Posted on 3 July 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

The second season of Sidonia makes a number of mistakes that a lot of second seasons do. That namely being that the anime slows down and introduces characters and conflicts that are often resolved in a undetermined to exist, third season. A new antagonist is introduced, whom does very little in the season and only foreshadows a future conflict. A war is started and the season ends when Sidonia takes a planet as a base of operations for future conflicts in the war. This season is really just a build up to a third season which may or may not come to be. So it can be said, undeniably, that this season is much weaker than it’s first. The biggest detractor to its enjoyment is the sudden increase of slice of life harem antics which strangely enough was started with the introduction of an inhuman character. A chimera called Tsumugi is introduced to the cast and with her introduction the plot of the series takes a massive backseat. The story puts her directly into the spotlight where more or less all events for a large amount of screentime have to do with her. Previously her role looked to be the start of a conflict with the use of Gauna based weapons and the people’s rejection of Tsumugi but this conflict is wrapped up very fast. Then she’s treated as another girl around Tanikaze despite being in no way human, in some ways it comes across as alien just how accepting these people are of a giant pink tentacle squid that talks with a cutesy girls voice.

Art for the series remains consistent and can look great but animation can take some time to get used to. There are still some uncanny valley moments with the stiffness of human characters that even went gotten used to can be distracting. It is a shame, as with just a small improvement in movement would make this a non issue. The mecha battles are fantastic and remain a highlight of the series but are more sparse in this season. Which brings me to what I consider to be the biggest failing here, that being the increase of harem antics. Sidonia’s first season also had these moments but they were broken up a lot more due to more action set pieces. The pace of the first season kept moving, never letting characters sit too long for the viewer to notice the lack of depth to them. But here the pacing comes down and when the story begins to focus on the characters it really comes to light that there isn’t much there. Tanikaze remains a typical anime protagonist, who has a huge talent for piloting and attracting female companionship despite having a lack of charisma. Izana has potential for grown but remains a role who is defined by her love for Tanikaze. Yahata has her role as a commander during action but out of that she serves the same role as Izana. Tsumugi you would think would have a much more defined role, but despite how disturbing it is, also plays mainly as love interest after her initial introduction. So it’s not hard to see that the story has veered off course when you are watching an episode dedicated to teasing a potential romantic relationship between Izana and Tanikaze. Almost as if the writer has been pushed out of his role and replaced with a shipper.

Despite now there being less of them, the action scenes are still a joy to watch and the series does have a great ending battle. Though predictably it ends with a tease for a another season and could leave viewers unsatisfied. Overall it’s a decent season held down by its slow moments. Provided you can put up with some age old harem scenarios it can be enjoyed and it never gets to the point of being insufferable to get through. What plot there is, is engaging and it does hold promise for a future season. If that comes to be. But I know this season will likely be a breaking point for some and I can see why. I just hold out hope that if there is another season, it’s doesn’t make the same mistakes this one did.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:

Tanikaze’s rendezvous with Benizumie looks to have been cut short as Izana interrupted with some hacker magic. The entire sequence being as uncomfortable and disturbing as you could imagine. I still wonder just what was her goal in doing all this to Tanikaze. Was it some method of killing him or just some really kinky reproduction? Probably both. I did really like that moment before Tanikaze dove the knife in for the killing blow, like he was breaking her heart. The Hayakaze bombardment was also a great highlight, being mesmerising in how each unit locked in together and blasted everything to kingdom come. From what I hear this was an anime original addition and if so it was a great way to conclude the final battle. After this was just a few call backs to the start of the series and a montage ending with the first opening theme. One thing that really proves this was a weaker season than the first was that in the montage there was an abundance of great action when montaging the first season but when it jumped to the second it suddenly was showing scenes such as Izana bursting out of her pilot suit and a bath scene. That really speaks for this season as a whole.

The ending scenes acted more as a makeshift live goes on ending for the series and there seems to be no sight of a third season so far. I think the probability of another season is actually quite high and I would be interested in seeing how things develop with the Benizumie placenta, the parasite controlling Kunato and the second Chimera. However I also dread the thought of having to go through another number of slice of life harem antics such as this season was.  My overall impression of the season is positive but I think the middle section of the cour did drag a bit. If this is the last of the Sidonia universe in animated form then as an ending to the series this is deeply unsatisfying. There are far too many loose threads and foreshadowing to a conclusion that viewers would need to read the manga to see. A filler ending would be a bad way to end things as they can never find a way to tie things up without seeming forced but to have it end this way is also a shame. I at least want to see them do something with Kunato as he does feel like a villain who was introduced only to dwell in the background, looking menacing.  I had fun watching this show and to see it reach a half baked conclusion is disheartening.

