Posted on 31 July 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fire Force

This week’s episode of Fire Force has obvious implications beyond anime – the KyoAni fire. I’ll be addressing this episode as it was without wading into any of the horrific tragedy or any censoring/changes that may have occurred.

Episode 3 starts off with long winded exposition and world discussion. Surprisingly, we meet the bad guys, the state of Earth, and the major players behind the scenes in the span of 15 seconds. Not my favorite way to introduce setting – I would rather be shown than told. From there we are thrust into the newbie games, which I actually liked. Instead of typical shonen overblown tournaments for the local nose picking competition, these rookie games were something that felt like an inter departmental team building exercise – a nice realistic touch.

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Posted on 30 July 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Reviews by Lenlo, Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime history. That said, Serial Experiments Lain can hardly be said to be an “enjoyable” series. It is certainly evocative, Serial Experiments Lain will bring about emotions and force you to confront reality in a unique way. But I at least did not end the series thinking I would watch it again anytime soon, and this density will no doubt be off putting for many. However while these may keep it out of my favorites, it is without a doubt worth your time. Lets go.

(Disclaimer: I am working to make 50 the new “average”. 70 is not an average score people. 70 is above average. Carry on.)

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Posted on 29 July 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Sports, Mix

How distracted does a middle schooler have to be to forget his own birthday? For adults, birthdays can get lost in the shuffle of occupational challenges, financial woes, and/or parenthood, but for kids they’re like a second Christmas. The gifts, the attention, the perceived bump in social standing – how could a fifteen year old boy forget such an event? And yet, that’s exactly what Ryou Akai does, only recalling the date when an admiring girl gives him a present before class. Prior to this episode, I’d have said that only his fractured relationship with his brother could have pushed something so special as a birthday from his mind. But Mix steadfastly refuses to shed additional light on their feud, opting instead to bring a new distraction into his life: a newly-minted crush on Otomi Tachibana.

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Welcome all, to the grand return of Vinland Saga! It’s been 3 weeks since it first aired and we finally get more, so allow me a moment of release before we start. Ahem, VINLAAAAAAAAND HYYYYYYYPE. Thank you. Let’s jump in.

Starting off, as much as I love Vinland, production wasn’t perfect. Part of this has to do with the fact that a vast majority of this episode was a single scene in the same location. There was very little variance or interesting switchups on screen. And the CGI water also suffered a bit this week. Seemingly passing through the boats at the end. However, there was still plenty to love in Vinland this week. Now I could talk about the artstyle, or the dynamic faces of Askeladd or Thors. However, I want to focus on something Wit does very well. The action. In particular, Askeladd and Thors fight was small scale and beautiful. Wit focused a lot on their swords, full body movements and the tactics, just like the manga, and I loved it. So basically, if Vinland stays the course, I’ll be happy.

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Posted on 28 July 2019 with categories: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Welcome to Zenitsu week on Kimetsu no Yaiba! This week we get a flashback, Zenitsu goes super saiyan and we meet 3 more of the demon family. Lets jump in!

Now, I could talk about a lot of things here in production. I could mention the hit or miss CGI spiders, and how the quality varies by scene. I could talk about the comedic faces and what not. But no one cares about that. Infact, people only care about one thing in particular this week, and thats Zenitsu. Because the simple fact is that even if he hadn’t gotten a decent backstory this week, I wouldn’t care. I want Yaiba to keep him around, hell show more of him, just so Nozomu Abe can do more of what he did today. With an entire episode building up to a single cut, the man and by extension Yaiba knocked it out the park. I just… I can’t explain how beautiful this scene is. Sound, animation, pacing. Screw Tanjiro’s water effects, make this the Zenitsu show just for more lightning!

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Dr.STONE

Welcome all, to the climax of Dr.STONE’s opening prologue. A lot happens this week! We see a young Senku, Tsukasa catches up and perhaps the greatest change, Yuzuriha gets a haircut. Lets dive in!

Right off the bat, for as much as I enjoyed it narratively, visually Dr.STONE was pretty weak. The biggest example of this is Tsukasa’s run through the forest. With the ground and trees looking like they came from a completely different series. Tsukasa himself standing out against the background textures. It doesn’t help Dr.STONE that Kimetsu no Yaiba is airing in the same season either. Ufotable’s CGI landscapes are both better done, and better directed. Going for dynamic camera movements and effects such as fog to cover any iffy textures. Using a first person view to get around actually placing 2D characters into a 3d scene. Yes, its production tricks, but they are clever and result in a far better looking scene than we got here. Luckily, that was Dr.STONE’s worst offense this week. The rest resulting in a fun, if melodramatic, cliffhanger.

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Posted on 25 July 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kanata no Astra

Even with all the worries from manga-readers regarding whether or not Kanata no Astra can wrap things up in 12 episodes, for me from an anime-only perspective the pacing so far is just about right. This week our group arrives at the second planet in their journey, and I enjoy the fact that this planet is vastly different from the first, and increasingly more sinister as well. Each place they visit the ecosystem varies significantly, and that provides a good opportunity for new experience (hello riding strange animals) and how well these kids adapt to the new environment. Of course, Kanata no Astra also knows its medium so it’s never shy on playing up the character tropes, which personally I can live without. I was crying inside when Quitterie’s first reaction when Zack butts into the bathroom was “I understand how you feel. But now is not the time for this” (seriously, who says that in that situation in real life?) and Kanata’s logic of taking off his helmet to find the medicine shiny mushroom still bugs me. But other aspects of this episode are strong enough to compensate for these missteps.

