Posted by Lenlo on 23 September 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Currently Watching:

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.

Now, onto the meat. One of the big things I noticed this week was all of the differences between Ash and Arthur. The two have been built up as rivals this whole series, with lots of jabs towards Arthur’s leadership abilities so far. Now we get actual evidence of this, seeing Arthur in action. It’s clear that, for all of his bluster, Arthur is nowhere near as confident or strong as Ash. He hangs and relies on his people to much, rarely actually going out into the field unlike Ash. Take a look at the two meetings with Cain. Ash came alone, held is own, and stood up to Cain. Arthur though brought bodyguards, clearly afraid of Cain. Ash told Cain what would happen, while Arthur asked. I like that Banana Fish is displaying these differences, because Arthur has taken a back seat up until now.

The other big difference between the two, one I enjoy seeing, is that Ash hates what he’s doing. Throughout this episode we see that Ash doesn’t enjoy killing people, he calls himself a murderer when talking to Eiji. I believe that Ash thinks this is the only way. That this is his world and this is the best, only, method to get what he needs done. It’s interesting to me because it seems that Ash has become much more rash, more… ruthless, since the death of Shorter. And it makes sense, Ash is probably still grieving, and this is his way of getting revenge. It reminds me of the Requiem scene from HunterxHunter, from the Phantom Troupe. Grief through extreme violence. I have always loved the tragedy of these kinds of things in anime. It makes my black heart feel for the characters still alive.

Speaking of survivors, Eiji! And his relationship with Ash! It’s a bit rushed this week, as I mentioned earlier, but there are still some nice scenes. I am glad Eiji has begun to be useful, even if only in minor ways, with his photography. He clearly wants to be involved and help Ash, but Ash also clearly can’t make up his mind on Eiji. Throughout the episode Ash is only seemingly happy when interacting with Eiji. Laughing, talking, smiling. We can see him struggling with pushing Eiji away this entire episode. Putting off actually telling him about the flight. Ash knows what he needs to do but doesn’t want to. This is one of the relationships I think Banana Fish really nails, which as the central relationship, is very important.

One of the things Banana Fish has flagged on lately though, is the side characters. Yut and Max work because we learned their history. We have something to base them on, a personality, we are able to judge whether or not an action makes sense for them. However for some revent side characters, this is lacking. Now I want to preface this all with the fact that, we have known these characters for a very short time. Assuming Banana Fish explores them more, and it has time to do this, then this complaint will be resolved. As is though, I want more time with Cain. I want to know what makes him tick , who he is. Since he is going to be the Witness for Ash and Arthur’s fight, it appears he will continue to be important. Here’s hoping he gets more screen time.

The last bit, the most worrying bit, of Banana Fish this week is Dino’s plan. Back when Banana Fish was first written, the 80’s, this sort of Deep State plan would have fit perfectly. It was nearing the end of the Cold War so it was a valid plot. Now a days though, this sort of thing just doesn’t fit the current political climate. That said, I do wish to pat Banana Fish on the back for attempting to update the plot for the modern day. Changing it from Vietnam and South Africa to the Middle East. Heroine and the black markets. I think it is a valiant attempt by Banana Fish. They did what they could with a plot almost 40 years old. Without having read the series I can’t say how much the plot could be changed while keeping the story together. So far though, I’ll accept this.

So overall, Banana Fish did alright. If this is the worst episode of the series, because it went for an info dump, then it will still be great. It broke up the info dumps and plot contrivances with sweet or humourous scenes between Ash and Eiji. I was never bored this episode. Though I was sometimes lost as we jumped from scene to scene. There is one thing I need to mention by the way, that I have mostly left alone until now. Every single episode title is also the title of a book/novel/short story that relates to that episode in particular. Someone put in a lot of effort for this, and I love it.

But what did you think of Banana Fish this week? Ready for a break, as we switch gears between cours? Let me know below!

13 Responses

  1. qwerty says:

    As a show on its own, Banana Fish is pretty enjoyable, but as an adaptation, there are all sorts of unsatisfying bits. The manga just blows it away because of added character nuance, a more extensive worldview, and it’s plausibility as a post-Vietnam story versus now. The anime is still enjoyable, so I’m not dragging it…but I see heaps of lost potential. Because the manga really is that good.

    • Chii says:

      I really dislike trying to compare this anime to the manga. It’s just an unfortunate fact that this anime didn’t get more than 24 episodes to work with. And because of that, MAPPA is doing their best to tell a complete story that really did deserve more episodes. Granted, they shouldn’t have changed the time period in which the story takes place but it is overall not detracting too much in my opinion. And I say this mainly because the banana fish drug plotline is really not as important as Ash’s struggle. It is merely a vehicle to get the plot running and continue going. I do miss some of the character nuances though…

      The manga is indeed amazing but the anime has its strong points as well. For example, it is actually a feast for those that study cinematography. It has very interesting shot compositions, color palettes that both highlight the mood and foreshadow events, and overall, it just oozes style. The voice actors, Ash’s voice actor in particular, add a lot nuance to their characters. The soundtrack is also masterclass and really accentuates any emotions attached to scenes. For example, I definitely felt the impact of Shorter’s death may more in the anime than the manga.

