Posted on 22 January 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Weekly Summary

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we blogged, there are 7 other shows in which I will drop 2 in the next week depending how they perform. Ideally this post will be at the beginning of the week. Without further ado, let’s jump in

Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue. (ep02)

Doukyonin is a healing show. Well, it’s a different kind of healing show where the two lonely individuals try their best effort to understand each other. It offers you a specific kind of mood and the second episode is a worthy follow-up to its premiere. Structure-wise, it follows the same pattern as the first where we at first follow the writer’s point of view before switching back to the cat. What makes it enjoyable is that the show nails its tone from start to finish. I enjoy the little gags of everyone keeps asking Subaru about his cat’s name and what makes this episode work so well is how the cat thinks totally differently from what we assume (Haru means food, simple as that), yet in the larger picture it just fits. Doukyonin is sweet and pleasant.

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Posted on 21 January 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai

Many of you might wonder why I decided to blog this show, despite the first episode spent two third of its time in one single aerial combat, which can be fascinating to watch but bring extremely little to talk about. While I agree that Kotobuki has its fair share of underwhelming aspects (which I will get to that later), it’s the presentation so far that makes it unlike any other show this season. First, it’s a new project from veteran director Tsutomu Mizushima, whose has directed a modern classic Shirobako, but perhaps is more well-known for his own take on genre-anime, to a varying degree of success, such as Girls und Panzers, Another, Mayoiga, Prison School and xxxholic.

Kotobuki’s premise reminds us strongly to Girls und Panzers especially, being another cut girls with military vehicle. So far it does well to differentiate itself from Panzers. The CG visual, for example, is a bold decision and so far it’s a hit-or-miss for me. Whenever it’s CG planes hitting each other it’s a delight to watch and hear. It’s also worth mentioning that Mizushima himself is in charge of the sound mixing, and sound in Kotobuki is anything less than spectacular. When the bullets the air jet, for instance, we can hear the metal sound clashing instead of explosions like other anime tend to do. The CG character designs, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. Generally they look okay, not in the same level of Sanizgen’s designs, but not awful either. But the moments their faces move or we have a close-up from lower angle, the CG is distracting and it looks jarring and unnatural.

Narrative-wise, it’s another bold decision of Kotobuki to throw the introduction / info dump parts down the sewer drain. As a result we pick up the information as they go along, usually with rapid-fire and heaps of talking. While normally I enjoy these kinds of narrative choice, it does it at the cost of the characters themselves given the fact that I can only remember 2 or 3 characters at best and the rest is just blurred somewhere in the background. It’s certainly the show that demands our attention through its natural and quick dialogues to pick up pieces of information or character’s traits through what they say and act. Finally, Kotobuki seems to make up its mind that their central of focus is the lengthy sequence of battles on the sky and in that respect the show fulfils its beautifully. The combats are well choreographed, sometimes it can be a bit difficult to follow but it’s always success of pulling you into the atmosphere.

In term of plot, so far we learn about this Kotobuki squad that consist of 6 female team members, which Kirie and Chika are the ones who tend to do things on their impulse. In this episode Kotobuki attempts to flesh out its world building by investigating the fact that the loss of its industrial cause many abandoned cities. There’s also something going on beyond our team’s knowledge given the squads they were up against are skilled and wasn’t on the mere amateurish level, which for me this win feels like one step forward before a big regression in the future. Kotobuki’s aesthetics might be a hit-and-miss so far, but it still remains a fun action show full of spectacular moments.

Posted on with categories: Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019), Currently Watching:

It starts with a girl jumping off the building.
I’m always a sucker for this sort of opener (clue in to Lain and Satoshi Kon even though Kon never technically did that for opener), and it feels like a decent start for the next arc to come. It basically repeats the same formula as the first three episodes, albeit more to my likings. The biggest distribution to that is that this episode more coherent than the first arc, while at the same time remains ambiguous. So far, Boogiepop introduces 2 new characters, both of them prove to be significant to this arc.