Posted on 23 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

It’s quite the coincidence that both shows I am covering have decided to use their last episodes to make up for the season’s shortcomings. This will be a short post as while action packed episodes are great to watch, they make it hard to bring up topics to talk about. Guana look to be imitating humans more and more with the appearance of a human shaped Gauna encountered by Izana and another pilot. Kunato remarked about superior organisms while watching Tsumugi and Benizumie fight so it could be possible that they are seeking a new path of evolution through human imitation. Though why is the Hoshijiro inside Benizumie is well made while the monster encountered by Izana malformed. Maybe its that they haven’t figured out Male anatomy yet.

I worried a little when Tsumugi was about to put an end to Benizumie making her to be the monster of the week but Benizumie came right back and destroyed Tsumugi. Also Benizumie using the same words that Tsumugi said to her as she was about to shoot the finishing blow, perfect. Menacing while remaining alien in action. There is also a certain level of cunning in letting Tsumugi see her human form and thus causing her to be put off guard but that could have been unintentional. The fight itself was excellent and I am still loving Benizumies design with the insect like wings and arm blades. I really could sit and watch Benizumie and Tsumugi jet around and clash all day.

One part of the episode that made me sigh was went Tanikaze set down his gun and managed to take out all the Gauna surrounding him. Mainly because this was followed by a number of people saying how amazing that was. This might not bother me so much if I was more invested in Tanikaze’s character but it really does feel as though he has leap frogged up in experience when the audience wasn’t looking. He was always a good pilot but I think I missed the point where he became an amazing one. It’s a minor detail though because after this he’s put in a tight spot so at least he isn’t overpowered. The end of the episode has Tanikaze in the tight fix and from the looks of things his love affairs are about to get a whole lot stranger.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Now this is more like it. Well as they say, better late than never and this was at least the best moment to bring back the quality. All I ask is where this was three episodes ago which it could have made all the difference in the world. Admittedly this episode has made me a lot less bitter about this second season as at least now it has a great finale. At first my expectations were set to low as once again dialogue was giving more presence with Gilgamesh rehashing what Archer was saying to Shirou having a good but unnecessary monologue. But what followed has been everything I have been waiting for in this adaption. It’s true that Shirou was showing a level of power that was beyond a human and that by realistic standards he should have been shredded to bits. (There are some explanations for this like UBW being able to copy the abilities of the owners welder but it’s only feasible at best.) But I honestly don’t care as it was exhilarating, beautiful and exciting being the fight I was long promised but not delivered till now. I am sad that other fights up till now were not given this treatment and I hold a vain hope that maybe Ufotable will add more to them for the blu-ray discs. For a fan it’s a real treat as we have, not one, not two, not three but four new remixes of songs from the visual novel. (There may be others that I missed) Those being Last Strength, Sword of promised victory, New Dawn and Disillusions piano version with Emiya played again at the climax for absolute perfection. Disillusions piano version is as emotionally sombre as ever and I feel that Sword of promised victory was done better here than Yuki’s Fate/Zero version where the choirs drained some of the impact of the song. Nostalgia may be making a fool out of me in how I am getting so excited about these songs but more than anything this show was made for the fans and this is fanservice I can get behind.

