jealousy issue here (most likely: “you’re a prodigy, Conny, but your sister’s Ayano was more of a natural talent” kind of stuff). In any case, Conny wants to showcase how much she wants to take down our girl that she effectively goes against the spirits of double match and even the spirits of sport itself. In a double, teamwork is one of the most important factors. Playing solo not only shows how short-sighted you are, but also inform us that you don’t respect the sport. Damn, I might sound harsh here but it’s irritating to see a character tries to make her point by stop playing altogether. You leave a bad taste to my mouth, Conny.

The pacing of this episode, likewise, is way too slow. It takes a while until the match begins and they even cut the first Nagisa’s match. Everything feels forced from the get-go, start with the club finds out about the other school’s team, to getting Ayano to supermarket so that she can meet Conny, to the dramatic way Connie acts (dropping the coins, really? It’s so cliché now). There are two more potential conflicts rising. One of them is about Isehara, the younger sister of the team, who seems to have a beef with Ayano. I’m guessing for now it’s because everyone regards the lefty as talent that it annoys her, not from jealousy but more about recognition issues. Second, Ayano is trying hard to harmonize with the team. Both of these plot threads don’t particularly excite me to be honest. Hanebado works the best when it can integrate personal drama into the sport. Last week’s Elena feeling left out, for example, sheds another angle to her relationship with Ayano. Using bold characters who force her way into the story just ain’t gonna make it. To make it worse, the match animation doesn’t wow you like it did in the first few episodes.

I swear it’s the curse of the 4th episode in effect (usually when the show is at its lowest point), but I’m a bit worried that this going to be the direction Hanebado will take for the rest of the season. Nagisa this week is relegated to one-note character, Ayano has a compelling backstory but her bland personality can’t carry the show, and all the subtlety in characterization the show did so well in first few episodes is replaced by contrived Drama (with a capital D – also stand for Dumb Danish Damsel or Do Double Deferently!!!). I hope it can turn around because this episode becomes something that I fear the most: a generic high school sport anime.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight

Please check out the Starlight theme to get in the stage-dueling mood.

This show climbs up to be my favorite show of this season. It has all these elements that personally are my cup of tea: many layers of symbolism, a surrealism sense and a stage duel set piece that is even more impressive than an actual action show.

Disguised itself as an idol show with Love Live-esque character designs, the first half of the first two episodes could fool viewers thinking it’s a harmless idol girls, until the surreal part comes in and sweeps everything out of its way. In retrospect, I couldn’t think any better way to turn the Idol genre inside out than this. In the genre, girls with different personality working together for the same goals, and they regard each other like a family members. Revue Starlight put them against each other instead, making it a whole lot more complex in character motivation and interaction.

But that was just an on-the-surface part of this show, so let’s dig a little deeper. What I love the most about Revue Starlight so far, is its sense of surrealism and its heavy use of symbolism. The way the show uses symmetric images and put Karen right there in the middle, for example, suggest that she’s the one in the central (ground zero), the place where the lead role usually occupy, and signifies that she’s the one who brings the cast altogether. Many have said that Revue Starlight taks an inspiration if Takarazuka theatre, and at the same times criticize some traditional aspect of it. Karen (or BaKaren), is a stark contrast to what the Takarazuka build around, and to a larger degree what this Starlight audition is for. The audition is about exclusion to pick out the top star, yet she wants to include everyone together. In Starlight, the girls fight for themselves, yet Karen fights for the shared dream of her and Hikari. The talking giraffe asks her to leave when she entered the audition ground for the first time, yet she basically gate-crashing the audition. She has a great role so far that compatible to Utena’s role in her series. And that isn’t a far off comparison either since the ballet duel reminds me strongly of Utena duel, for good reasons.

I also like the theme of individualism in the focus of unity. Like the way Revue Starlight shows their costumes are mass-produced or the use of mannequin. To become a star, they need to stand out from the rest. And the girl Junna really shines throughout this two episodes. She’s in the position where she’d devote every effort to become a main star, yet she knows doesn’t matter how hard she tries, she can’t close the gap to the top stars. I reckon that her arc is basically done now that she accepts “her lose”, but knowing this show I know she won’t get sidelined in the service of the plot. We have a total of 9 girls in this series but judge from the way this show treats Junna, I have a good faith that Revue Starlight will develop them thoroughly.

