Posted on 30 September 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews

Our protagonist

What it claims to be about: Angolmois (a reference to a Nostradamus prophesy which is rather irrelevant for the show, as he lived several centuries after the events) focuses on the first Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1274. Specifically it focuses on the early phase of the invasion when the Mongols attack Tsushima, which essentially is a way station for invasions from Korea to Japan and the other way around.

What it really is about: We follow a band of criminal exiles, which are conscripted into defending the islands by the local feudal lord’s daughter, Teruhi. Among them is Kuchii Jinzaburō a spunky samurai with a good grasp of military matters. He is headstrong and that is what nets him his exile. The show follows the attempts of Teruhi and Jinzaburo to defend the island against overwhelming forces, while at the same time exploring elements of Tsushima myths and culture in the era.

Our protagonist again. Another side of him.

Why you should watch it: In general Angolmois is a mediocre show. It does some things right. The “Mongols” are presented ,as was historically accurate, as a multi-national force including Koreans, and Chinese. The Mongol openness to giving service to anyone is also correctly presented, as is their rapaciousness. The Japanese arms and armors seemed well researched to me, as well as the fashion. I found Jinzaburo an interesting character with complex motivations, but with enough blood-lust to not make him boring. The Mongol secondary characters are interesting, ranging from the timid but intelligent, to the blood-thirsty. The show does not dreg into too much overt nationalism and myth making. Do not get me wrong, the view of the Japanese as unique is still there, but it is not done in a vulgar way (I am looking at you Kopeki no Kantai). Indeed the show honestly dives into the more localist and personal motivations of the protagonists, including ones that lead to betrayal, without sermonizing. The end is well played out, being at the same time brutally realistic and still hopeful (in this sense sharing similarities to the excellent Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans-watch that instead). Character art was in general pleasing to my aesthetics.

Why it is mediocre: The problems though are major. First, the secondary characters on the Japanese side are very shallow. While the Mongols get some great secondary characters, the creators on the Japanese side only focused on developing really Jinzaburo. From the eight exiles only one more gets any real development. The rest are really archetypes. Tehuri is a crucial character but her development is never pursued (perhaps realistically as war engulfs all).

Second, the animation was a complete and total failure. This was surprising, as I expected a historical anime, based on a manga, dealing with such a rumph rumph nationalist fervor topic would get more funding. Indeed the first and second episodes had some good work. Alas, it did not last. Still shots dominate, the battle scenes lack animation, and while bravo for the show pointing out the multi-ethnic character of Mongol armies, all those Chinese, Mongols, and Koreans look like each other. Over the whole animation is a filter that tries to convey the feeling that this is parchment, but fails. Instead it looks like a tv screen splashed with muddy water.

As a result the story suffers and the presentation also does.

Finally, you leave the show with a feeling that you just watched demo for a bigger show on the full invasion of Kuyshu. There is a feeling of indeterminacy. It is true our main characters get closure. But many of the secondary characters seem to have been shoved in for no other reason than to premeditate a sequel. Perhaps there will be, perhaps there will not. But I hope if there is that they actually spend the money for better animation.

The music is nothing to write home about. The Opening is pleasing enough, but not a home run. The rest is

End point. If you are looking for a light historical show and like spunky characters watch this, but do not expect much. A C- in my grading system.

Posted on with categories: Seasonal Previews

What happens when the anime season ends? That’s when the anime season begins. You would think that after all these years of this I would stop being surprised at a brand new anime season hitting faster than expected but it’s just one of those things you constantly underestimate.

Now last season we had a decent run with some stand out shows and this would normally be the point where I tell you that the next season coming also has potential greats in it. But this time I am afraid I cannot say that for I have done the research and this season is truly barren. There may be a few alright shows here and a new Jojo is always welcome but everything else is just bottom of the barrel. If those original shows don’t turn out to have merit this could very well be the worst season of anime we have had in a long time. Considering that is coming from me of all people that should at least give you an idea of the quality we are dealing with.

So same rules apply, I will check out all the source material I can to give an idea for what we are in for and there is a poll below for you to vote on what you wish to be covered this season.

Which series should we cover for the 2018 Summer Season?
90 votes · 1399 answers
vote

Once again thanks to Mario for images, some previews and layout help and Wooper and Lenlo for editing.