      So overall I think it’s an unfair comparison. They both have their strengths and that’s why I would just like to recommend the manga to everyone who finishes the anime to get the full experience and decide for themselves which version they prefer.

      • qwerty says:

        I think the anime deserves to be analyzed on its own merits, but it’s undeniable there are huge pacing issues. Even viewers who are unfamiliar with the manga are uncomfortable with it, so it isn’t just an adaptational byproduct. There is a lot of characterization and breathing space that has been removed, which makes the story less satisfying on the whole.

        Certain episodes have done a pretty good job streamlining content, but there are plenty of others where the transitions feel jumpy and forced, like this one. The change in time period has also caused logical issues: for instance, the U.S. government using drugs to establish a puppet state was pretty plausible in the 80s (see MK Ultra), but there are other means to achieve the same
        purpose that would be much more plausible today. Likewise, the 80s crime-ridden NYC no longer exists today. Even having smartphones now makes logical suspension of disbelief much harder.

        The cinematography and OST do deserve high marks, though there are scenes where the music choices have been kind of bizarre, IMO. MAPPA is doing their best, but there’z nothing wrong with calling out lost potential for what it is.

        • Chii says:

          In terms of breathing space, I don’t feel like the manga had it either. It’s just because since we’re reading it, we naturally have the chance to take a step back and let emotional moments sink in. I feel like the transitions between scenes in the manga are just as jarring as in the anime. The anime does make it seem worse because the color palettes sometimes change substantially between scenes while the manga is always in black and white.

          The characterization is a shame, but it’s kind of a trade-off because the voice actors can convey a lot in just their performances. For example, I don’t think people really needed the extra dialogue in the manga when Sing fought against Ash in episode 10 (like the “Flying Dragon Fang”). Sing’s voice actor is doing a great job showing how childish and arrogant Sing can be just with his voice.

          But yeah, I agree there are large pacing issues. However, I don’t think everyone takes issue with the pace. Some people feel it, others don’t (and in different episodes, like I don’t think I saw anywhere else but here that episode 11 felt fast). And there is at least one saving grace with this current pacing: there’s never nothing happening. Banana Fish is a very dialogue heavy manga so I can see people falling off if it were to get too deep in its own musings.

          I also think MAPPA has a good idea of which episodes are really important to slow down and which ones are kind of a throwaway in terms of pacing. Episode 9, 10, and 11 were paced very well in my opinion while episode 7 was god awful. This is because episode 9, 10, and 11 contain more emotional content that needs time to sink in while episode 7 was largely buildup.

          This episode is the same case as episode 7. It’s mostly buildup. And that’s why they actually cut out an extremely vital scene in this episode to use it in the episode 13; episode 13 is important so they’ll pull their punches there. It’s not perfect, but they’re doing their best to remedy that they have too few episodes to work with.

          Like I said, I don’t like that they updated the setting either. Yes, the logical issues are there, but I also would be lying if I were to say that manga did not contain other kinds of logical issues and several moments that I needed to suspend my disbelief for anyway. The anime doesn’t really improve on them most of the time so it just has double the problems in that regard. But in the end, Banana Fish’s world was never supposed to hyper realistic and I think that’s fine. It’s as realistic as an foreigner viewing vast amounts of Western media can make it.

          The soundtrack has been mostly good, but yeah, there were a few distracting music choices every few episodes. I definitely see your point. It could have been a lot more, but I think we should just be happy MAPPA is spreading the love for Banana Fish because this story really deserves more people experiencing it.

          • Lenlo says:

            Some good points on both sides. Personally, I typically don’t like to do straight manga vs anime comparisons, as they are two different mediums. I agree that pacing while reading manga is very different from watching a 24 minute anime episode.

            I will say that, pacing wise, I think its a personal thing. I prefer emotional segments to be slower, to really let it sink in, while the action bits faster to really push how hectic they can be.

            I do want to point out though that, even when it feels “fast” Banana Fish is still great. I have not had a “bad” episode of it yet. I think I have mentioned it in atleast one of these posts, but if the worst thing I end up criticizing Banana Fish for is feeling rushed when adapting 19 volumes into 24 episodes, then MAPPA will have done a good job.

            As far as there being potential, I don’t think any anime can ever be “perfect”. There’s to many pieces to a production. So many hands on deck. I also don’t think a series has to be “perfect” to be a Masterpiece. Especially since personal tastes will always differ on what that “perfect” is.

            I guess what I am trying to say with that bit is, MAPPA is doing a good job and I am glad they are adapting this. Banana Fish deserves, regardless of small issues due to personal taste, it is a good series.