Previously I stated that even though Archer used UBW twice that it doesn’t really explain his strange mana levels. This episode shows exactly why that is the case as Archer shows up for one last attack on both Gilgamesh and the grail. Whether it is  in the visual novel or the anime this moment has always been a pretty poor deus ex machina because the only explanation for Archer still being alive is independent action. He faked his death? Can’t be done, servants can sense other servants, except for Assassin who has presence concealment, so even if he tried to fake his death both Gilgamesh and Saber should have noticed he was still around. Independent action? This only allows the servant to stay in the world two days and that estimate is based on avoiding fighting and using the absolute minimum of mana, which Archer was clearly not doing. The best excuse for this that I have gotten was that while he was Castors servant, he stockpiled on mana but this has issues as well. There is also an argument that Archer was brought back as a counter guardian seeing as the world was in peril and while I like this explaination I am afraid it doesn’t work out either as if Archer was summoned as a counter guardian then he wouldn’t remember the events of this holy grail war.  All and all Archer coming back for the final fight should be impossible but while it is cheap, at least it gives Rin a moment to say a last goodbye to him and wrap up his arc. Whether Archer used UBW once or twice doesn’t matter as this moment is still not justified and this is one of the things that shows that the source material wasn’t perfect. Archers final smile at least showed that Shirou wasn’t the only one who gained something from all this, at least now he has regained some of the optimism that put him on this path in the first place despite what awaits him.

This final fight does make me recall the fact that I only started liking Gilgamesh once I read Fate/zero as it is true that he and Kirei are fairly one dimensional in this route and the Fate route. But this fight does show the genius of Gilgameshs character. Put frankly, Gilgamesh is unbeatable. He is such a powerful opponent that if he went all out he could win the Holy Grail war within a day or even less. In terms of ability he trumps everyone so it is just so perfectly suitable that his only weakness lies in his personality. Gilgamesh is so egotistical that to go all out against someone who he seems not worty is an insult of the highest caliber. Throughout this fight he was constantly handicapping himself what from the fact that he didn’t wear armour, his limited usage of Gate of Babylon and his reluctance to use Ea. One moment I adore is the point where Shirou is about to land the killing blow and Gilgamesh is preparing to draw Ea but before he grips the handle, he hesitates. It was that moment of hesitation that sealed his doom and what truly made this a win for Shirou. Archer may have stuck the killing blow but Shirou made him take him seriously as a fighter and as the king said so himself, the moment he does that would be the the moment he truly lost. The story is essentially complete now and all that remains is the epilogue but I wonder just what will they put in to fill a episode. At worse it will just be them going to school and time wasting and at best it could elaborate on just what awaits Rin and Shirou in the future. Well let’s just wrap it up and start the long excruciating wait for Heavens Feel.

Posted on 18 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

Unfortunately this wasn’t the time for Izana to become an ace pilot though she did at least show some ingenuity in her escape from gauna. Instead the spotlight falls once again to Tsugumi and Tanikaze. A lot of the fight scenes before the challenger appeared was to shown that Tsugumi and Tanikaze have great teamwork which admittedly isn’t all that strange seeing as they go into battle often. While it is a shame that Izana didn’t get a moment to shine, I am glad that Sidonia has returned to the elements that make it good. Those harem antics went on for far too long and now that it’s back to the plot that matters, I am starting to see that spark that made the first season so good. A bit late into the game but as they say better late than never. The CGI animation really looks its best in the mecha battle scenes. While human characters tend to have levels of uncanny valley syndrome, the robot battles are fast and fluid with little awkward movement. Any stiffness in the animation can be just attributed to the robot’s mechanical movements and easily ignored. The battles are really a symbol of this shows strengths, it’s at it’s best at a fast pace and events are constantly happening. When the show takes the time to slow down it’s flaws become more apparent. In a way, it’s similar to attack on titan in this regard. Attack on titan was also at it’s best when everything was in chaos and the situation was dire. But when things slow down and it moves away from the main threat then that’s when the weaknesses in the characters and story become more visible. So the key to this kind of story is to keep things moving and never dwell too long on a cooling down period.

The big reveal of this episode was the return of Tanikazes ex-girlfriends robot turned psycho killing machine, Benisuzume. This reveal is what makes Gauna an effective threat as just as Sidonia is improving their forces with Gauna technology, Gauna in turn are improving their forces through Sidonia technology. Each side is becoming more and more dangerous thus insuring that nobody has the upper hand for long. With the addition of Tsumgi, it felt like Sidonia had drawn the winning card but with the re-appearance of Benisuzume, she now has worthy opposition. Her existence however has me wondering as to just where is the real hoshijero? Is Benisuzume the real Hoshijero or is she the floating body lying in Kunatos workshop or is she Tsumugi? There seems to be some level of cloning going on as all three clearly have a connection to Hoshijiro. I really like Benizumies design as a melded mecha chimira, especially the 101 left from the robot printed on her right forehead. It’s…cool. For lack of a more professional word. Actually if I can segway into another topic, I must ask a question if manga readers have an answer. What exactly is the role of Tsumugi’s pilot? I mean from what I have seen, it looks like Tsumugi has full control over her functions as Kunato couldn’t stop her from rampaging in an earlier episode. So is the pilot some kind of advisor or a fail safe? I also find it amusing that after Tsumugi nearly killed herself to save Sidonia, Kunato has stopped acting as pilot and left it up to his assistant instead.Too much of a close call for him I guess. As things look now, this could be a pretty good wrap up for what has been a weak season for Sidonia. Assuming of course that this is a twelve episode season like it’s predecessor.