It starts with a girl jumping off the building, yet she isn’t literally dead. As we soon learn, she is another non-human villain whom Boogiepop is here to destroy her, and whom Boogiepop refers as “The Imaginator”. Who or what exactly she might be is up to the air right now, and the moment she falls down from the building she disappears to thin air. It’s worth noticing that the Imaginator (in the body of Minahoshi Suiko) is voiced by the recognisable Hanazawa Kana, which for me is a strange choice. She is later referred herself as “a future that’s taken form in the present, or a hypothetical possibility given substance”, which basically just pretentiously BS for me. What I do understand is that unlike Manticore in last arc where he eats human to survive, this supernatural being’s motive is unclear and it mighj not be necessary a bad cause. At the moment she seems to progress human’s strength by giving them a push, both mentally and supernaturally.

And her first prey is Asukai, a school counselor who can see what missing in people’s heart in the form of flowers. That makes it two series this season that a character can see the insight of people that naked eyes can’t (the other one is Dororo), and while it’s certainly an interesting concept, visualize people’s heart is a flower is a bit simplifiable for me. Isn’t it a bit too convenient that “this girl’s flower has no root” or “she’s nice but she has no bud” where there’s no deeper attempt is made for how they are the way they are? What I do enjoy though, narratively speaking, is that it becomes clear as we witness Asukai going through his routine that he’s nearly his breaking point. He can see people’s heart but he has no resolve to it. He’s over the edge of his psychological breakdown and all Imaginator does is push him down the rabbit hole. She appears before him in multiple forms, first as a floating being, and then as she possesses girls around him. The deal-breaker event comes when she possesses a drug-addicted ex-student of Asukai, in which her argument is basically “it’s more justifiable to kill them right away rather than let them suffer” before gives him the power. I expect next week we’d see more of him going berserk and how it pulls other main characters into this whole mess. I’d say this episode is much better and leaner than the premiere in terms of setting up the plot and introduces new characters more methodically, and thoroughly.

Posted on 20 January 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

WARNING: This review of Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai has been authored by a non-manga reader. His ignorance of future characters and plot points may limit his perspective on the series as it unfolds. Proceed with caution!

Boy, is this show a treat. I know we’re only two weeks into the winter season, but Kaguya-sama is my favorite new anime so far by a landslide. Even this episode’s repetition of last week’s establishing narration (before and after the OP) didn’t bring me down. The show leans into its “Geniuses’ War of Love and Brains” premise so heavily, after all, that reminders of their financial and academic superiority only heighten the comedy of their social ineptitude. Despite using bits of recycled animation during these introductions, this episode did move the opening venue from one of Shuchiin Academy’s many hallways to its auditorium, so I hope these changes in setting continue from week to week. It might be nice to omit these scenes altogether once we have a better sense of the characters and setting, but right now they’re important for establishing just how revered (and how gossiped about) Kaguya and Shirogane are by the student body they govern.

Speaking of the student body, this episode introduced several of its less glamorous members, marking a departure from the premiere’s tight focus on its three main characters. The third and final segment of this episode brings a nameless advice-seeker into the council room in search of romantic wisdom from the class president. The only problem? Shirogane is hardly the Casanova everyone envisions him to be, never having been on a date in his life. This chapter is great for a bunch of reasons, chief among them being Aoi Koga’s performance as an eavesdropping Kaguya. Her exasperated and disbelieving reactions to both boys’ stupidity are so good that I’m sure even the staunchest manga purists were pleased. What interested me even more than this segment’s technical merits, though, was the potential it created for the series to further populate its cast of characters. Thanks to our nameless inquirer, we now know that his crush is a girl named Kashiwagi, that they’ve begun dating (despite Shirogane’s spectacularly bad advice), and that her three friends are likely to recur. One of them is singled out in a pre-ED card as “the next person seeking advice,” and given her distraught expression, it’s likely that she had a thing for her friend’s new man. If I had to guess, she’ll probably ask Kaguya for help in next week’s episode, where her romantic ignorance will be measured against the president’s.