In addition, the stage duel is simply stunning. It’s bizarre, yet gorgeous to look at and it has so much personality on its own. Now, it’s when the surrealism really kicks in. Many of its images: like talking giraffe, Karen get pushed down the Tokyo tower, might or might not be real. But it makes sense. You could take the stage duel as a battle to survive, as an audition,as a performance all you like and it still works. As a final notes, there’s some hints that we’ll have yuri undertone and for that I say: Bring it right on.

Posted on with categories: Grand Blue

When picking series to cover for an anime season I admit that there are certain series that I pick up solely due to my familiarity/love with the source and as such little thought goes into the choice itself besides the desire to cover it because there is no one else on the team that know this story better than you do. Grand Blue was one of those series for me and the minute it was announced to have anime adaption I pretty much decided to cover it then and there. The reason I bring this up now is to try to justify what I about about to say next as when I sat down to do a write up of this week’s episode, I immediately realized that I effectively decided to fight a dragon with a wooden shield and a toothpick. I likey mentioned this before but allow me to mention it again, out of all genres of anime, comedy is undoubtedly the hardest to blog. For while personal opinion of anime is highly subjective, comedy is situationally subjective. To clarify let me say that I think Team America is a pretty funny movie, I mean the America Fuck Yeah has pretty much become synonymous with overzealous ridiculous American patriotism and the puppetry tech on display was truly impressive.

But one night in college myself and a large group of people decided we were going to watch Team America and when we did not one person so much as chuckled. The movies jokes were met with deadening silence and I truly believe that regardless of what comedy was on screen it would have died in that atmosphere. Likewise once upon a time I found Mel Brooks Men in Tights and the first Austin Powers hilarious but in my later years I went back and rewatched them only to wonder just what I found so amusing about these movies in the first place. The point of this long rambling session is that I have effectively taken the position of trying to explain to you lot just why this show is funny which is a factor that can change drastically very easily. Besides, if you have to explain the joke, then it’s not funny anymore.

So let me procrastinate by talking about the adaptation itself. So far I would say the adaption of Grand Blue is serviceable but there is a definite feeling that the jokes are working in spite of the animation direction rather than because of it. This feels like a budget effort as this is the first show of a budding studio and perhaps I should have considered that the Director has done Gintama so naturally he would know how to do comedy within a budget. After all how many bloody episodes of that show are out? Willing to bet that the show is far from an animation showcase. The big offender her is the titan face moments were they effectively use still frames instead of actually animating it which results in Iori and crew turning into cardboard cutouts of attack on Titan rejects at times. This is one of the strengths of manga that the artstyle can change so drastically for comedic effect without feeling jarring and the change can really hyper exaggerate the characters feelings, hence upping the comedic effect. In anime however this change is basically watching a animated character briefly turn into a still image and break a viewer’s immersion. What worked in manga does not always work in animation and therefore the purpose of an adaptation is to make the story work within the medium. Adaptation decay is often an inevitability but the anime should bring something to the table to make it a viable or preferable alternative to just reading the manga.

So rambling segways aside, what happened in todays episode of Grand Blue? We have three main parts here, one is Iori attempting to convince Nanaka that he is a grown adult so he can go out drinking with the guys who are meeting up with a woman’s university He is attempting to do this by decorating his room which of course has disastrous results. The second part is Teaching Iori to get used to being underwater with equally disastrous results. Finally we have a trip to the Aquarium which Chisa set up for Iori to understand the appeal of diving. The last part was a more serious aspect of Grand Blue which admittedly does feel rather hollow, almost as though going through the motions because we need Iori to get interesting in diving so that he stays in the club and has more wacky hijinks. Sadly a scene was cut during the water training where Iori and crew proceed to suplex each other into the water titan faced while Iori thinks “Fuck diving”. Not sure why they cut that out, makes me smile just thinking of it. Some jokes hit like Nanaka bringing up to Iori that despite living there for three days he still didn’t know where his room is because he’s getting plastered every night. Others sadly feel a bit flat as I remember grining harder when Nanaka congratulated Iori for wearing clothes for once. I feel like more of an effort should be put into presenting the punchlines as in the manga they were very snappy and caught you off guard but in the anime the build up is too obvious and the payoff too drawn out. So far this adaption is proving okay but not circumventing the counterargument of “Why not read the manga instead?”