The sequels/Shorts I don’t care about

Fairy Tail (2018) (sequel)
Bakutsuri Bar Hunter
Devidol! (short)
Souten no Ken: REGENESIS 2 (sequel)
Grimms Notes (???)
Gurazeni 2 (sequel)
Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari! 2 (sequel)
Himote House (short)
Hora, Mimi ga Mieteru yo! (short)
Hoshi no Shima no Nyanko TV (short)
Inazuma Eleven: Orion no Kokuin (sequel)
Jingai-san no Yome (short)
Kira Kira Happy ★ Hirake! Cocotama (sequel)
Okoshiyasu, Chitose-chan (short)
The iDOLM@STER: Side M: Wake Atte Mini! (short)
Pingu in the City 2 (2018) (short)
Seizei Gambare Mahou Shoujo Kurumi 2 (sequel)
Senran Kagura SHINOVI MASTER -Tokyo Youma-hen- (sequel)
Shuudengo, Capsule Hotel de, Joushi ni Binetsu Tsutawaru Yoru (short)
Sono Toki, Kanojo wa. (short)
Space Battleship Tiramisu II (short)
Sword Art Online: Alicization (sequel)
Toaru Majutsu no Index III (sequel)
Tokyo Ghoul:re 2 (sequel)

Series I don’t care about

Akanesasu Shoujo


Studio: Dandelion Animation Studio
Director: Jin Tamamura
Script/Series composer: Shougo Yasukawa
Source: Video Game
October, 2018. Girls who live in a provincial city perform a certain ritual. The girls are in the “Crystal Radio Club.” It is an interest circle that Asuka Tsuchimiya, a girl known for her cheerfulness, started with friends in her high school. That ritual was considered just an urban legend. However, with several conditions coincidentally falling into place, it stops being fun and games…

I originally had some hope that this would be a kind of horror anime but the trailer unfortunately confirmed that it wasn’t. What this does seem to be is a mixture of a cute girls doing cute things club and supernatural battle anime. Not to mention it’s for a smartphone app so likely another gacha game. The director was previously involved with A Sister’s All You Need, and the scenario writer hasn’t done much to write home about. I honestly wouldn’t expect much from this.

Anima Yell!


Studio: Doga Kobo
Director: Masako Sato
Script/Series composer: Fumihiko Shimo
Source: Manga
The story follows Kohane Hatoya, a 1st year high school student who is a bit clumsy and scared of heights but who has a very bubbly and outgoing personality. Kohane decides to join the cheerleading club to try to make friends and overcome her weaknesses.

It’s a 4-koma manga with four cute girls in a club so you know the drill. Quickfire gags and cute girls being all cute and shit. I’ve only seen two chapters of this but already this feels too much like many, many things I have seen before. The cheerleading aspect is pretty much superfluous and can be interchanged with any school activity you so desire. The characters are copy pastes of the same archetypes you have in these kinds of series, and while these chapters were short, I found my eyes glazing over before I finished. My taste for humor has never been all that compatible with anime but even then I feel this series just isn’t really funny. To me this is an anime to fill a quota for an anime season. We gotta have a cute girls doing cute things show so let’s slap something together to just tick that box.

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Posted on 28 September 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Steins;Gate 0

Before I begin this review in earnest, I have to ask, who doesn’t know about Steins;Gate? The amazing, beloved original series that Steins;Gate 0 is an offshoot of. Well if you don’t, if you haven’t seen the original, then stop now. Steins;Gate 0 is not worth it. It is not for you. Without having seen the original, Steins;Gate 0 will make even less sense and fall apart even faster than you than it did me. Because, long story short, Steins;Gate 0 tries to do everything and in doing so fails to do most anything.

Lets jump in!

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Posted on 27 September 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Steins;Gate 0

And so Steins;Gate 0 ends, not with a bang but a melodramatic whisper. Welcome to the finale of Steins;Gate 0. Whatever it was trying to do, it mostly failed, so lets jump in!

So with this finale I can definitively say, Steins;Gate 0 failed to live up to the hype. It’s not a bad series by any means, but every time it came to a crossroads, Steins;Gate 0 chose the wrong path. This finale is an excellent example of that. It chose to follow Mayurii going back in time to convince her old self to slap Okabe. But that wasn’t the interesting part of the story. To me, the story I wanted to see was the video getting made. I wanted to see Okabe and co surviving to the year 2025, using the Time Leap machine or D-Mail to always stay one step ahead. That, to me, is a far more interesting and unique story than what Steins;Gate 0 has given us. And considering how much was just… left to rot, it would have been a leaner story to.

