Posted on 18 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

It was inevitable that Yotaro’s past with the Yakuza would come back to haunt him but boy did it really bite him in the ass. I was wondering as to how the show would work with Yotaro and give him conflict but then this episode comes along and gives him plenty to worry about. He’s having trouble finding his old style and is mimicking his masters and acting as a surrogate father for Konatsu’s child when the father appears to have returned at episodes end. Yotaro’s performance in this episode was hard to watch but I really love how Rakugo never has someone on the sidelines to inform us that the performance wasn’t going well. Just by watching and listening, even though I don’t know Japanese, made it clear how well it was going. Helped by showing the audience’s reaction and Yotaro’s own panicking nervousness. Rakugo seems like a temperamental art, much like comedy.

The mood of the audience can kill a performance and in Rakugo’s case, bore them to death. You can tell Yotaro is really trying with his performance but as the audience loses interest his moves grow all the more desperate. Even changing the voice of the housewife character mid performance as Yakumo complained about it earlier. When Yotaro unwittingly reveals his Yakuza tattoo in front of the audience he knows right away that he made a bad move. Still as painful as this is I certainly remember a fair share of Yakumo’s terrible performances. Though what certainly isn’t terrible is the new opening and boy if it isn’t a unique way to start this show. I am a little on the fence over the song but the visuals are fantastic. I love the imagery of Sukoroku opening his shirt to reveal a ribcage. I originally thought this season was going to be primarily about Yotaro but the opening puts Yakumo in the spotlight and shows his worries and the things that haunt him well. It worries me though as the opening is not very happy and could foreshadow this season being quite depressing. All things considered I would prefer a more heartwarming end to this story and more moments like Yakumo consoling Yotaro over his past.

Speaking of which Yakumo is not doing so well either. He’s not doing much to help out Konatsu with the child and it’s clear that he has long grown tired of his life. His cold attitude towards Konatsu and disinterest in the child is somewhat understandable. As I doubt Konatsu wants him anywhere near him. Konatsu is still just as hostile to him which is sad as Yakumo at least tries to throw some kindness her way. The scene with him reciting one of Sukoroku’s old bits that put her to sleep. I almost believed that this could be the start of them at least growing closer together as a family. Though Konatsu burns that bridge fast by reminding him that he lead her parents to their death. All things considered I think Konatsu isn’t really being fair. After all if anyone is to blame for what happened it would be her mother. Yakumo then reveals his desire to die and to take Rakugo with him. So in that regard Yotaro may have saved Yakumo’s life when he declared to be taking up Sukoroku’s name. So in one episode we have essentially declared the problems the protagonists will be dealing with for likely the majority of the season. And here I thought that the end of season one only signaled a rise for Rakugo in the future. Life truly is never that simple.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

I may regret choosing to cover this series as what makes it great is a quality that cannot really be held up to professional scrutiny. Much like Triggers other works, it’s not what’s being presented that matter but rather how it’s presented. You can make the argument that Trigger doesn’t necessarily innovative but rather take old tried methods of storytelling and polish it with great animation. Though one has to wonder if that might be actually enough as to capture the feeling of the old and perfect it is no easy task. It’s difficult to call their works original but there’s no denying that they are fun. I like to see them as the Nintendo of the anime industry in that they stick close to old sensibilities and in doing so keep the simple enjoyment and wonder that seems so rare nowadays. Little Witch Academia so far still has the magic and with hope they can keep it for it’s full 25 episode run. The opening of this series was mixed for me as it is a much more mellow tune when compared to Triggers other works. However it’s growing on me and I happen to like the starting buildup and imagery. For a series like this it is rather suitable that the opening is more easygoing.