Posted on 16 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Sometimes it’s hard being a veteran anime fan and a huge Fate Franchise fan. I sit down to watch the latest episode of this series and I want to shut up the cynical critic in the back of my brain pointing out everything that is wrong with this episode. But as events I adored from the visual novel come up and feel lesser than what I recall, a question surfaces in my mind. I like this second half of Fate/stay night, but why don’t I love it? This is an adaption of my favourite route, from one of my very first and  favourite visual novels. I should love this. I should be gushing from the heavens about how amazing this is and that none shall reach the heights of its glorious magnificence. But I don’t love it, no matter how many times I try to shut out that critical voice, I can’t help but feel that this isn’t as good as it should be. I know that to others this anime is perfectly fine, great even. I could say that my memories of the visual novel are seen from rose tinted glasses but honestly my issue with this anime isn’t that it’s not a one to one recreation of the visual novel. I don’t want monologues or excess exposition, if I did then I would just read the visual novel again. I didn’t walk into this anime adaption thinking that I couldn’t wait till I saw Archer monologue about counter guardians. I walked into this because I wanted to see those exciting fights I read about in true Ufotable animated glory. For what is the point of a full animated recreation of all spoken exposition scenes in the visual novel? Something like that is no better than a audio book.

A number of times in this episode I noticed a character make a declaration of “The real fight starts here!” only to cut away to another fight where both combatants stop fighting and start talking. What is this, a Shounen battle anime? The real victim of this cut down of action scenes is Assassin. His fight in this route is his main glory to the series, his time in the limelight and the poor guy was taken down in less than two minutes. There was supposed to be a decent fight scene between the two where Saber bends Assassins sword with her blows which in turn creates a gap in Assassin’s Tsubame Gaeshi technique. Saber then exploits that gap to strike the finishing blow, but here Saber just dodges Tsubame Gashi and cuts him down, an anticlimactic end to what should have been a exciting fight. Assassins last words were done well at least, with him sitting down on the steps in his last moments. It’s unbelievable that I say this, but Studio Deen’s 2006 Fate/stay night did this scene better. I shouldn’t be saying that, but I pin the blame on Ufotable placing more emphasis on the dialogue than the conflicts themselves.

For the positives of this episode, what little fighting there was, was good. Gilgamesh pulling out Ea to hit the grail was more or less original content but it makes a good deal more sense than him using Ea on Shirou for no reason and Shirou surviving by means unspecified. The grail growing an arm was a bit weird but at least it shows its desire to use Gilgamesh as a substitute core. Still on the fence about why Gilgamesh would use Ea to destroy the very thing he intends to use to destroy the world but well it’s Gilgamesh. Chances are that he just got annoyed by it. Speaking of his intentions, I was rather surprised when Rin asked Gilgamesh what he intents for the grail when he made it abundantly clear when he encountered them in Illya’s castle. Gilgamesh essentially repeats himself and I wonder as to why we couldn’t cut out his speech from two episodes previous and add that runtime to Archer and Shirou fight. So ladies and gents, this is it. The next episode is the conclusion to the last fight of the series and will ultimately determine my feelings for the series as a whole. So I ask, nay I plea. Ufotable, I know you can give this fight justice, you have shown me before that you have the capability. All I ask is that you display the excellence shown at the berserker fight of the first season once more to give this show the finale it deserves. This is the last adaption this route is going to get and likely the best we can hope for, I just don’t want to walk away from it disappointed.