          • qwerty says:

            Accidentally forgot to hit reply – see my comment below.

  2. qwerty says:

    Oh, I’m as happy as anyone that Banana Fish received an adaptation. For all the flaws, it’s an ambitious project, and it’s clear that the staff is trying to do as much as they can with the episode count. Some of the production choices, however, have been questionable at best, and done a disservice to the material.

    While Banana Fish is over the top in many ways, Yoshida Akimi clearly did her research when thinking about the story and the background elements that she wanted to use. That doesn’t feel like the case with the anime: the modern setting largely feels superfluous, and the story elements take a hit for it. It may not hinder your enjoyment of the show, but it does objectively detract from the storytelling. If they wanted to update the setting, they should have taken other liberties to reflect the world we currently live in. Slavishly keeping everything the same (aside from cursory replacements like Vietnam -> Iraq) doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    I disagree that the manga has pacing issues. If they exist – to my mind, only the last story arc flags a bit – they have been multiplied in the show. I’ve never heard anyone complain about the manga being choppy, but there have been numerous people who feel that the anime speeds by too quickly to feel the impact of what is happening. There’s a balance between too fast-paced and filler; to my mind, the show doesn’t get the balance right a lot of the time.

    Again, I am cognizant of the challenges MAPPA has to work with. If they had more episodes to work with, that would be wonderful. But they don’t. And regardless of the production challenges they face, the show has to be taken at face value.

    • Chii says:

      No, I agree. MAPPA only updated things on the surface which ends up taking away a level of realism that is present in the manga. The storytelling does lamentably suffer a bit but I think most people who know the nuances behind why it does also know that it is a byproduct of a single controversial adaptation decision. In the end, the amount the updated setting bothers viewers will depend on personal tastes. And while it does not hinder my enjoyment much, I definitely do wish that the anime kept the 80s setting, if only so that no criticisms or grievances could even be made on that front.

      I wouldn’t call them pacing issues, though I do agree that the last two arcs dragged a bit, it’s more the shifts between scenes were sudden in the manga as well. And that’s where anime only viewers might have issues with the tone being all over the place in a given episode.

      I will have to disagree on the anime not allowing its audience to feel the impact of what’s happening. Most people definitely felt the hit of episode 9. And those that didn’t probably had more issues with the logic of scene than the length of it. I do think that episode 10 could have done better in regards to its emotional impact when Ash found Shorter’s body though. But I also believe this could just be a byproduct of watching the series weekly since I’m sure for most manga readers, it was largely a binge read.

      @Lenlo
      Thanks for your perspective as an anime only viewer. I agree; I would never use the would “perfect” to describe any anime/manga and Banana Fish is definitely far from it. However, it is probably the most memorable work of media I have had the chance to experience and for that, it is nothing short of amazing. I hope the anime continues to do it justice.

      • qwerty says:

        These are all good points you’ve brought up, and in the end, I think we share similar opinions on a lot of things. I think Banana Fish is an amazing, memorable story, and I’m very happy that more people are discovering it through the anime.

        With regards to transitions, it works on the page in a literary sense. The anime goes for a cinematic style that is well-suited to the series, but I wish they had a little more discretion when it comes to choosing what dialogue and scenes to keep. For example, let’s talk about episode 9. The scene with Shorter at the end of the episode was brilliantly done, from the animation to the voice acting to the choice of music. However, the banquet scene with Dino was not: the humorous asides with Max and Ibe work when reading the series, but in an incredibly serious scene and episode, those asides are incredibly dissonant. That isn’t the only time I’ve felt the staff could have used better judgment, though it is a major example.

        I’m giving the anime credit for scenes that are brilliantly done too: Eiji’s jump, Shorter’s death, and Ash grieving over Griffin. The anime is good on its own. I just want a little more consistency in their handling of the material, because when they do a good job of it, the show sings.

        • Chii says:

          Yeah, for all the anime’s faults, I am glad that it introduced so many new people to this amazing story. Additionally, I’m sure plenty people who have started watching this anime will pick up the manga when it is all over.

          I agree with the banquet scene. I did not like that they kept the Max and Ibe cut-ins because the tension ramped up the moment Ash stepped into the room. It’s true that they have definitely chosen to keep a few suspect scenes. But at the same time, they have made the right call cutting other ones. For example, while some people might not have liked that they cut the buildup to Cain’s introduction in this episode, I actually really disliked that scene so I’m glad it was removed. I can only hope that they will make the right call for the rest of the material because there are definitely more lines/scenes coming up that I would hate to see again.

          Yeah, I think we can both agree that the show is hitting some really good points but can do better. It’s just such a shame the anime didn’t get more episodes. As much as I wish they would make better decisions with the material, I am really just praying that anime does not end in a train wreck. The second cour is going to be rough considering at the end of this episode, we’re halfway through volume 8 of the manga and at this rate, they almost need to adapt an entire volume per episode. And just when all my favorite arcs are here, they might have to rush through everything…

          • Lenlo says:

            Seriously, were only 8 volumes in? My goodness, that does not bode well. One of my favorites series out there, Monster, had 18 volumes and got a 74 episode adaption.