This kind of situational repetition is working in Kaguya-sama’s favor so far (the show, not the character), creating a pattern that’s fun to confirm, rather than tiresome to watch. Take this episode’s first chapter, for example, where Shirogane purchases a new smartphone in the hopes that Kaguya will ask for his contact info. He’s quite self-satisfied with his decision, but a flashback reveals that Kaguya had planted a number of her family’s employees on the street to subconsciously entice him to upgrade his phone. This echoes her manipulations from last week, where she secretly delivered movie tickets to Fujiwara as a prize in a fake contest, all in the hopes that she’d give them to Shirogane so he could ask her out. Seeing it confirmed once again that Kaguya’s approach to love involves espionage and deceit charms me to no end, but the president’s tactic of gaining her interest with a profile photo of himself as a child is just as brilliant. These two are a perfect match for one another, given their shared pride and intelligence, which makes it fun to watch them butt heads, even while a part of you is pulling for them to be together. I’m still in the earliest stage of my Kaguya-sama fandom, but whatever route the series ultimately takes, I can’t imagine being unhappy with the outcome.

Posted on with categories: Yakusoku no Neverland

Thus the story of the Promised Neverland starts in earnest now that the first episode has revealed it’s book and the nature of the orphanage is revealed. As someone aptly put it, this is like Chicken Run, the anime. It’s quite interesting seeing things from a new perspective now that the curtain has risen as this episode does have a scene which would be heartwarming in other circumstances but turns malevolent once put in context of the new narrative. Such as when a child becomes lost in the woods and Mama goes to search for her, returning with her safely in tow to all the kids welcoming her back. If nothing was revealed last episode this would be a sweet moment but as Norman points out, the action showed deliberate to everyone who knows the truth that Mama can track any of the kids down thanks to tracking devices on them. Though it’s a wonder that even after learning this Emma and Norman don’t seem too concerned over traveling to the wall of the garden often where Mama could look at her watch and figure out what they are up to any moment. But this is under the impression that Mama doesn’t already know which by all accounts doesn’t seem to be the case.

I truly must appreciate just how magnificent an antagonist Mama is for this series and how her particular brand of villainy is a rarity. Mama does not rule through physical force, nor through fear or other typical methods. The endgoal for her is keeping these kids happy in the playpen till it’s time for the slaughter and with that she doesn’t need bars or chains in order to do so. For this woman knows these kids, she is their mother after all for better or worse. That’s what makes her so terrifying. It is a safe bet that the minute she held that bunny at the gate that she knew exactly who left it there. And now her moves all seem calculated to ensure that whatever Emma and Norman plan is sure to fail. That one scene of Mother staring directly at Emma during her one moment of mourning for Connie felt like the first peak past the fake smile to the woman who manipulated and controlled these kids till the moment she lead them to their deaths with them none the wiser. Even the small movement of placing her hand on her neck which could be interpreted as a caring motion or Mama measuring her pulse for signs. Her last move of the episode almost seemed to be generated to crush the kids newfound determination to save all the children as Mama introduces a infant to make matters harder along with a brand new caretaker. If we have an award for best anime antagonist of the year then Mama is going to be a strong contender.

The direction of this series remains excellent as I particularly like the nightmare sequence of the beginning along with the show of Emma afterwards being watched from a swinging pendulum. Though there were these odd shots where the screen would blur and a characters face would be superimposed on screen. I get this was to somewhat emphasize their emotions and facial expression at that moment but the change I find somewhat disconcerting. This episode also has our three main characters truly get together in the mission and I rather like the aspect of freudian theming here with Emma being ID, Ray being Ego and Norman acting as Superego. Otherwise meaning that Emma is the emotional center, Ray is the rational thinker and Norman is the negotiator who generally guides or decides. It makes their approaches to the situation different from each other and how they see things. The mind games are now beginning and it’s looking hopeful that Promised Neverland can keep up the presentation to make this a tense claustrophobic experience. I am just hoping that new black character with the design similar to racist stereotypes doesn’t generate some stupid controversy which will probably make the show more popular but gives me a headache to deal with.

