Posted on 25 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mix

I said in last week’s post that Mix cares about all its characters, but really, these two episodes made that case most strongly. Just about the only member the show couldn’t find time for here was the owner of the ramen place where Haruka works part time. The opening of episode 19 was so focused on Ryou that I felt he might be the series’ new protagonist, before the pivot to a baseball-heavy episode 20 that gave us some of Koma, Imagawa, and Nango’s finest moments. You probably failed to recognize at least one of those names (I had to look up all three), but Mix didn’t forget them for a second. The main cast wasn’t neglected, either – Touma underwent a surprising development, while Otomi’s place in the background gave us another angle from which to appreciate her candid personality. I couldn’t be more pleased, really.

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Posted on 24 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dr.STONE

Everyone, this week is a big week for Dr.STONE. A lot of important things happen. We meet Suika, Senku creates Ramen and most important of all, Dr.STONE gives us our first major roadmap. Let’s jump in!

Starting off, let’s talk about the ever so important roadmap. We will be getting a few of these as we go through the series, and they act as arcs of sorts. Detailing our end goal and what Senku has to accomplish to get there. I have always enjoyed these roadmaps myself. Showing a bunch of the little details involved, yet never really downplaying how difficult these steps will be. While I can’t speak for the validity/exactness of the science, the general idea behind it seems sound enough as well. It would be very interesting to get an actual scientists interpretation of it all. Overall though I think it’s a novel idea on how to structure an arc. Not around a villain, but a goal with a clear end and pathway. The only question being how the characters will accomplish each goal.

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Posted on 23 August 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Reviews by AidanAK47

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically expect spoilers after this first paragraph while I place my general thoughts at the beginning. To throw my final estimate on this right now I will say that Heaven’s Feel II is just as good, if not better than the movie preceding it. Ufotable truly have done great work in bringing this route to life and with two movies out of three adapted as well as this then as long as Ufotable doesn’t make any major missteps in the last movie this will be considered a perfect adaption with only nitpickers trying to amplify its flaws(Take note that nitpicking is to follow this paragraph.) The animation is steller, the music is…well I think Kajura held herself back enough to make my usual complaints of her less evident, the adaption of the source ultimately makes it better by cutting out the bloat and extending fight scenes which were originally nonexistent and the atmosphere and pacing is engaging from start to finish. For those curious I will confirm that yes there is a sex scene in this movie though temper your expectations as it is a sex scene on the level of which you would see in a PG rated romantic comedy. So I am afraid you will once again have to rely on doujins if you require some porn. Funny as it is though I would say that the strongest element of this movie isn’t the fight scenes, character interactions or the further developments of the holy grail war. But the show stealers here is when the story veers into horror as it’s there where Kajura’s soundtrack truly excels and highlights the utterly unnerving nature that the villain of this piece is. The “shadow” captures a near Lovecraftian level of unknown malevolence and any time it’s on screen is a showcase of just how powerless anyone is to oppose it. The combination of CGI and 2D animation makes it truly otherworldly and unsettling, almost making the uncanny effect its advantage. The story is dark to the point of giving Fate/Zero competition as developments long awaited and wished are finally happening to the cast. If there is a detriment it would be that some great scenes with Illya and Kirei were cut to make the runtime reasonable which is understandable but somewhat disappointing. So if you have already watched the first movie and was interested enough to move on to the second then I doubt you need my encouragement to continue.

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Mononoke, Throwback Thursday

Ah, another week, another terrifying horror arc from Mononoke. This week we meet a character who is both new and old, get to take a ride on a ship, and see some of the Medicine Seller’s hidden personality. Let’s jump in!

Starting off, lets go over the setup and premise for this arc. Instead of a brothel, it looks like Mononoke is going for more of a naval story this time. Though not without its own continued flare. Turning the entire ship into a sort of mobile aquarium, covering it with flags and such. There are no attempts to stick to reality here, because the whole thing is presented as a stage play still. The dramatization allowing it to sell everything while still keeping the horror I feel. Mononoke also setup the mystery this week rather quickly. Immediately going to the compass and the magnetic bar. No questions as to what happened, just who. What I liked about this though is that Mononoke took the time to give each character motivations. Reasons for doing so, even our lead. It’s the sort of thing a mystery thrives on.

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Posted on 20 August 2019 with categories: Other:, State of the Season

Wooper: Like a summer heat wave that just won’t end, anime is forever new in the eyes of seasonal watchers. Here at Star Crossed, we grind out countless episodic posts in an effort to keep up, but today we’re doing something a bit different. We’ve decided to call it “State of the Season” – a quarterly report on what we’re watching, what we’re most enjoying, and what we’ve dropped like a hot potato. This is our first time doing this sort of round table post, so it’s a chance for you to see which of our writers you’re most aligned with, and who among us has bottom tier taste. Ready? Let’s get started!

 

What show are you enjoying that you’re not reviewing?

Amun: Granbelm.  Normally I’m not into Mech or Mahou Shoujo, but this is pretty good.  Latest episode is lit!

Wooper: Dumbbell. It’s this year’s Yuru Camp – informative CGDCT that builds its characters enough to create real friendships between them.