            As for being anime only, Banana Fish has definitely made me want to read the manga. The only reason I have put it off is so I can finish the series as I started it and not spoil myself. Can’t wait to read it.

            As far as modernization, I do agree its starting to become a detractor. At first they used it well. People had phones, they used their mobile phone either as a map or to look up newspaper articles. It worked. But not its starting to feel outdated in places. Like I find it hard to envision a sort of “Honor among thieves” that Cain seems to have in a New York Race Gang. And the whole Puppet State with the Middle East, as I said in the post, just doesn’t fit the modern political climate.

            I recognize the challenges MAPPA had when adapting these segments, but I am starting to wish they had made Banana Fish a 1980’s Period Piece instead of a modern rendition.

          • qwerty says:

            I really hope they do pick up the manga. It’s a classic for a reason.

            You know, I really disliked the scene in Harlem before Cain’s introduction too. It was incredibly uncomfortable to read. I can’t recall any other scenes I’d like to see removed in the next few volumes – which ones are you thinking of?

            I felt that Cain’s introduction was a little too sudden, though (again with the transitions). They could show Ash arriving in Harlem without all of the preamble with the guys on the street, and that would have felt like a more satisfying lead-in.

            When I heard that Banana Fish was getting 24 episodes, I was a little shocked. Even 36 episodes would leave a lot of things on the cutting room floor. I know a lot of people don’t care too much about side characters like Nadia and Jenkins (they’re not personal favorites, either), but I think they add to the sense of depth the series has, so I wish there was more room to include them. Even Charlie gets a little development going forward in the manga.

            @Lenlo
            I think part of the setting change rationale was to make the series more accessible to modern viewers. But I think a lot of the topics that BF hits on, like abuse and political maneuvering, are still relevant in an 80s time capsule.

            With 24 episodes, I’d prefer that they omit parts of the story rather than attempt to rush through everything. Let’s see how the second cour turns out.

  3. Chii says:

    @Lenlo
    Yeah, considering we have 19 volumes to go through total, it’s really not a good sign. But I will have faith in MAPPA, they seem to love the material very much so I want to believe they won’t make it end in a rushed catastrophe.

    I hope you enjoy the manga when you do get to it! I don’t blame you for waiting until the anime ends to pick it up.

    I think we all lament that it’s not still set in the 80s… At this point, I’m just trying to ignore all the logical problems it poses because it really isn’t Banana Fish’s fault. It’s all on MAPPA as a problem with the adaptation.

    @qwerty
    Definitely. I usually don’t read manga since I tend to lose interest very quickly but Banana Fish gripped me from the beginning to the end. The only parts that got a bit tiring was the action in the last two arcs. It definitely has a lot of problems related to the time period in which it was published in though, some of which the anime cleaned up and some of which haven’t been.

    There was a scene with Ash and Eiji, which for the life of me, I will never know why it was translated in the way that it was, but Ash used a homophobic slur. The scene itself is fine, but that line really needs to be taken out. Also, Ash can get really graphic when describing his sexual assault sometimes… episode 11 cleaned it up nicely, I hope they continue to do so for the other times he talks about it. There are a few other instances which I hope are just cleaned up. Overall, I can’t recall scenes that need to be completely removed.

    That would have been nice. But I still think the transition will end up abrupt either way because the color palette will probably end up switching around 3 times in the span of around 5 seconds if they did that.

    Agreed. This material really deserves more time to breath. But considering the state of the anime industry now, it is hard to create such long productions that might be unprofitable. It’s a miracle Banana Fish even got an adaptation in the first place. Nadia and Jenkins have definitely been completely sidelined while I believe Steve has been completely cut (I think he was supposed to show up this episode but maybe they’ll introduce him later). But to be honest, Jenkins is boring and Nadia… well she can still get some screen time later and if that part is kept, I think that’ll be good enough. I’m kind of hoping they don’t cut out Charlie’s development but if they do, I don’t blame them.