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Posted on 26 September 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Planet With

The madman actually did it. Satoshi managed to take a massive story and crush it into 12 episodes without anything feeling too rushed. To be perfectly fair this episode did need a bit more of a epilogue and if we had a OVA episode to just go over what the character did after this then I feel like this show would be prefect. As far as Satoshi’s work goes it’s certainly my favorite anime from him but that’s mainly be virtue of being the only anime he’s ever made. In terms of his other work I would say that it ranks third below Biscuit hammer and Spirit Circle. Though I have yet to read Sengoku Youko which also seems to be fairly highly lauded. For his first outing in anime i would consider this a great success, Satoshi has shown himself to be a strong anime scriptwriter. In fact he may very well be better at anime script writing than manga as he know how to make use of the time he is given. Satoshi was given 12 episodes to write this story and he made full use of them.

Truly I cannot sing praises enough and it’s a damn shame that Planet With is a underwatched as it is. For the fact of the matter is that Satoshi has made a better Trigger anime than Studio Trigger ever has.(And trigger certainly did try and fail with Darling.) Well on to the episode itself, it acted as a great conclusion to the story. While I wish the battle was more action packed it still was an exhilarating fight with the heroes pushing the dragon into subspace. The dragons mental attack on Souya was certainly a surprise until I recall that Souya is the one of the only ones who never got a sealing device flashback. The dragons motive was certainly interesting, compelling Souya to hate him and act as device to carry on the dragons sense of justice. The contradiction is certainly interesting as the dragon looks to know that his actions are wrong but still feels that his line of thinking is right and wants someone to carry on his will.

This and the dragons final dream of his human family goes to show that his time as a human truly did change him but not enough to truly change his line of thinking. I will admit that the music in this episode could get a bit overbearing cheesy, in particular when the people of paradise pulled Souya out of the dream. Nonetheless there were some truly great moments like Ginko’s conflicted gratitude towards the dragon for inadvertently saving her home by attacking Sirius and breaking down over finally being able to express it after all this time. I loved the design of the dragons inner self and the final dream of his that finally allowed him to join his race being of his life as a human, showing that the silly old man we all love could very well have had a massive impact on this story. Lets not forgot Souya pushing the dragon into the subspace hole with a clog punch and everything returning to where it all started, at the dead planet of Sirius.

The last thing that the people of paradise say to Souya has a strange impact, namely that we can view this story from whatever view you like. What is right and wrong here is highly dependant on the one looking and if you look at it there is a far amount of moral ambiguity in what happened here. But all accounts the thinking of the sealing faction and the dragon isn’t necessarily wrong, though there actions are questionable. Well this has been a hell of a ride, it had a slow start but once it got going Planet With never let up. Again i think it could have used one more episode, though not to tie up loose ends as they most certainly did tie up everything with the last episode but rather just for viewer satisfaction. I at least would have liked confirmation on Nozo and Souya’s relationship through heavily hinted and I think some cooldown time was needed after the climax as it really did feel like it cut off too suddenly. But regardless this was a show that remained constantly unpredictable and fun throughout its run with it being my favorite of the season.

Posted on 25 September 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hanebado!

The angriest show of this season has come to the continuation of the final match between Nagisa and Ayano and overall it does a decent job. It has something to do with this episode is amongst Hanebado’s most traditional sport narrative, so it focuses more on the action, and tones down the excessive melodrama. On the narrative side Hanebado also does a lot of lifting, first they shed light to Ayano’s Mom point of view. Second, Hanebado uses this match as the way for Ayano to understand the importance of teammates. Moreover, Nagisa does a lot of lifting as well. If I have any complaint regarding this episode, that is Ayano’s eyes are different again. It’s not the “shifting from innocent-Ayano to youkai-Ayano” I mentioned last few weeks (which I pretty much take it as it is), it’s that she has her Mom’s eyes this week. As it stands, Hanebado seems struggle to visualize Ayano’s emotional conflict, hence this inconsistency in character’s design. As a result I never feel related or connected to Ayano as a character.