Posted on 11 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

Though the majority of the episode was of the same antics I have been complaining about in previous episodes, it’s nice to see Sidonia get back to what it does best. Dire situations and sci-fi mecha action. Izana being pushed into the role of scouting with a new weapon has to be the best path for her character right now. At the moment her existence is mainly to derail the plot with her crush on Tanikaze but now we finally see her being put to use. Her new mental controls are giving her more value on the battlefield and now has the potential to become more than just Tanikazes Harem member. The scene was tense and while we all knew something was going to go wrong, its still exciting just waiting to see exactly what will. With each fight Gauna are growing more and more dangerous. With Tanikaze and Tsumugi out of the battlefield, this could be Izana’s moment to shine and I am all for it.

One thing that bugged me however was the girl that Izana likely replaced. While Tanikaze was checking out the new weapon, a woman started mocking him. Saying how disposable they were compared to the hero of Sidonia. I had no problem with what the girl said to him as there is truth to it and considering that she was getting sent out on a mission with a high chance of death it’s perfectly understandable for her to lash out to golden boy Tanikaze. My issue with it was her walking away laughing like a witch. I wonder why they felt they needed to add that last detail to make her seem more in the wrong. What she said to Tanikaze wasn’t wrong, it’s true that he wasn’t being sent out to scout because he’s more valuable as a poster boy for the war effort and that they were being sent out because they are more disposable. All things considered, her anger was fairly justified. So why is she laughing like a saturday morning cartoon villain? If that laugh was removed she would be a more realistic and morally grey character. But it’s almost as if they went out of there way to make her obnoxious.

Other than that, it’s very much the same story. The show teases a pairing up of Izana and Tanikaze but honestly I see her chances to be slim. Have all the romantic getaways and fake confessions you like, it will not improve your chances. But Izana is not quite as hopeless as Yuhata. Honestly just for unpredictability I would like it if Tanikaze went for such an unconventional choice as Yuhata. The one who has the highest chances, despite my problems with it on many levels, is Tsumugi. Its crystal clear that she has feelings for him, what with taking a mecha pilot for a hellish joyride after him making fun of her missing her “boyfriend” and Tanikaze seems to harbor a certain fondness for her. Not to mention her connection to his first crush. But unless she gains a more human body I can’t help but look at their relationship with a raised eyebrow. I mean how would you even…I think I do not want to continue that trail of thought. My interest in Tsumugi’s future plot involvement has dissipated just as the conflicts I thought would have higher focus have. But Kunato looks to be creating a new Chimera and that could prove interesting. Next week I hope that Izana can have her moment of badass and finally become something more than Tanikaze’s secondary wife.

Posted on 7 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

A fairly uneventful episode this week.In some ways for me that’s good as it allows me to go into detail about the nature of the ever so popular CGI dolpins. But first let’s speak about what happened. Our three heroes had a strategy meeting discussing how to deal with Gilgamesh and the grail while all coming to the agreement that the grail should now be destroyed. Upon figuring out that Shirou is likely the best opponent for Gilgamesh, Rin then creates a link between her and Shirou so that he can make use of her reserves of mana. Saber comes to terms with the answer she gained from Shirou’s battle. And Shinji has turned into a berserker Eva unit. The strategy meeting was pretty much as expected. What I feel was the best part of the episode, though in truth it is a little tacked on to give Saber some closure to her arc, was Sabers conversation. It really was a conversation for the viewers than Shirou as even Saber knows he wouldn’t understand exactly what she is talking about. But seeing her walk around and talking with Shirou with a serene smile really showed that she had come to terms with her past. It was a pretty powerful scene when you think of just what she has been though and should benefit the events to come. The holy grails form has a small change from its visual novel counterpart. Now the mass of flesh has a large human like effigy on top of it that houses shinji who’s not looking his best. Overall I like the change though the Shinji shot was a little unnecessary. But I rather wish it kept the metal design it had before the mass of flesh emerged. I rather liked the look.