Posted on 17 January 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru

Kaze Fui returns, contending with and maybe even beating Mob Psycho for best episode of the week! We have introspection, backstory, and the team coming together to protect their emotionally stunted friend! Lets charge in!

Everything about Kaze Fui this week was fantastic. From the narrative to the VA’s. But one I want to hit on before we get into spoilers that is often overlooked is the sound design. Yuki Hayashi did an amazing job this week. Some of the music played during this episode fit perfectly with what was happening on screen. Hiromi Kikuta also did a great job this week. The buzzing static noise during the flashbacks confused me at first. I thought maybe my audio was breaking down. But once we cut back to present time and it went away, once I realized it was a purposeful effect, I loved it. I loved how it got louder and louder the closer Kurahara got to his breaking point. The visuals getting more static filled as we went through. Kaze Fui really nailed the emotions this week. But now, onto details!

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Kemurikusa

I’m glad that the girls (FYI, their names are: Rina our main girl, Rin the oldest cat-ears girl, and Ritsu the quadruplet) decide to explore to other islands because the world building of Kemurikusa is easily its biggest strength right now. I also appreciate the fact that the show doesn’t toss around exposition or explanation to its settings, instead we pick up pieces as we go along. This whole post-apocalyptic world revolves around the “kemurikusha” energy, which so far we see how they are color coded with different purpose. The “green roots tree” Midori serves as a energy source and produces leaves as food for our girls. It can also extend its roots to serve as a pipeline or communication line, and can maybe heal human’s injury (“maybe” because I’m not so sure if anyone from the cast is human or not). Then we have the yellow Kiiro which can be used as light and the blue water-detecting source called Aoi. Finally, the evil bugs have their red mist and their red kemurikusa and apparently Rina has that red kemurikusa on her as well. I don’t know what to make of it but maybe, just maybe these girls are born from the red kemurikusa source themselves?

While the story goes into some interesting territory, it’s Wakaba who serves as an self-insert protagonist annoys the hell out of me. His antic is grating, and he usually breaks the mysterious tone the show is trying to accomplish. A better comparison would be it feels as it he comes from another series altogether. It doesn’t help that Kemurikusa’s overall dialogues aren’t that great. They’re generic, cliche (chief among them is big sister Rin and her nyan speech), doesn’t have any flair and Wakaba’s constant babbling remains its biggest offender. The huge chunk of this episode is spent around Rina dragging him around the island. While Rina still doesn’t fully trust the boy, she does acknowledge her physical attraction to him which she thinks as a toxic. While their interaction is far from what I consider solid, we do learn one new thing from each of them. From Rina, it’s her total devotion to protect her sisters to the point she put their well-being above her desire. For Wakaba, the fact that he heals quickly when he’s injured might mean that he isn’t human after all. Another interesting note to take is that through Wakaba the old aqua kemurikusa starts to glow, albeit only momentarily, again. My theory right now is that he might be born from Midori’s source himself.

I can point out one single sequence in this episode that really sold its rich and mysterious world building. It happens right at the end where Rina decides to visit other island (which I believe is a strong premise), and we see the Midori energy carries the bus to the railway. Somehow that single scene reminds me to Ghibli’s world, which further strengthen my hope that this settings is gonna be more awesome as Kemurikusa goes on. Some might argue that this show’s aesthetic looks cheap and amateurish. For me though, I’m going to borrow the great Pedro Almodovar quotes regarding his debut failure: “When a film has only one or two [defects], it is considered an imperfect film, while when there is a profusion of technical flaws, it is called style.” Kemurikusa, for all its unpolishments, does have its own charms (along with GoHands’ W’z this season). After the first two episodes, Kemurikusa remains a flawed but intriguing watch.

Posted on 16 January 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dororo

Hello and welcome to show number two for me of the new season! Dororo is an interesting one, based on a 1960’s manga, with this being its second adaptation. This week we meet another demon, learn our leads name and that not all spirits are bad. Let’s dive in!