This final match spreads out pretty confidently. As this episode is much more action-packed than normal, I’m pleased to say that the production value maintains its quality throughout. We can sense very well every sweat, every footsteps from these two. Yeah, the over-analysing can become bothersome after awhile. Nagisa decides to throw Ayano off by covering the court instead of trying for winner shots. It sounds like a plausible plan considering that Ayano is much less efficient in attacking than defending, and Nagisa’s overall stamina is much better than Ayano’s. It’s not that Nagisa is only aimed at defense either, when Ayano’s shot become weaker, Nagisa uses her biggest weapon: her smash to win the point. Long story short, Nagisa has her leg up in this match.

It’s there that Ayano’s confidence starts to crumble. She had been, and now still playing with the affection of her Mom. Losing means that she becomes nothing, everyone will eventually turn away from her. That’s why the encouragement of her teammates, and the audience at large, makes her realize another joy of playing badminton: to play it with friends. On Nagisa’s part, I like the moment where coach Tachibana warms her not to overtax herself. It comes from a person who gone through the same thing and he definitely doesn’t want Nagisa to repeat the same mistakes he did. Everything comes quite nicely together for Hanebado in this episode (even the ex-members start cheering for Nagisa, it’s one of those small touches that are more effective that the contrived drama)

Finally, we get to learn Ayano’s mom point of view regarding leaving her behind, and it’s just cruel and loudsy, as expected. Well, she doesn’t deny that fact, and I find that “leaving her so that she can play badminton for herself” a huge pile of crap. She’s obviously displeased when she hears Ayano denying that she’s lost (it’s something she will have to work with, next episode probably), but for godsake she’s a preteen kid and you don’t just walk away and adopt someone else’s daughter like that evil mama. And the fact that she knows it’s wrong but she doesn’t regret that? It’s the same as the argument of someone who having affair and still assert that they don’t regret it. IT’S BECAUSE THEY AREN’T VICTIM GODDAMNIT. Well, it could’ve been worse so I still give credits for Hanebado for addressing that moment of truth as best as their humanly possible. Even though it has been a bumpy ride, I still hope that Hanebado ends on a good note next week.

Posted on 24 September 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight

It makes sense that after 10 episodes of dueling and auditioning, this week takes time to focus on the central pair Karen and Hikari. As soon as she “betrays” Karen in the cliffhanger last week, it soon reveals that the reason she does it is to not steal anyone’s else brilliance (especially Karen’s), even at the cost of herself. Admittedly, while I myself was expecting a bit more, this episode does have some emotional impact with some powerful scenes. By taking Hikari out of the equation (I swear if I ever come across with any document that has giraffe logo on it, I would dump it to the rubbish bin immediately), it takes a toll to Karen and effectively kills her joy to perform. Or as my sub says it, she loses her brillance. Which makes it all the more tragic because Hikari sacrifices herself in order to save Karen and the rest from it. As far as the narrative goes, I don’t think anyone of us is surprised at all these developments. Revue Starlight has been foreshadowing about this star-crossed love for quite some time and how Karen-Hikari relationship parallels with the Starlight story.

So it’s inevitable that we learn there is some more chapters in the Starlight book and it’s Karen the one who is willing to translate the whole book, with the help of every other member of the cast (poor Mahiru, always plays the housewife role). It’s the way for Karen to get back to the root, not only finding her own inspiration again after Hikari gone, but also finds Hikari through there. I also feel it’s more than appropriate that Karen’s walk to Hikari’s castle is accompanied by the whole case with their decor settings. We’re reaching the end of the stage production now, it’s perfect that these scenes play out like a play. Characters sing, characters function within their role (and their allocated spot) and leave Karen so that she can face her own issues by herself.

These stage-like quality, unfortunately, reduces our supporting characters into “roles”, so this episode we don’t feel them like real characters. There was one little moment that breaks that trend, however, which hit me harder than it should. It’s the moment when Tendou Maya implies, through her flashback, that when she sees Hikari’s eyes in one of their practices, she can sense that her eyes are empty. Hikari had been fighting and dueling even though her “brilliance” is forever gone, just barely make it back by the promise of Karen, and decides to win so that she can be an ultimate sacrifice. I already love the surrealist background of her palace, which vast desert and here she is, bare naked and all alone. That single image speaks more strongly than thousand words and I hope that, really hope that Revue Starlight can sweep me away again with its final episode.