I often see Little witch compared to Harry Potter which does seem like a flimsy comparison. Sort of like that joke where you say it’s like Skyrim with witches. Harry Potter is the obvious popular example for comparison but the two actually hold not much in common. Really both have a wizard school and if you ignore actual personality and gender you could compare Diana to Malfoy. This is more a feel good magical adventure when Harry Potter was more written like a mystery with the three often trying to figure out some incident going on at Hogwarts. If we want to play the comparison game then Little Witch Academia holds much more in common with a book series called The Worst Witch. Admittedly I primarily know it from the TV series that aired in 1998 but it certainly is surprising the parallels the two have. Also before you go saying the Worst Witch is a knockoff of Harry Potter it’s important to note that the first book was published in 1973 so if anything Rowling took inspiration from them. This may be a moot point but I wanted to point out that just because Rowling popularised the idea of a wizarding school does not mean she invented the idea. I seem to remember before Little Witch that people referred to Familiar of Zero as anime Harry Potter too.

Based on these past two episodes it does seem like there will be a certain formula which I hope doesn’t become stale. My biggest fear for this series is that it’s predictability could water down it’s charm. The big issue would be the deus ex machina stick, Chariots wand, which can do pretty much whatever the plot requires it to. It does seem to have conditions for its activation which look to involve being charged with magic but I say that later episodes shouldn’t rely on it’ too much. Though it might not be a detriment as Gurren Lagann essentially solved all its battles with fighting spirit and yet didn’t become stale. Diana so far has been made a lot more reasonable as in the OVA she was a lot more confrontational but here she was a lot more reasonable. Still prideful and standoffish but not obnoxious. Her lackeys took to be filling in that role. I particularly like how she noticed Akko’s hair that Susy cursed with a potion and while showing off with the bringing the statue to life she uses it to dispel the magic on her hair. As well as trying to admit that she wasn’t the one who saved the tree. Akko and Diana’s relationship in this show could have a lot more to it here and really could become quite interesting. After all I believe Diana is still a closet Chariot fan and I wouldn’t be surprised if she has the last card Akko was missing from her collection.

Posted on 17 January 2017 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

This week we have 2 disjoined chapters, which are different in tones and more importantly in their point of view. We go through the first section from Smith-san perspective detailing his own thoughts towards the match against Gotou, and the latter part Rei took the stage, being on his way to challenge Gotou in next match, except things weren’t go according to plan either. If there is any mutual theme out of these two chapters, it’s this: know your own place in the shogi world.

3-gatsu no Lion sure has a very slow pace, and it’s most apparent here in the first 6 minutes when all the actions can be displayed in one brief sequence in other anime, but the show goes on and on, both in a good and bad ways. Look, for a show that relies heavily on building up and tender atmosphere, it makes sense that some scenes they need to drag out a bit longer to provide the mood; but truthfully, I don’t get the recap here. We don’t need that, tell me something else instead. The latter part, in contrast, followed Smith-san having breakfast (eating fresh, whole tomato!) played like a gif animation with its jerky movement and upbeat music and I’m digging it very much. If you decide to go off the track, then make it with styles. Thank you Shaft.

But to be honest, spending an entire chapter focused on Smith-san feel like a filler, side story because at the end of the day it doesn’t add up much to the mother narrative. Smith-san has never been anything other than Rei’s shogi-mate before so it’s hard to relate to him more than that. Telling the story in his point of view, however, still has its purpose because one-part of 3-gatsu is still stories about the life of shogi profession players anyways, and Smith-san’s perspective provides a more mature look at shogi than Rei’s, as he’s now in the middle of his career path. It’s true that when one becomes a professional, the only thing he knows best is his own ability comparing to others. This isn’t simply the lack of confident, but more in terms of actual level, the actual talent that separate those great players and the rest. Here in this chapter, Smith-san went all he got despite knowing full well that gap; but in the end what he found really was that he still has a long way to reach to the top, to perfect his style. It’s fine though, since not only he found these things, but a black tray cat in need of aid as well. Kudos for the show’s consistency of providing the world full of cats. Hungry cats, stray cats, owl cat, warrior cats, you name it.