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Posted on with categories: Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all to the finale of Serial Experiments Lain, perhaps the oddest of the series done for Throwback Thursday yet. This week Lain moves on, Arisu grows up and everyone just… goes back to normal. Lot’s going on, none of which I am qualified for, but let’s jump in.

Now before we get into the meat of the series, I want to talk about “enjoyment”. You see, I am not entirely sure that I “enjoyed” Lain. Don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly interesting, and very evocative. Lain made me feel a lot of emotions throughout its run. Think about a lot of topics anime normally doesn’t. Yet, were they positive emotions? Was it… enjoyable? I don’t think it was, though I don’t think that’s necessary either. You don’t need to enjoy something for it to have value. For an extreme example, I never enjoyed textbooks, yet the information was valuable. I don’t enjoy many of my favorite moments in Berserk, because of their tragic nature. Yet they have value and cause me to feel emotions I normally don’t. For someone as unexpressive as myself, that’s an accomplishment. Enough about me though, onto the finale itself.

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Posted on 24 July 2019 with categories: Cop Craft, Currently Watching:

For those of you who haven’t quite caught up yet, Cop Craft claimed our own “Season Sleeper” prize for its first episode. While at first glance, Cop Craft is a kind of mix between the buddy cop formula of Double Decker and the “multiple races live in the same city” world building of Blood Blockade Battlefront, for me it’s another case of Grimoire of Zero which air few years ago: both have an incredible leads’ chemistry and a mildly-interesting settings. For Cop Craft, the show is not shy on touching dark themes of corruption and racism so you can’t say that it doesn’t have any ambition. The problem with Cop Craft so far is the production values. Mind you, it didn’t even look polished in the premiere, but it still saddens me to see how the production falling apart just 3 episodes in.

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Posted on 23 July 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note

This is the kind of show that got me into Nasuverse in first place where it methodically goes through its mystery before punctuated by an epic showdown. The entire show gives off such a Kara no Kyoukai vibe with Lord El-Melloi II doing the detective work while his apprentices do all the stabbing and disposal of rogue magus. The mechanics of the magic system in Fate franchise are often so convoluted that info dumps are necessary to understand exactly how all the pieces come together. Lord El-Melloi II avoids such mundane narrative devices like explaining while walking around in a circle by organically incorporating the different aspects of magic into its weekly cases. First up is the astrology driven magus that ends up being consumed by a faulty ritual and sets the pace for how mysteries are to be solved. In the world of magic, once the motive has been discovered then everything else should fall into place as opposed to the standard CSI approach of picking through the howdunit. The second case is alot less interesting with the rat man ruining Waver’s favorite place for tea but that because a whole slew of characters were introduced.

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The Short Goodbye

With psgels.net likely vanishing into the ether soon, some of the authors got together to say a short goodbye. Most of it has already been covered in the other posts, but here are some final thoughts as we bid adieu to psgels and hello to starcrossedanime.com! Make sure to join us at the new starcrossedanime.com! […]

Psycho-Pass 3 – 05 [Agamemnon’s Offering]

Moving past the action-packed conclusion of the Gubernatorial elections case, Psycho-Pass 3 goes for a dialogue-heavy episode in preparation of whatever its decides to do for the last three episodes.

Neon Genesis Evangelion – 3 [The Silent Phone/A Transfer] – Throwback Thursday

Another week, another episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, possibly the last one before the site move. A nice dash for finality, I think. As this week Evangelion continues to explore Shinji’s mental state, what living in this world is like, and a dash of exposition. Lets dive in! Starting off, this was the first episode […]

Chihayafuru S3 – 07 [The Storm Blasts]

I’ve positively loved the last five episodes of Chihayafuru’s third season, so I don’t derive any pleasure from saying that I kind of hated this one. “The Storm Blasts,” in my eyes, makes an unwise narrative choice to achieve a convenient result, and creates a minefield of non-credibility for the show going forward. Though it’s […]

Psycho-Pass 3 – 04 [Political Strife in the Colosseum]

Sibyl isn’t everything but episode four has me nearly convinced with its balance of investigation, action, and social commentary that it is on par with the first season of Psycho-Pass. Wrapping up this case answers the case’s immediate questions like what makes Komina tick, but only more questions crop up like who is the First […]

Vinland Saga – 18 [Out of the Cradle]

Ah it’s good to be back after a weeks break, as Vinland Saga gives us another fantastic episode. This week sees Thorfinn fight for Askeladd’s life. Meanwhile Canute kills the boy so that the man may live. Lot’s to talk about, so let’s dive in! Starting off, I have to comment on how Vinland Saga […]

Fire Force 17 – Black and White, and Grey

Oh Fire Force.  Every episode it seems you do 5 things right…and three things wrong.  Every single one is on the verge of greatness, but very few cross over.  Let’s take a look!

My Hero Academia – 67/68 [Fighting Fate/Let’s Go, Gutsy Red Riot]

We’re here with a double header for My Hero Academia, with one pretty important episode…and one filler.  Let’s go!

Dr.STONE – 19/20 [To Modernity/The Age of Energy]

Hello all, to this double feature of Dr.STONE, as this lazy bones plays catch up. Apologies for missing last week, but a combination of factors made getting the post up in time… difficult. Enough excuses though, onto the episodes! Starting off, since I missed two episodes, let’s talk about the production for a second. As […]

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