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

As appropriate with Chio’s below-average personality, Chio-chan ends not with a bang but with two entertaining-but-unremarkable sketches. Many if the side-cast don’t make the cut in this finale (I kinda miss Andou and Momo), but we have Yuki at her most brilliant and Chio at her own worst enemy. Also, the way Chio-chan handles its fan-service moments is overall quite good. We still have panty shots here and there but most of the time they have ‘purpose’ (which I will get to that later). This show ends on the brief preview on future contents, and because we know all the characters by now, we can somewhat have a hood idea the details behind it. Also heads up for the “takes” that don’t make the final cut. It’s just another confirmation that Chio-chan doesn’t take itself very seriously, and in this context it’s for the show’s benefit.

The first half deals with the new pair Chio and Chiharu. As the “mad dog” tries to figure if Chio is indeed Andou’s love interest, Chio sees this as the perfect opportunity to raise her status to her kouhan. Of course things don’t turn out the way she expected, with all her “big talks” backfire on her at every turn. Chio, so in-character, throws off all her dignity and cries like a baby. Manana’s involvement during the skit’s final moment further makes it clear how lame Chio’s plan is and how “lowly” her personality goes. It’s overall a good segment, but then again it feels like Chio-chan is more comfortable staying within its zone than going all-out for this final episode.

The second half (which is effectively its last skit), thankfully ends the show on a high note. It’s Yuki who takes the spotlight with her urge to go nude. Her totally lack of reservation when it comes to showing her skin has been suggested before, and this time Chio-chan does just about enough to sell us her desire “to be with nature” without turning her into a pervert. It helps that Yuki shows her more serious, even intimating side when it comes to the issue, which is a nice contrast to her usual cheerful personality. What more, what she makes herself and Manana to do: going commando is a nice stretch of escalation. Then Chio’s involvement to this, with a nice addition from Madoka make this segment amusing from start to finish.

Overall, Chio-chan is an enjoyable little comedy show. It has rock-solid amusing interactions to the cast, and it always understands the mindset of Chio and Manana.At the same time, it’s a bit too modest for its own good. It could’ve been a better show if they can manage to escalate Chio’s commute to school into something totally crazy, but instead what we have is more a slice-of-life Chio’s road to school where sniffing at each other’s armpit or dressing up to school can take up half of the episode. Full review will come in a few days.

Posted on 23 September 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Welcome to the halfway point for Banana Fish. This week Ash prepares for his final showdown with Arthur, he has some moral quandaries, and gets terrified by pumpkin pie. Lets dive in!

So, general stuff first, Banana Fish’s pacing this week felt a bit fast to me. Banana Fish covered a lot of ground, from introducing new gang members, to explaining Dino’s grand plan and conveying Ash’s moral position. I have said it before, but the fast pacing only really works in the actiony parts. When bullets are flying and lives are at stake. In times like that, the fast pacing helps emphasize how hectic things are. In the slower moments like this however, the fast pacing just feels like Banana Fish is rushing everything. For example, I would have liked more time with the new gang leader Cain, assuming he is going to be a semi-important character later on. It doesn’t hurt Banana Fish much, because the actual content being rushed through is still good. I just think it could have been better.

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Posted on 21 September 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Steins;Gate 0

This week Steins;Gate 0, once again, brutally reminded me of the potential it started with ~5 months ago and subsequently wasted. We have lab-member shenanigans, emotional heart-to-hearts and overdramatic time travel sequences. Let’s dive in!

So in general, Steins;Gate 0 worked this episode. It really did. The emotions were on point and there was a good balance of tone throughout the episode. The lab scenes, the jokes, the voices, the planning, all rang true to the original. There was heart in these scenes that up until now has been lacking. Most likely because, finally, Okabe has a set goal to work towards. Up until now Okabe has most just… existed in Steins;Gate 0. Drifting from plot point to plot point, with relevant things only really happening when interacting with Amadeus. With a set goal and his Kyouma personality back, the series finally feels like it’s going somewhere. Problem is, this is just to late in the series. We have one episode left to resolve everything, yet sat through multiple episodes of meandering nothing. It is, as I said, a waste of potential.

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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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