It’s Rei, on the other hand, who needs to learn a hard lesson about knowing his own place in this shogi world. As his mind was occupied by the provocation of Gotou, he steps into the match against Shimada the 8th dan with his head in the cloud. The show smartly conveys that sense of thoughts as we see Shimada as a shadow, unimportant figure until Rei pays full attention to him. I love the smart storytelling that later fleshing out Shimada in his best possible way in just few details, both underlines how he truly cares about the kid Harunobu (“I want you to split Rei’s head in half”. What a great friend Harunobu is), and how good he’s actually is in shogi (well, he’s in 8th dan for a reason); leading Rei all the way to his destruction without him realizing it. Rei does need something like that (I don’t mean that splitting head in half metaphor. Too graphic! I’ll go with slapping in the face) for him to know that he isn’t that talented to underestimate other players and there is a long way for him as well to be ready for that fateful match. This is a minor 3-gatsu episode, but even so there’s still plenty good moments to recommend.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

As I initially thought, this series becomes a whole lot better when you can see the disparity between the main protagonists thoughts and how those around her view them. The first episode jumped ahead in the story to where Tanya had established herself somewhat and I believe the intent was to mislead the audience with her character. This episode takes it back to the beginning and truthfully would have made for a much more engaging start to the series. We see now that Tanya was a Japanese salaryman who managed to annoy god enough for him to throw out some cruel and unusual punishment. The animation studio seem to have taken liberties with the meeting god scene as both the manga and light novel frame it in more comedic light. There god is represented by his standard look of an old man with a bread in a white gown.

God in that seems more exasperated and annoyed with the salaryman’s outright dismissal of him. Admittedly there is some value in that version but I find the version in the anime to be far more compelling and interesting. There time stops and the god that questions the salaryman feels more mysterious and authoritarian. It even doesn’t outright admit itself to being god and in some ways makes it seem like he was purposefully pushing the protagonist to give him a reason to punish him or prove his own theory on why people no longer need faith. It’s one hell of a way to start a series which makes it all the more questionable as to why they didn’t just go with this instead of the actual first episode.

Not that the last episode was bad at all. But I think this series really benefits from the dry tone of Tanya’s inner voice when contrasted with her psychotic tendencies. It goes to show that the truly evil do not think of themselves as evil. In Tanya’s case she’s just doing what she can to get a cosy desk job in order to spite god. A smile just comes to my face seeing her lying in the hospital bed putting up a front with everyone who’s impressed with her while in her mind she’s saying “Oh crap, I impressed them too much.” For Studio Nut’s first work this is a remarkably well animated show so far which could put them on the map.

Though reason for this may be due to the staff being made up of former Gainax/Madhouse employees, though that does need confirmation. At least that’s what I heard. The female character designs take some getting used too though I have grown accustomed to Tanya and her delightful crazy smiles.  Her subordinate on the other hand I don’t think I will ever get used to. The soundtrack isn’t quite to my tastes either but it is suitable for the show. If it can manage to keep things interesting this could well be another great show in what looking to be a strong season.

Posted on 16 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2

Short Synopsis: Kazama stands trial after accidentally blowing up a lord’s manor while saving the town.

This show certainly hasn’t lost it’s charm. I had the biggest smile on my face while watching and it even managed to get me laughing out loud at points. I will admit that the art team may be taking advantage of how KonaSuba’s bad character art lends to the shows comedy a little too much as the characters looked off model a lot in this episode. Also the lie detector scene was pretty much a joke stolen from the Simpsons though I loved how Kazama started abusing his position after the lie detector temporally cleared him of wrongdoing. The star wars recap joke was novel but admittedly overused a bit too much in other non anime shows. Other than that though this episode was a whole lot of fun and I hope this time Studio Deen is giving this more than ten episodes as if it can keep this up then they will have two potential best of year anime before the year has even really started.

Potential: 80%

Mario: For anyone who enjoy the first season of KonoSuba, the fun continues to live on. While KonoSuba certainly has a lot of issues, most notably Kazuma’s terrible traits which tend to drag everything down with him, looking at the show as pure comedy and you’ve hit gold mine. The comedic timing, for example, is even sharper than the first season. The character designs are purposely off-model most of the time to really illustrate the off-putting mess our 4 mains are in. The show seems to throw gags after gags at full speed and most of the time those jokes land well. The two Aqua and Megumin still pretty much stole the scenes every time they appear and if the rest of the second season remains as hilarious as this we sure are blessing in this wonderful world.

Potential: 70%

 

Chaos;Child

Short Synopsis: A group of teenagers happen across one of a series of murders.