Now to the meat of the episode. For a long time now one of the greatest criticisms of Studio Deens Fate/stay night was the decision to replace a scene that was originally a sex scene with this magic circuit transplant that happened to show it using one of the worst examples of CGI in anime, a CGI dragon. The tradition was kept with the movie of this route, where they used terrible CGI dolphins to show Rin linking her mana with Shirou’s. These scenes are mocked to high heaven and when I see someone bashing them I can’t help but find it most amusing. It is to me a perfect example of just how blind a fanboy can be to the flaws of the work. So lets just get this straight, in this scene of the visual novel, Rin and Shirou have sex as it is the condition to set up this magic link. This is something that a lot of visual novels have in common, forced in sex scenes. For some odd reason there is some unwritten rule that visual novels must have sex scenes, even if it’s not suitable. Because of this visual novels tend to have contrived situations to push the characters towards sex near the end of a route. Here’s the important thing. Fate/stay Nights sex scenes are not known to be good. As a matter of fact, sex scenes in any Type Moon visual novel have an infamous reputation for being hilariously awful. There is some explanation saying that Nasu left the sex scenes to a different writer but regardless they have lines that would rival Fifty Shades of Grey in terrible writing. Type Moon even had a competition where they got fans to write the most purposefully terrible and funny sex scenes and featured some of the highlights in the fan-disc of Tsukihime. So I just find it amusing that there are people mocking Dolphins and Dragons of Deen when the Visual novel sports such standout sex dialogue as “It makes me feel so good that I want to vomit.” and “My grotesque meat stabs into her” Of course even taking out that it isn’t really logical for there to be a easy way to share mana and have Mages not be making use of it. Shouldn’t there be mage wives who are made to be mana batteries in this case? It makes more sense that this link would require such a huge sacrifice or else there is the question of why other mages don’t make use of the method.

Ufotables treatment of the scene is at least decent. I liked the inclusion of the scene with Shirou trying to do a high jump in the school yard. It is the scene that sparked both Sakura’s and Rin’s interest in Shirou. Makes sense that she wouldn’t want him to know about it. But Rin really did go into tsundere overdrive when for the majority of the series she was keeping it pretty under control. Admitly the heavily sex implied talk they had before the act was rather entertaining and fairly humorous. I do pity the English dub voice actor whose going to have to lip sync and pronounce all that mangled German. That will be a hard task to pull off. However, though they were only on screen of about a few seconds, those CGI fish/tadpoles/whatever looked terrible. Would have been best just to keep it to the CGI mana circuits lighting up and left it at that Ufotable. Next week is a decisive moment and where the series enters its climax. My final opinion on this will depend heavily on how these last episodes pan out but I am hoping they live up to expectation. They can’t rush it, that’s for sure as this is where the budget should really be going. I noticed in images for the next episode that looks like a part from near the end of the fight and it worries me. This is the big moment, do not mess this up.

Posted on 2 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

I think something is wrong when I consider a protagonist from a movie these characters are watching a more compelling lead than our current one. I was surprised when starting the episode to see a sudden rise in visual quality only for it to turn out to be a movie within an anime. Actually I am rather curious as to what happened later in that movie, as I am sure it’s bound to be more interesting than the episode itself. This isn’t a sci-fi show with harem elements anymore. This is a harem show with sci-fi elements. Only one thing related to the main plot happened in this episode and that was Izana’s mother letting the female engineer in on what’s going on. Seems that she’s had a hit of conscience and has decided to turn against Kobayashi. While that’s interesting, the show thinks of it as not that important as she then goes and sets up a romantic vacation for Izana and Tanikanze. It is true that this could just be a means of keeping her daughter out of harm’s way so that she can pull off a plan but I am sceptical. I do find it amusing though that the only way she could get Tanikanze to agree was to threaten him with a lie about a bomb in his neck. Dense as the plot demands him to be, Tanikanze still thinks this is a genuine mission. Can we for once have a protagonist who is aware of these girls affection? I have heard the line “What is she so mad about” so many times from so many protagonists that I could spend over a year chronicling every single one of them. I can understand that there are people who enjoy these segments of the show and that’s fine. I too don’t mind them as long as the main story continues. But when these aspects of the show begin to overshadow or even hinder the main plot that’s when I have a problem with them.