    I agree that I would rather them cut out the fat than try to stuff everything in. But with the way MAPPA is going about it so far, I think they’re doing a mixture of both. Episode 11 omitted a lot of scenes while episode 12 stuffed almost everything in.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
@Niello - That's 'cause Miayano isn't Pepe Macias: https://youtu.be/nCL6e5TmVG8?t=34
Lenlo
Personally I like this Miyano voice, but only because it sounds like Old Okabe before 0 ruined him
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Wouldn't go that far. But as I've said this show did not click with me at all on most levels.
Niello
Am I the only one who think Miyano sounds annoying in Zombieland Saga? It was the same in Tadakoi too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Castlebros4life.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I forgot to mention, what I like about this guy is that he actually does have a plan rather than just milling it into the goblins.
Lenlo
Castlevania hype! I cant wait for season 2
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm more looking forward to reading The year one side story which is more about Goblin slayer himself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, I've caught up to the 28th chapter of Goblin slayers manga chapter, in spite of being rinse and repeat with not much depth, so far its remains fun. There will definitely be a "human shield" scene that won't appear in the anime. I'd hoped the side story manga would go into priestess girls past our something but it doesn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Castlevania season 2 is out next week.
AidanAK47
Damn, Youtubes down
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mamoru Miyano is the same voice actor for the producer and Okabe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think they are doing other genres in zombieland too, I think one is vaporwave.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would be very strange if the guy who is the past version of Hitomi's grandfather started falling for her.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That leads me to consider , should the search bar be moved?
AidanAK47
Pretty Sure he mistook the chat window for a search bar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fell behind, part 3 too long aswell.
SuperMario
@anon: it's just too little too late...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Interested in seeing more of that horse guy who showed up in the recent beastars chapters. Also liked how they co-relate lion guy with louis' dad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I'm knocking Honda-san, as that simple/minimalist style is another thing that makes these gag comedies work also.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Animation's a bit BARE BONES though wahaha!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I'm quite amused by the surrealism of it all, a skeleton working in a bookshop =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: A quick random fact, one of the manga the blonde girl in episode 1 is asking for is a legendary, old shounen-ai classic from the 70s. The short format suits these gag comedies because I feel that stretching them out to 20 something minute runtimes kills the joke.
Lenlo
Honda-San continues to be the funniest thing I have seen in awhile
AidanAK47
@Vonter, That should not go together as well as it does
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Goblin slayer did nothing wrong.
Animosh
It's dumb, but I can't deny it's uplifting. :)
Animosh
The slime anime really offers the perfect counter to Goblin Slayer. In Goblin Slayer murder is the answer to everything, peace is impossible and revenge will haunt you forever. In the slime series? A short speech about the benefits of kindness and cooperation and the pitfalls of revenge is enough to convince everyone to get along (and that includes two races who were on the verge of war).
Vonter
Also because I just had to: http://vmashup.com/yvDoiQhU
Vonter
Zombieland gives me Scooby Doo vibes. With a silly premise of reviving moe girls to make a band. How they're prey to their instincts and I do like the music aspect doesn't feel as artificial as other shows that may also promote the songs to be sold. Since the music seems more to play for the story than to be good songs. Not remarkable but enjoyable I'll say.
Vonter
So far I've more issue with what the maid says than what she does. Since the anime wants to paint her in a good light but some of the things she says are very creepy. On the other side, there seems an underlying sadness since she seems capable but dumbfounded on how to live her life.
Vonter
I checked UzaMaid! and Zombieland Saga, which were funny and silly and entertaining, nothing major, but I also don't found them bad. The first one treads the line so far of having creepy implications, but it has a bit of John Hughes slapstick thrown a bit. I'll like it more if the little girl were a bit more like Kevin from Home Alone or Junior from Problem Children.
Amagi
Seems like a part of the background has changed after the post-kaiju fight reset in Gridman. I wonder what's even real in this series.
SuperMario
Gosh, how I love the improv dialogues and the indie Kemono-Friends level of visual flourish in Himote House
Masky
Like Zero Escape series itself goes through pretty much everything related to psychology
Masky
In general I don't really get what is up with japanese fictional works running different scientific paradoxes or theories into everything unrelated ._.
Lenlo
Mmm Im so glad I started throwback thursday. 2 episodes in and I already love Planetes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think might know it off by heart now I hear it mentioned so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I hope I haven't doomed you, I voted for Goblin slayer .
Amagi
Hate that too and I actually got my hopes up in episode 1 since it seemed like they wouldn't explain it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I was hoping someone else would bring that up.
Niello
Bunny Girl is pretty good so far, but I do have to say that I rolled my eyes at another rundown of Schrodinger's cat. What's with the obsession?
Amagi
Drama never works for me with Key and even most of Kyoani's works in general.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I already mentioned about how surprisingly solid/serious bunny girl senpai takes itself for the better, but I'd like to add, the drama doesn't feel obnoxious either such as in a Key work.
Amagi
I love those first impression reviews of bad series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah, it's why I never picked HxH up again as well. I also think there are still tons of issues with SAO although most of them come up later. AW will always be way better in my opinion.