First I will point out that no one should ever watch the Chaos;Head anime. If you want to get started on the series then play the visual novel as it is a far better experience. That said it is still a very disappointing story that I think people rate too highly. Go back years ago and I was a fellow who was just getting into visual novels and decided to give this “Chaos;Head” thing a shot. After a pretty fantastic opening scene I was well hooked for whatever the plot had in store. But much like any other semi-colon series, it starts strong but the longer it goes on the dumber it gets. Soon I found the story is wasting my time, introduces magical super swords which push the most interesting aspect, the new gen murders, out of the story completely and ends like one big shounen adventure that made me want to punch the screen. My guess is that many just concluded the later half of the game as just being in the delusional protagonists head, thus giving it a free pass. I however do not. This brings me to Chaos;Child which is a sort of sequel to Chaos;Head. This is by a different writer and frankly I would applaud an attempt to take the parts of Chaos;Head that worked and make a better story out of them. So far that seems to be exactly what he’s doing as the new Gen murders are once again in the spotlight. However it’s been too soon since Occultic;Nine so I plan on seeing what the end consensus is on this series after it’s finished before giving it a chance. As for new viewers, I don’t think the recap at the beginning of this series does a good job of getting people up to speed but it could be possible to start Chaos;Child without it as it doesn’t carry any of the same characters. It has some interesting aspects but I will leave this up to your own judgment.

Potential: 20%

Mario: First I have to say the recap episode of Chaos;Head was really helpful to pick up what had been going on in that universe, but I admit just right after Occultic;Nine I ain’t really in the mood for these semicolon series, at least for now. The main protagonist is a tad improvement from other main characters since he’s at least not annoying. These freak murder mysteries are all right so far, should be good enough to pique interest from those who love mystery out there. There’s a bunch of characters but apart from the guy’s older sister and that yellow hair girl, the others are dead weight right now. I don’t really think we will have a satisfying conclusion either based on what they did with Occultic;Nine but at least the mystery presented was strong enough so anyone who found the cases interesting by all mean continue to watch it. For myself I will need to cool down a bit before approaching any semicolon series ever again.

Potential: 20%

 

Marginal#4 KISS Kara Tsukuru Big Bang

Short Synopsis:

Dear readers allow me to be blunt for a moment. Sometimes when a show like this comes up I am tempted to briefly skim the thing and write down some two cents. For we all know exactly what my impression is going to be and quite frankly you have written off this show before it’s even aired. And rightly so because it’s exactly what you think it is. For one I am convinced these main characters are all genetic clones because the only differencing factor is their hair colour. The one positive factor I can say from this first episode is that I was able to shave a few minutes of the runtime by skipping the song and dance sequence. A small mercy when it comes to idol shows. So we have a school setting where our main characters are setting up a club and plan to kiss the stars in the universe or something. Which is stupid because clearly you would suffocate and freeze to death before you could get vaporized when kissing a luminous sphere of plasma. I supposed they mean it metaphorically but even as a metaphor I can’t seem to suss out the meaning. Anyway the characters are completely dull, the story is uninteresting and the comedy falls so flat that it was probably run over by a steamroller. It will air, then disappear and eventually be forgotten about for all eternity, just like it should be.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Gosh, I am actually glad that I only need to give impressions on 2 idols shows this season (We still have Bang Dream but it won’t air until a full week later) because boy how nonsense and uninspiring those idols shows are. So, after this episode we learn 3 things about those guys. First, as an idol, they aim to shoot the stars and kiss the universe or whatever it is. Second, asking an idol about his old time means exactly like asking a previous relationship so it’s a sensitive issue because now they are one. Third, those guys are still high school students so apart from being idols (which actually eat up a lot of your time already), they really need to form a club because that’s what being high school students is about, doesn’t matter which activities they’d do as a club. You see, all those are uninteresting, I hate idols the most, I hate high school settings the second so really the show just represents all those things I dislike so I said it’s a no, no and NO.

Potential: 0%

 

Scum’s Wish

Short Synopsis: Two classmates with doomed loves decide to go out with each other to fill the void.