What’s even scarier is that Tsumugi has become a member of Tanikanze’s harem. Tsumugi being that nonhuman chimera. I find that immensely disturbing. Tsumugi may act and sound like a standard moe girl but she is not human and having her be a potential harem candidate is unsettling. What’s also odd is that no one seems to find something wrong with this, as a man watches them blast off together with a “Ahh young love” and Izana getting jealous at the two. Humans were pretty anti-chimera not too long ago but even taking away that I think we should be concerned about how messed up this relationship would be. Well the show doesn’t seem concerned with that and I watch Tanikaze sweet talk a blushing weaponized Chimera, all the while wondering why Kunato would outfit her weapon form with a blush function. I did like seeing Izana make use of a ten fingered controller for her mechanical hand as it at least promises that her character might have some use besides being a harem candidate. But then we have her going out in revealing clothing to make her mother happy because why not. Izana is now the harbinger of harem, with her every appearance being a signal of incoming harem hijinks. Should I consider it sexist that now that she is a woman, she is now being sexualized at every opportunity? Actually lets not go down that road, it never leads to anything good on the internet. This shift to slice of life ecchi antics is not reflected in the next episode previews which still have foreboding music to what looks to be more of the same. Guess that is a sign that this show is moving far away from what it was originally about.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

I am not happy. To say I was disappointed in this episode would be an understatement. I am, to be frank, angry. So much so that I have to admit something that I really don’t want to admit. For you see from what has been shown of the second cour so far I would deem it weak. Not bad per say but not what I have come to expect after the quality of the first cour. The story has been padded and the events that should have large impact have been lesser than they should. More importantly there is a lack of action in the second cour when the first cour at least let loose every now and then. I have begun to fear that the fan titled “Unlimited Budget works” may in fact be running low on the budget. I notice more that they are avoiding showing action and in this episode there is points where art is sacrificed for movement in the action sequences causing It to look off. I hope this is just them saving for the finale because if the budget really is running short then this is the worst possible time for it. We are reaching the finale of UBW which is pretty action packed. This really is the time to bring out all the stops and make this mind blowing, otherwise it will be a disappointing finale. Though admittedly on a rewatch my mind has changed. I am still disappointed that there’s more exposition than action, that the song Emiya only played for 30 seconds(There better be a full version) and that the end of the fight didn’t bring me the joy it would but it isn’t bad. I think this is a matter were my expectations prevented me from enjoying what I got. But here’s the odd thing, I believe that Studio Deen did this scene better in the Unlimited Bladeworks movie.

Yes, in that movie the meaning behind what they were saying was lost but the exhilaration of the fight from the visual novel was there. More importantly, they were fighting while talking which is likely how this would go down. In terms of presentation, Ufotables version is a debate whereas Studio Deens was a brawl. Ufotables version may get across the meaning behind the scene(Though fans say otherwise. But honestly I don’t think everything needs to be spelled out to get the point across. Actually considering what has been shown, I think anyone would get the point seeing as it’s been hammered down to into them to the level where it cannot be ignored) but arguable Deen got the impact which I would deem more important. I couldn’t care less if the fight was less accurate to the visual novel or not, it was fun to watch and damn satisfying. More so than the anti-climatic Ufotable version.

The second half of the episode was all about Gilgamesh cluing in Saber and the rest about the contents of the grail and what he plans for it. It was long, rather tedious and pretty much the worst way to present this information. Infodumping on characters should be a last resort for shows and can only really work if you can work it like the exposition master, Gen. This really shows that Gilgamesh for all his character in Fate/Zero will not get much in Fate/Stay Night. The Fate route is likely the best end for him but here he’s just the last endboss. Kirei is treated in a similar manner but at least gets his much needed development from Heavens Feel. UBW is mostly Gilgamesh’s most active role in Fate/Stay Night as his role in Heavens Feel is minor so sadly this is really all he gets. Many claim that despite him saying he was not affected by the grail that it still managed to corrupt him a little as the Gilgamesh in Fate/Stay Night seems like a different man from how he was in Fate/Zero. His goal of destroying mankind is rather by the numbers and him putting up with Shinji trying to pathetically lord over him without destroying him is a mystery in itself. Speaking of which, congratulations Shinji! You are finally useful for once in your life. Now that Gilgamesh has shoved the grail core inside of you and it’s turned you into something more fitting of your nature. His Akira-like transformation was both disgusting and strangely pleasing. A Shinji in agony is a Shinji that can be loved. We have three episodes left I think(I could be wrong on that, but I hope not. There isn’t enough materiel for more than that.) and the stage for the finale is set. The next looks to be the cooldown period and the return of the CG dolphins that are joked about at every chance. Well it’s not as if the real version from the visual novel is any less stupid. Lets see next time as, in the words of the next episode preview, Rin gives up her most precious thing.(Wink wink, nudge nudge)