Anonymous2948346
Glad the Imouto review was good for something, niello. The show itself certainly isn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny that for some a series could improve as it went on, but with sword art, its now three seasond and a movie , thats alot to watch and quite the ask to get to the "good" part.
Amagi
@niello: I meant that key visual https://d38fgd7fmrcuct.cloudfront.net/1_3p7wgf1obds2mkioy1cmi.jpg - but as said it doesn't mean anything. I will only get hyped once I see the first animated scene and confirm that the boats aren't CG or at least a good kind of CG.
Lenlo
Oh baby. Spring 2019, One Punch Man S2 and Hero Aca S4. Can't wait
niello
@Amagi, Vinland Saga promo pic looks good? Aren't those just manga cover pictures that they showed in the promo...
niello
"Ore ga Sick of this Shit dakedo Shit Keeps Getting Made", I laughed so hard, thanks.
Lenlo
Will probably do a final review but not weekly episodes
Lenlo
But I watched it. Its alright, im gonna watch it to the end.
Lenlo
@animosh, I dont know about them.
Animosh
Oh, that sounds very promising! I've always found thematic explorations of virtual reality very interesting. You know: What is "real" and what isn't? Does it even matter? And what place should virtual reality have in society? In previous seasons those themes were a bit dumbed down, so I'd be up for seeing them explored in some more detail. And with four cours, there's plenty of time to do so.
Amagi
I am not yet sure how much SAO III will suffer from the lacking inner monologue though. The interesting part fo it was the world building and the taboos and how it was the first actual simulation and creation of humanity and the birth of a virtual culture, with mods and admins being literal gods in the VR, like some matrix thing. The anime skipped a lot and actions they do feel more casual there.
Amagi
@Animosh: Well the author did improve a lot, I actually consider most of Accel World as pretty good, especially the later arcs. Thanks for reminding me to buy the last two volumes by the way.
Animosh
I'm sure it won't be great (hell, given SAO's track record, it'll almost certainly end up punishing me for getting my hopes up), but there are at least signs that the author has recognized what went wrong in previous seasons and is trying to correct his mistakes. So with some luck, I might just end up enjoying this season! Maybe. Not getting my hopes up too much though.
Animosh
And where previous seasons barely made any attempts to build up the various virtual worlds, this season is taking it slow so far, which makes it feel more like a well-realized world than a generic fantasy blob. And last but not least, it seems Kirito will have to start over, so even if he'll inevitably end up OP again, he'll probably have to work for it, which is something the series really needed
Animosh
For example: the old cast has been stuck in the harem-mold for a long time, and that makes them incredibly dull. Most of them only exist to make Kirito look good, and barely have any agency of their own. But the new characters are different (so far at least). The most prominent new character (Eugeo) is male, and has clear goals of his own.
Animosh
By the way, did you guys skip Sword Art Online for your first impressions posts? I know you're not fond of the series (and rightly so, because it's way too popular for such a mediocre series), but I actually think it's been pretty decent so far. A fresh start with a largely new cast is exactly what the series needed, and there are some promising signs it's heading in a positive direction.
Animosh
@Amagi: I felt the same way after the episode. It's a very predictable move, but somehow I still didn't see it coming. I guess I should have known better than to trust a happy-go-lucky love interest (although I'm rooting for Rikka) after Darling in the Franxx.
Animosh
But in their own ways they still offered the kind of wild and wacky ride through adolescent insecurities that FLCL is known for, and the characters were likable enough (even if underdeveloped). The OST remains strong too. So although the series could definitely have been better, overall I think this has been a pretty enjoyable revival of the series.
Animosh
After its slow start I'm glad FLCL at least managed to end on a fairly strong note. I still think it's a shame none of the two series really managed to replicate the surreal craziness and visual inventiveness of the original (though Progressive did try), and the wider focus of both series compared to OG FLCL (with the same number of episodes) backfired a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Sometimes the offscreen content can allow our imaginations to work and disturb us more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Deception more like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girl wasn't even pregnant, show telling lies, too lazy to draw pregnancy too probably .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Was your internet acting weird today? Don't know what provider you're using but mine only came back an hour ago or so, lots of people in Dublin were reporting connection issues and in other counties too.
SuperMario
@Amagi: still haven't watched the second one but the first episode did surprise me
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Still ain't watching it
Amagi
Okay I didn't really see the content of ep 2 of Gridman coming. I feel like I should have seen this coming, but I didn't.
Masky
I'm honestly confused about Conception since I'm under impression that Conception games are about "Do some sort of weird ritual to create "Star Child" which doesn't actually involve pregnancy". Like did game also go this far, did anime change this or is this setup for second episode to start with "lol just kidding" or what the frick
Amagi
I think deaths are often the best examples of failed attempts to keep the audience invested. Regardless how many tears there are and how tragic the death is, I won't care when the series itself is bad, the character not flashed out or the scene forced. I have seen series in which one died offscreen that hit me harder than a full episode of whining over some dead moe blobb.
Amagi
There are a lot anime like that since the presentation is important. There are many of those convoluted trainwrecks with 10 different plot twist where one or two of them are actually good on paper but do nothing when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding those crap light novel shows...it really is a sign isn't it, that its so bad sometimes, that even if it does something that appeals to you/would titillate you, you still don't care and won't watch it, because its so shit.