Before I said that Fuuka would be starting fires in episode discussion threads but honestly this show could beat it in terms of that later down the line. This is a full on soap opera which could be your thing but when I read the manga I remember being very mixed on it. It has things I wish a lot more romance anime would have, like having character be in an actual relationship instead of teasing a will they won’t they situation. As well as going into the more darker aspects of romance. However it does result in some bad aspects later on in the story. So far this is a pretty good start and is very well made. Though I find myself uninvested in the struggles of the main characters as what they considering love just feels ridiculously superficial to me. This kind of love is often heavily glamorized in media but I feel that a connection which is grown over time between two individuals interactions is much closer to true love than a one sided affection which is almost primarily based on lust. If anything the co-dependance our two protagonists have is closer to love than the love they are chasing after which may be an intentional story element. I recommend watching this and deciding if it’s up your alley. But if you decide to continue it then be prepared as this isn’t going to be an easy ride.

Potential: 50%

Mario: Let’s end these first impressions up with the noitaminA slot, Scum’s Wish. Look, I normally have no qualms when dealing with shows that gradually put me into uncomfortable zone (see my intense love for Flowers of Evil for example) because after all, the rawer the feeling it evokes, the more the viewers can personally responds to it. But all these uncomfortable feelings have to come from the understanding of its characters and their situations. You must have something you really want to say to make it resonate. Scum’s Wish’s first episode understands that, focusing the doomed love entirely from a perspective of Hana. There are two angles the show is currently exploring, the first theme is the pain of unrequited love. Those characters keep chasing their “true love” and their true love keeps chasing god-know-who and the cycle repeats itself, and that aspect truthfully makes me hesitate the most. It’s no fun to see doomed love getting doom after all. The other aspect though; about the very unhealthy relationship when the two jump at each other for comfort, while at the same times aware how corrupted it was; is given with great insight and sympathy in this episode. The way the show uses panel really add perspective to those characters, as these moments of jealous, of longing are often unsaid and unnoticed by their targets, the use of panel also underline the distance between Hana, Mugi and their true love. As of now I don’t really know which direction the show ultimately takes (maybe bit of both) because the show can really go north or south depending on which road it takes, but I can’t deny I respond to this show the most out of everything airing this season, not necessary in a positive way though.

Potential: 70%

Posted on 15 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Onihei

Short Synopsis: A captured thief joins the police to hunt down his old leader.

For a studio’s first work this is quite a solid offering. The beginning reminded me of samurai champloo though this seems more a traditional samurai story. Animation isn’t anything too impressive but it does the job and there is some great music. This is looking to be a more episodic series which each episode dealing with it’s own case and thanks to Joker Game I am not keen on that idea.If anything turns me off this series it’s the Edo period setting which I never found all that interesting. Thanks to amazon prime you may find this series hard to find but if you can check it out it is worth a watch. It’s certainly better than the usual superpowered teenagers in magical high school shows. Not to my taste but if you are a fan of samurai movies and the setting this might catch your eye.

Potential: 60%

Mario: Wonders indeed will never cease because I found Onihei to be the most solid new episode I’ve watched this Winter season. Given a period settings, along with quite mature storyline and somewhat muted promotions, I can only imagine this one fly under the radar for most of regular anime watchers (which actually make me want to blog about it more, but let wait and see until I check them all out). The characters, especially the mains, are wonderfully recognized just based on the way they talk and they carry great chemistry together. The story in this first episode is simple enough but speaks right to the code of honour as the main overarching theme. From what I gathered the show’s going to be an episodic detective serial, which if this first episode indicates anything then it’s gonna be a wild ride. The art is a bit of a weird part though, as I spotted some CGI animation (especially in establishing shots of local people walking), main hand-drawn animation for most parts and at some points a rotoscoping animation as well. At least those techniques give the show an unique appeal and don’t distract us much from the story. Not everything is perfect here (I found the last part lacking and I sensed a bit of Joker Game’s vibe here) but overall I say people should watch out for this.

Potential: 80%

 

Gabriel DropOut

Short Synopsis: A pure hearted angel is corrupted by human society, hijinks ensue.