Posted on 23 July 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

I have a feeling that Chio-chan is trying to test me. “You said you like me, huh? This is the real me, see if you can take it”. Well, I think what happened in the second half is bound to happen anytime. After all, we had the OP that pretty much setting up for this. Bouncing boobs, some panty shots, it’s written by a hentai artist himself (I “researched” his hentai works and apparently this guy has a thing for loli). You know which scene I’m talking about right? Yep, it’s the scene where Madoka, the kabaddi’s captain, gropes on another girl and refuses to let her hand off. The groping as playing for laugh is a NO NO in any situation, same sex or not, yet part of me still think Chio-chan gets away with it. Now, I’m torn, because I find it hilarious from start to finish. It’s unexpected the way things turn out and that is precisely why this show brings so much fresh air. Kabaddi…Kabaddi…Kabbadi

Take the first segment for example, it’s a continuation of Bloody Butterfly affair last week, now Chio just comes across Andou who is visibly shaken by his encounter with Chio, and tells the rest of his gang how fearsome she was. Now, normally comedy show would milk the misunderstanding aspect, like having Chio bluffs her way out again in a spectacular level. Here we have Chio telling Andou the truth about the incident. The whole joke here is the way Andou and the gang repeat that lame name “bloody butterfly” in a straight face numerous times, and it takes a toll towards Chio’s below-average philosophy. The confession, in turns, both impresses and shames the reformed yakuza even more. And he can’t go back to his words anymore, so he actually keeps the game going by going over the top. I didn’t expect that Andou would become a regular cast member, but now he shares such a nice chemistry with Chio and I can’t wait to see how their relationship will eventually turns out.

I swear the whole thing revolving around Kabaddi is just flat-out hilarious. Chio might regards herself as below-average, but this segment in particular suggests that it might not be the case. If she tries hard enough she can be amazing. I don’t know about you but now I’m sure interested in Kabaddi now. But what I found interesting is the way the issue escalate in seemingly random fashion. At first, we have Chio performs some random assassin moves she learns in her games (haha, this girl!), then it quickly turns into she’s hyper and just doing some random moves while chanting Kabaddi (obviously have no idea about the sports), then the ACTUAL kabaddi captain shows up and forces them to play tag kabaddi with her and Yuki. There’s just loads of Jojo references here, and the way Chio corporates this game into her gaming mode is priceless. Chio’s OP as heck, but to a degree that just make the game more awesome. I’m still not sure how I’m supposed to regard Madoka’s character. It’s meant to be the way to turn her character upside down, that despite she always says she loves the sports, the true reason comes from the more perverted side of her. Sure, I have no qualms with yuri tone, and I found the way Chio did all that was refreshing. But groping….

So,back to first question. Can I take the show for what it is? Alright, I give in, for now. Just don’t go overboard with it, Chio-chan.

Posted on with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Heads up Yuri on Ice, your place as the top homosexual romance anime is being challenged. This week Banana Fish charms us with a new character, disgusts us with a glimpse of prison life and teases us with a growing relationship. Lots to love, so let’s jump in!

So general stuff first, Banana Fish is moving pleasantly fast. The pace is juuuust right. Everything feels like its happening at a reasonable time, no characters are just sitting around waiting. Even Ash, in prison, is actively making things happen. There’s not a dead moment. It makes Banana Fish a treat to watch. Like My Hero Academia, it makes a 25 minute episode feel like it past in 10, though for different reasons. Banana Fish also does a good job with the music, which I only just noticed this week. The music from so many scenes just worked, it wasn’t intrusive, and when there was no dialogue it was catchy. I don’t know what it is lately, but anime in general seem to be stepping up their music game. But, general stuff done, let’s get to what you really want to talk about this week. The meat, pun intended.

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CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
I suppose we've had this talk. But; do women have a different type of power fantasies? Or you could essentially do the same thing as any other Isekai but with the genders flipped?
Vonter
@niello - Most power fantasies eventually lead to harems (like Hyrule Warriors). I did like the interactions of the two main characters in Shield Hero. And with Slime is sorta like watching a Let's Play as the main character visually gets more powerful along with his village, but like with Dr. House it seems it's a one man's show.
niello
Shield Hero is actually quite similar to Slime as after a while the MC basically settle down and make his own village to cultivate fighting force. The downside is that at that point it started to turn into a harem.
niello
It'd be nice if the new Franken Fran series could get it an anime, but that chance is probably near 0%...
niello
He does look young though
niello
Didn't Furuya ruined his voice with his smoking habit? It's coarser and deeper now. Judging from his Seiya voice a few years ago.
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.
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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 […]

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The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

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