Visually, Dororo is sort of a mixed bag for me. One on hand, I love the older style it has going for it, and much of the lack of detail allows the animators to have some fun. On the other hand though, the feet are blobs, and everything is a green/brown. I also noticed some rather static scenes that, compared to the first episode, left me wanting. Overall though I think Dororo is good. We know from the first episode that when it wants to, it can look gorgeous. It’s just that this week was rather subdued, as our first intro to what the day to day for the series will be. With that done, now I can get to the actual meat of the episode.

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Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Goblin Slayer

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a good thing) this story could at least be something more closer to a fantasy adventure series. In truth Goblin Slayer is more a love letter to low level Dungeons and Dragons so for those who happen to have a nostalgia for such a thing, this series could have a big appeal. However for the average anime watcher I can say this, this show is called Goblin Slayer and you can bet that’s exactly what you are gonna get.

Goblin Slayer slays goblins. It’s what he does in the first episode and you can bet it’s what he does in the last. This is essentially a series where you watch the equivalent of goblin slaying Batman go about his business of killing as many goblins as humanly possible. For some watching him do this is enough and I admit that his single minded obsession can be a source of some pretty good comedy. However if you find that isn’t enough and are looking for this series to maybe provide something deeper in regards to world building or characterisation then you will be sorely disappointed. The Goblin Slayers party of adventures are staple D&D archetypes with little in the way of interesting traits of backstory. The worldbuilding pretty much borrows a lot of it’s lore from other more notable works and not much is really expanded upon besides the small detail of goblins being the worst despite being regarded as a minor pest by adventurers. There is quite of number of light novel tropes such as Goblin Slayer having a whole harem of girls after him despite never taking off his helmet and never talking about anything other than killing goblins.

This is essentially a anime with a limited appeal and a simple objective which can be entertaining but not something you would hold in high regard. White Fox did an excellent job in adapting it for the most part in how they toned down the less unsavory aspects but there are times where the animation for action scenes is on the unimpressive side. The plot doesn’t really move beyond killing Goblins and Goblin Slayer slowly warming up to other people. Some moments have fanservice that is just ridiculously inappropriate and unnecessary. But get past that and the rather grimdark first episode and you have a show that makes for a decent watch for some.

Posted on 15 January 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mob Psycho 100 II

Hello and welcome to the first outright perfect episode of anime of 2019! Mob Psycho 100 knocked it out of the park this week in every respect, so let’s just jump right in!

Right off the bat, Bones is out in full force animation wise. Everything about this episode, visually, was fantastic. Even in drab, rain-slick scenes they found a way to introduce color to a drab landscape. And that isn’t even mentioning the wholly unique perspectives or styles for animation. Take for instance the straight up street fighter/fighting game reference. Done entirely in Mob Psycho’s style, it was a fantastic gag. Then there was one of my favorite styles, which only appears in Mob Psycho, the paint on glass effects. For depicting other worldly spirits, I think it does a fantastic job of showing that etherealness. Add on to all of this the sheer amount of sakuga throughout the episode, from Dimple jumping between trees, to the flowing sludge of the monster spirit, and you have a feast for the eyes. 2 weeks in and Bones has already won Animation. Wow.

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CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
I suppose we've had this talk. But; do women have a different type of power fantasies? Or you could essentially do the same thing as any other Isekai but with the genders flipped?
Vonter
@niello - Most power fantasies eventually lead to harems (like Hyrule Warriors). I did like the interactions of the two main characters in Shield Hero. And with Slime is sorta like watching a Let's Play as the main character visually gets more powerful along with his village, but like with Dr. House it seems it's a one man's show.
niello
Shield Hero is actually quite similar to Slime as after a while the MC basically settle down and make his own village to cultivate fighting force. The downside is that at that point it started to turn into a harem.
niello
It'd be nice if the new Franken Fran series could get it an anime, but that chance is probably near 0%...
niello
He does look young though
niello
Didn't Furuya ruined his voice with his smoking habit? It's coarser and deeper now. Judging from his Seiya voice a few years ago.
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

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