I think this has the same problem as Omari-chan in that the protagonist is completely devoid of likeable traits and is a genuinely horrible person for the sake of comedy. Anyway the core foundation of every joke in the series is this, the angels act demonic and the demons act angelic. The contrast works for a little while but soon the jokes became predictable. Eventually the angel and demon thing doesn’t really matter all that much. It more or less becomes an excuse for the characters eccentric personalities and we got a regular gag show with cute girls. If you are looking for a show that you can shut your brain off to and just unwind this isn’t that bad an option. Overall something to tide you over until the better shows air.

Potential: 20%

Mario: I came to this episode completely blind so I found that early “twist” quite well-earned and hilarious, well it isn’t really a twist because after all it’s up there in the premise: the angels are bunch of manipulating brats and the devils are their helpless victims. With that in mind the rest of the episode plays out as the variations of how bad those angels are and how innocent those devils behave (AKA they’re terrible at their jobs), which is well, I have a fun times this episode but the jokes if continue like this will get pale very fast. There is some good comedic timing here, and I found the cast bounce off each other relatively well but if they don’t have a concrete plot then it won’t go far. Could be a breather series to watch pass time but I don’t see it as anything more to recommend than that.

Potential: 20%

 

ACCA – 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

Short Synopsis: A branch working man investigates corruption within a supposed utopia.

I still remain unable to really gauge this show as it does seem to be something that is well executed but just doesn’t appeal to me personally. I am reminded of Ghost in the shell Stand Alone complex in a way as that is a show that I recognised as good but just didn’t like personally. This episode was slow but it had nice world building and is something quite different from our usual kind of anime. My only major criticism is in how the main protagonist someone managed to figure out everything based on a five minute delay and a report from the day before. I generally don’t like it when a show keeps the inner workings of investigation to itself as it makes it like the main protagonist is pulling his answers directly from the script. Other than that we have an intriguing setup for a potentially great series. Though it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Potential: 50%

Mario: This one falls right in the middle for me. On one hand I love the world-building. The nation Dowa is peaceful, stable and I like the idea of 13 Districts with their own style of living (like in The Hunger Games); basically that world is rich in details and I love to know more about it. But there’s something trouble underneath its fake peaceful façade and everyone seems to expect this show is a slow-burn story that detailed how Jean progress to find out the ugly truth. Think again because the actual case in this episode happened so quickly, with evidences we have no knowledge of before so yeah I don’t trust this show’s detective case at all. There’s also a tonal disjoined as the lighter moments of the division’s members enjoying cakes don’t seem to fit well with the rest; then we also have an overpowered element in the name of ACCA 5 Chiefs with for now are all over the top. As of now, just like the division ACCA itself, it’s hard for me to judge the show because I don’t know the role of Jean in a big narrative sense, but everything else from the Dowa world to the productions are handled very well. Still the premise is intriguing enough for me to check out more of it.

Potential: 60%

Posted on 13 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Hand Shakers

Short Synopsis: A boy holds the hand of a girl he finds in a hospital room and ends up in a supernatural battle to the death.

GoHands, you know what would be great? If you know, instead of slapping on lens flares and colour filters all over the place, you just don’t do that? For I can at least see some good character animation here underneath all the horrible CGI and distracting visual effects. Well except for that class president girl with breast physics that likened her chest to jello in zero gravity. Seriously, I think if I slapped these things they would jiggle in perpetual motion for all of eternity. We also have another girl in this episode who spend the episode being chained up and surely her acting direction was to moan like she was in a porno and not much else. This seems like an anime experiment of the bad kind as Hand Shakers has the characters in 2D animation and animated the backgrounds completely in 3D. Considering that the main character’s catchphrase is to saying things are meshing or not it seems unintentionally ironic than the 2D and 3D of this show doesn’t mesh at all. Plus this makes the same mistake as K in that the show decides to introduce itself by shoving the viewer into a full on confusing series of action sequences of which we have no idea what the stakes are or what is even going on. What is particularly annoying is that they repeat these animations at the end of the episode where we are at least up to speed so why even bother putting it at the start in the first place. A confusing mess, a visual disaster and considering the blatant fanservice(Oh look, the main heroine has a bath scene next episode), a rather trashy show. Still it’s not Occultic;Nine so I suppose that’s one point in it’s favor.