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jul 3. 2015 10:22 PM)
    @Mike, I am human mate. Covering two or three series a season is my limit. Though that does remind me that I did plan on putting up a Yahari review.
  • Mike
    (Friday, Jul 3. 2015 09:29 PM)
    Maybe they should just rename this Knights of Sedonia & Fate/Stay blog. It would be great to still get reviews for various series instead of humping the leg of one or two.
  • Kevin
    (Friday, Jul 3. 2015 08:58 PM)
    @emma i dont hate anyone though. im just doing you guys a huge favor. Maybe many years from now you’ll realize it, maybe never. I don’t mind though.
  • Kevin
    (Friday, Jul 3. 2015 08:56 PM)
    @Aidanak74 ur analyses of me so deep i catn c u anmyore r u xavier
  • ratsgnoF
    (Friday, Jul 3. 2015 06:43 PM)
    league of legends! haha
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jul 3. 2015 03:15 PM)
    Fate UBW dub trailer shown. New Shirou actor doesn’t really work and no Liam O’Brien as Archer. It’s a sad day.
    Especially on Liam, because his voice was downright perfect for Archer.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jul 3. 2015 02:51 PM)
    @Emma, in order for him to be summoned as a servant he would need to be important. Which he is not.
    @Rat, sure. Are we talking baseball League or football here?
  • ratsgnoF
    (Friday, Jul 3. 2015 12:38 PM)
    Anybody want to play league with me?
  • Masky
    (Friday, Jul 3. 2015 08:25 AM)
    Hmm… Can anyone remind me of one thing? Is this the point where most of harem scenes are over(well manga isn’t finished, but so far)? I do remember there being more slice of life stuff after this point in manga, but I don’t remember there being as much or at least there being as long break from action ._.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jul 3. 2015 06:39 AM)
    @Aidan: If this was the world of sharin no kuni we could place and “obligation of maximum penalty” on Kevin. If it was the world of fate stay night we could summon him as a servant and use command seals on him.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Knights of Sidonia S2: Battle for Planet Nine review – 73/100

The second season of Sidonia makes a number of mistakes that a lot of second seasons do. That namely being that the anime slows down and introduces characters and conflicts that are often resolved in a undetermined to exist, third season. A new antagonist is introduced, whom does very little in the season and only […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 12

Tanikaze’s rendezvous with Benizumie looks to have been cut short as Izana interrupted with some hacker magic. The entire sequence being as uncomfortable and disturbing as you could imagine. I still wonder just what was her goal in doing all this to Tanikaze. Was it some method of killing him or just some really kinky […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 11

It’s quite the coincidence that both shows I am covering have decided to use their last episodes to make up for the season’s shortcomings. This will be a short post as while action packed episodes are great to watch, they make it hard to bring up topics to talk about. Guana look to be imitating […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 24

Now this is more like it. Well as they say, better late than never and this was at least the best moment to bring back the quality. All I ask is where this was three episodes ago which it could have made all the difference in the world. Admittedly this episode has made me a […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 10

Unfortunately this wasn’t the time for Izana to become an ace pilot though she did at least show some ingenuity in her escape from gauna. Instead the spotlight falls once again to Tsugumi and Tanikaze. A lot of the fight scenes before the challenger appeared was to shown that Tsugumi and Tanikaze have great teamwork […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 23

Sometimes it’s hard being a veteran anime fan and a huge Fate Franchise fan. I sit down to watch the latest episode of this series and I want to shut up the cynical critic in the back of my brain pointing out everything that is wrong with this episode. But as events I adored from […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 9

Though the majority of the episode was of the same antics I have been complaining about in previous episodes, it’s nice to see Sidonia get back to what it does best. Dire situations and sci-fi mecha action. Izana being pushed into the role of scouting with a new weapon has to be the best path […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 22

A fairly uneventful episode this week.In some ways for me that’s good as it allows me to go into detail about the nature of the ever so popular CGI dolpins. But first let’s speak about what happened. Our three heroes had a strategy meeting discussing how to deal with Gilgamesh and the grail while all […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 8

I think something is wrong when I consider a protagonist from a movie these characters are watching a more compelling lead than our current one. I was surprised when starting the episode to see a sudden rise in visual quality only for it to turn out to be a movie within an anime. Actually I […]

Latest Reviews

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]