Lenlo: Dumbbell. Everything tells me I shouldn’t enjoy what is basically a fanservice workout show. Yet I am all about that Fitmoe life, I enjoy the educational part of it, and Machio is a lovable beefcake. Sidenote: I hated Yuru Camp >.>

Mario: Two shows for me, the first one being Wasteful Days of High School Girls. I have a soft spot for these slice-of-life comedies that play with character tropes, but even then nothing prepares for this show’s quirkiness. I enjoy the tongue-in-cheek humor and I love every character. The second show is Lord El-Melloi II, which manages to make the whole Fate universe interesting in my eyes. And that is such an accomplishment.

Helghast: Ramming my way through Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba since I heard about the hype surrounding episode 19’s final five minutes. It’s alright so far with ufotable’s stellar animation propping up the show. 

Armitage: Dumbbell for me too. It’s such an easy watch. And each week, I feel more motivated to get off my couch and you know *whispers* exercise.

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Welcome to the true start of Vinland Saga, as this week adapts what was originally the 1st Chapter of the manga. This week Thorfinn hits puberty, Askeladd makes bank and the French get laughed at. Lets jump in!

Starting off, this week was a series of highs and lows for Vinland’s production. I said it before, but the CGI is really starting to stand out. You need only look at the ending shots of the ships sailing down river to see that. With how beautiful the backgrounds are, the CGI ships just don’t fit. Alternatively look at the CGI soldiers on the battlefield. There are splashes of good there, and it cuts to 2D when it matters. But it’s very noticeable and doesn’t fit the rest of the art style. That said, Vinland did have some good CGI this week. The first person cut of Thorfinn fighting his way through the soldiers looked great. They kept the detail on the planks and decided to make the soldiers in the first person shot 2D. So as critical as I am of CGI, its very much a mixed bag.

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Posted on 19 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, DanMachi

DanMachi, as an anime, grew up this week. From the show that brought you the cosplaying mechanic of the “Hestia ribbon” comes an episode dealing with largest taboo in hero anime, and in some ways, Japanese conservative culture as a whole. Watching DanMachi this week is like this: you have a friend who you hang out with for laughs, but one day they come up with something profound and life-changing out of nowhere. You remember it, just because of the juxtaposition with their normal personality; it’s jarring.

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Posted on 17 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kimetsu no Yaiba

After last week’s episode, I had high hopes for Kimetsu no Yaiba this week. Sadly, I think I came away from it with more criticisms than complements. Perhaps natural, since living up to last week was nigh impossible. But I wasn’t prepared for Yaiba to undercut its best episode either. Welcome to Yaiba, episode 20, lets jump in.

Normally I start this off with production stuff, but at this point you know what I think about Yaiba. It’s a good looking series, the OST is great, nothing to complain about there. Instead I want to get right into the meat, start with my concerns. The first one being, I don’t like the return of Rui. I feel like his revival completely undercuts the fantastic emotional highpoint of the last episode. There are arguments that Tanjiro shouldn’t be able to defeat a Moon this early, and they are valid. The Moon’s are supposed to be the big bads right below Muzan. However, that doesn’t change how Yaiba presented these last two episodes. If Tanjiro isn’t supposed to defeat a Moon, then don’t make their confrontation so final. With all the fanfare and emotion of a series finale. Basically, don’t break your series only rule for no good reason. (more…)

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

Ah today is a good day. The day where Dr.STONE reinforces what I loved about it when I first read it. You see this week Science takes center stage, we meet the ancient sorcerer Chrome, and the legendary Kinro gets his fabled weapon. Enough with the preamble though, welcome to this weeks Dr.STONE and lets get into it.

Starting off, I want to talk about the fun presentation of the episode. From the OST to the sound effects, Dr.STONE did a good job of accentuating the animation. Take for instance the segment of Senku dropping mathematics on Chrome. With the sound of everything and the kitchen sink falling with it. Or the music during Senku and Chrome’s final conversation. I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I am pretty sure I heard bagpipes in there. The last anime I remember using bagpipes was Fairy Tail, and even then the OST was never Fairy Tail’s issue. In Dr.STONE though it expertly brings out this sort of terrifying whimsy. Getting across the scale and destruction of what has happened, while still having the whimsy of Senku and his science. To put it simply, I could listen to those bagpipes all day. Love the instrument.

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Posted on 16 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mononoke, Throwback Thursday

There really isn’t a good way to introduce this episode. Nothing is really going to soften the madness of what I just watched. As this week Mononoke has given us one of the darkest/creepiest yet most endearing episodes I have seen in a long time. So let’s just get on with it.

Starting off, a quick look into the production of this week. Once again, Mononoke didn’t really “wow” in terms of straight animation, but rather with it’s style. The most obvious example of this would be the “flip book” presentation of a number of scenes. Looking at it cynically, you could argue this is to save on the animation budget. A simple paper flip effect and 4 frames. For me though, with the overlaid paper effect permeating every frame, I thought it rather clever. That’s not even mentioning the actual subject matter that was displayed. This was… incredibly evocative. I thought a lot of the presentation was clever and clear. Such as the red cloth from the babies, to the urns in which they were stored. Or what body the Proprietress had during different tellings of the story. While it may have only taken place in one room, I was impressed.

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Vinland Saga – 10 [Ragnarok]

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Mix – 21-22 [If…/Affection for His Sister]

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