Lenlo
A poll assumes people would actually vote in it. I guess I can try it out and see if people care enough for it, sure. Still, would need things to put on said poll, so feel free to suggest
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes with these shows you just have to let them wash over you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps I could say similar about irozuku as I do Yagate.
Amagi
I am kinda happy I managed to avoid all bad series this season with the exception of Release the Spyce which I only tried because I gave it the benefit of doubt due to having enjoyed Princess principal to some degree despite its many flaws.
SuperMario
I'm back after a week vacation and the first thing I watched again was Conception. I mean I was prepared but this show is one of the reason we all need break to stay sane
Kaiser-Eoghan
I need a refresher on the early bits of vinland and Viking Count Dooku (Askeladd) arc so watching the anime would be a great recap oppurtunity.
Amagi
I really hope Vinland Saga will have a good budget. The promo pic looks pretty damn good but I also liked the very first promo pic of the last Berserk series and we all know how that one turned out.
Amagi
And yes Legosi also always makes me think of Bela Lugosi. I guess I watched too many old movies.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I strangely also lost interest in some game series I liked as little kid, Megaman too for example. I guess there are just series that can work on NES and SNES but not that well as 3D series on modern consoles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I come away from irozuku feeling I watched an aethetically pleasing, somewhat cute show but not much else, but that may not be an entirely bad thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@lenlo: Alternatively you could put up a poll.
Lenlo
Thats a good idea Kaiser! I read all the comments, so if there are any you think would be good feel free to suggest them. I can compile a list and pick one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: To make things easier, perhaps each season, for variety, the throwback Thursday thing could pick a different genre for it each season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every time I read his name in Beastars, I kept thinking the actors name "Bela Legosi" because the wolf's name was legosi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Weird tangent, looking up Irozuku on google image search reveals theres a porn actress with the same name as the lead female character =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I think the fans had better ideas for the games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I hated any of his games though, but they did have diminishing returns and weren't always consistent in quality. It was disappointing when they started going for some kind of story, then kind of dropped it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was a big fan of megaman growing up, but like sonic, unlike Mario and Zelda, his games got increasingly diluted the more the franchise went on, megaman didn't work in 3D either. Also the second nes one has a really neat soundtrack =)
Vonter
Megaman 11 made me want to play the old games. So I bought the first Legacy Collection pack which has a rewind feature. The first game is hard and cheap at some spots. It also feels a bit stiff. Still it's funny spotting things that were changed in every other entry. Like the boss checkpoints having enemies and traps. Also I think this is the only game showing Dr. Light's house from the outside.
Lenlo
Ah, that anon was me! Was on my phone
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: My beastars post would have gone into spoilers. I decided to private message instead.
Anonymous2930785
I am very happy that Shorter isnt a one and done event.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In regards to humour. However in terms of anime humour, something like hoozuki no reitatsu would have me losing my shit laughing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I love stuff by Bunuel or Roy Anderson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I prefer sardonic, sad bastard, bleak, dry/depressing or particularly serious but surreal comedy, humour/comedy played straight .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, yes as expected with Zombieland saga, I gave it a second episode chance, but this is an easy drop for me, its just how comedy goes sometimes, but I didn't laugh once during this episode , just left me cold/blank to it.
Amagi
It's like that season that had SoraYori, I watched like 7 other shows but I only remember SoryYori by now.
Amagi
I think for the last season (counting finished series) this is only true for Planet With. I do remember Chiochan when I think a bit but spontaneosly I couldn't come up with anything else if I had a time limit of 20 seconds or so.
Amagi
I often only really become aware about which series I liked the most when I try remembering the respective season months later. I often enjoy a bunch of shows and watch even more, and yet, at the end of the day, there is always onely one or two that actually stick in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to say again, I'm glad that Shorter is still being remembered episodes after him leaving the show. Thought they could have held that scene with yut-lung longer, its obvious he despises Eiji. Sudden gag in this episodes middle threw me off. lol at that killing attempt in the second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also a horror manga about Robert Johnson, me and the devil blues.
Amagi
Speaking of great manga series, everyone should try Shiori Experience, the Jimmy Hendrix manga. There is barely any series that hypes me up as much as this one and I read a lot. This could be the anime of the year if it would get adapted by a competent team and get a good budget and appropriate OST.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think I will marathon the rest of Dorohedoro the next days. And then looking forward to her next series.
Amagi
Zombieland Saga is the only new anime that actually surprised me. I am not talking about good or bad here, there are a bunch of other pretty good series airing right now but Zombieland is the only one that caught me off-guard in a positive way.
AidanAK47
Okay, I think I love Zombieland Saga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've embraced bunny-girls approach to its dialogue/drama now with the second episode, also they go a bit into her past in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I'll be posting my thoughts later. Also, there's on one chapter of dorohedoro left.
Amagi
There are 7 new Beastars chapters out, I really liked the climax here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a tangent, damn you mappa, adapt Freesia already .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I needed to watch red garden twice to really "get" it, as in for it to click for me, its a show that picks up near the middle.
Amagi
It had scenes you rarely see in anime that do happen all the time in real life, like friends talking across each other, people talking at the same time or interrupting others.
Amagi
@Niel: Have you seen Red Garden? A lot of people agreed that it had the most natural dialogues of the anime that aired that year so maybe you would enjoy that too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animmosh: josei yuri I would welcome being adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Hana wa saku, yuutsu no asa and Acid town adaptation WHEN.
Animosh
Yuri gets all the hype, but yaoi gets all the glory.
Animosh
So, yeah, if other folk here haven't seen it yet, give it a try! By the way, it's interesting how what probably were my two favorite shows of the past season (Banana Fish and this one) were both BL shows. Can't say I saw that coming.
Animosh
It's kind of reminiscent of classics like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but with some anime tropes added to the mix (the bubbly main character and his tsundere love interest), and with less emphasis on politics and more on horror and fantasy. And for a Chinese series, the animation is really solid, in spite of the occasional CGI hiccup. The backgrounds in particular are very easy on the eyes.
Animosh
I don't remember who it was, but thanks for recommending Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation! It's surprisingly good for a show I had heard so little about. I love historical epics, and the main characters are built up very well and have a lot of chemistry. I do wish the antagonists were more interesting (they're very black-and-white), but the protagonists are all a lot of fun to watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*didn't work for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niel: Garo didn't work for outside of the fantasy setting.
Niel
The exceptions to this are usually shorts and films. You don't get to see them often in TV series. As for the story, I don't have nearly enough patience for monster-of-the-week formula as I did years ago, so if it's just going the generic tokusatsu route then you'll hear from me. but since Garo wasn't too bad I have hope that they will do something interesting with this.
Niel
The environments also feel so much more like places where people live and hang out. Take the school room for example. Anime rarely portray school rooms as this place where teenagers gather and play during break. It's usually only consist of people talking with no mischieve whatsoever. And when there are scenes of bedroom they often feels more like a showroom than a place where someone live in.
Niel
@Lenlo @Aidan Your impressions of Gridman are fair. I'm just really excited for Gridman because two of my main pet peeves with anime are the unnatural dialogue, and bland and sterilised background environments. Here when characters talk, it actually seem so much closer to the conversation flow you'd see more in everyday life, and I'm kind of starving for that in my anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although with drugs and anime in mind, I do wish that a sports anime that addresses cheating through performance enhancing drugs would be made.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Release the spyce and drug use? I find this odd, I think I heard that the Japanese had a thing about depicting that (drugs) in animation/on tv when it came to young charcters.
Masky
Like, sure, it has tactical goblin slaughter action, but its more about how broken mess of person Goblin Slayer is and how he learns to connect with people. Its surprisingly insightful at times, but the trashy parts really clash with the actual tone of series considering its only purpose is pretty much "Goblins are horrible" which is point you got with gore in first place
Masky
Anyhoo, yeah, made already comment about it on the blog, but I really feel like trashy parts of Goblin Slayer clash with what it is about
Masky
Oh yeah, that was surprisingly hilarious. Mostly because English was surprisingly good
Lenlo
I should not like Honda-San as much as I do. But I love it.
Masky
Like, lot of writers, game developers, comic artists, etc, they clearly base their works on stuff they were fan of. Lot of people get inspired by stuff they enjoyed during their childhood for example. There is no real difference between "Being inspired to do same type of thing you liked" and "You copied something popular" besides the level of half assedness
Masky
@SuperWooper: What I feel like is that there is nothing new under the sun. Whenever something feels like original, its mostly that you yourself just haven't seen it before or the execution feels fresh or the cliches and tropes haven't been used in a while
Amagi
I really don't like the highschool boy suddently getting super power and mega robot-kind of trope so they better add some more original stuff to make up for this.
Amagi
I might still enjoy this series though depending on the ideas the writers might have. As usual, much of my enjoyment depends on the antagonist. If this should really be nothing than a typical toku show with evil villain I will probably drop it too.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I only watch sub, I kinda feel like the first half was good dialoguewise but I know what Aidan and Lenlo mean, I generally didn't like the second half of the episode.
SuperWooper
Being a writer for an anime blog, I'm not really qualified to say.
AidanAK47
@Wooper, what is originality?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although personally I won't be watching gridman due to not being a fan of trigger.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In Goblin slayer I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just glad that the protaganist is a guy in his 20s for a change.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did you all watch gridman in English or Japanese? I ask because, perhaps the dialogue might have been an issue with the dub or something?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, it seems I wasn't really paying much attention to the animation in Goblin slayer, I was having too much fun with it.
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Featured Posts

Kaze Ga Tsukyoku Fuiteiru – 3 [A Single Flower]

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