Potential: 0%

Mario: And I thought we can’t possibly get any lower than Spiritpact here comes Hand Shakers. The show is one rare anime that consistently messy, all over the place in almost every department. Where do I start first? Let’s talk about characters. All the characters are unmemorable at best, irritating at most of the time and just trash at worst. Our main guy has that stupid quirk, behaves like a doll with no real personality whatsoever, but worst is how the show portraits the female casts: his best friend talked while her boobs juggling, the main girl didn’t have a single dialogue this episode and that other girl was chained, tortured, lying on the ground, while her guy stepped on her stomach and used her power and talked bullshit. WHAT? Now that’s offensive! I can tolerate all other awfulness but if you treat your characters like trash then it’s hard for me to take you seriously, Hand Shakers. Then the story. What’s the story really as this is the most awkward pacing I’ve ever seen. Why include the scene of him fixing some stranger’s car? These shifts of tones are often jarring, like how the series showed his drama with little sister then jump to the action scene in the next minute. Finally, the visual. What utterly incompetence the visual was. Those chains were so out of place that a ten-year-old boy would do a better job at this, and those sparkling out of nowhere? Everything looks stiff and everything looks ugly. Even the idea of holding someone’s hand for the rest of their life scare the life out of me so really there’s nothing that hold me back here. In fact, keep delving on how awful this show is would require a whole length of Gone with the Wind novel so I highly recommend you guys to watch it for yourself to be stunned and amazed.

Potential: 0%

 

Kemono Friends

Short Synopsis: A human child ends up in a park filled with humanoid animals.

I am fairly certain this isn’t the kind of show for anyone who reads this blog. I am not really sure on how to judge it either as I am clearly not the main demographic. Basing this on if I was about twenty years younger, I say I would watch this episode but not really seek to continue the show. It has a very happy go lucky feel to it and the whole thing just felt very safe. The CGI wasn’t too jarring so visually it’s decent. Overall just a rather mediocre kids show.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Being a kid’s show (actually the only new kid show this season), of course my standard of giving my two cents is different too. There’s not much for us adults to take out from: the storyline is simple, the character designs are even simpler and the CGI animation is easily the simplest. But on the other hand, judging the show by how well it will entertain children, then actually I think the show does a decent job. The sense of fun is there, and even try to pick out what types of animals those girls are is amusing. The aesthetic isn’t much ­as everything appears quite plain and stiff, but I don’t fault it for that either. Only those Ceruleans are out of place but I guess those monsters are something akin to four enemies that try to catch Pac-man. Speaking of which did I mention that this show is based on the free-to-play game? For it being a children’s show I won’t treat it harshly like Hand Shakers up there (but really, this is a better show) as there’s nothing truly bad about it, it’s just forgettable so no, I’ve done the job for you to check it out so you don’t need to watch it yourself.

Potential: 10%

 

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Short Synopsis: A dragon falls in love with a human girl and vows to become her personal maid.

You know it’s a fairly long time since we got a truly hand drawn animated dragon instead of the usual CGI dragon. Which is a pity because those are generally the best kind. So how my heart weeps that the show to fulfil this desire is cheap gag slice of life. My biggest problem with this show is that it’s getting the attention to detail and level of quality it truly does not deserve. A series about a dragon that turns into a lesbian maid.  I will give credit that the dragon girl openly admits that she is sexually interested in Kobayashi which from my knowledge even Yuri on Ice was too afraid to do. But the problem is that this is an utterly mindless gag show with no real substance. Or at least what little substance it has is bound to be phased out in time as more dragons are introduced. Yes it’s not bad but it’s just so average that I can’t bring myself to care about it. If you have the time and like these kinds of shows it’s not a bad choice but truthfully you would be better off watching Demi-chan instead.

Potential: 10%

Mario: I guess your enjoyment out of this show will depend entirely on how you like Tohru the dragon maid and more importantly the dry humor of the show. As such I’m not a big fan of either. Given I already liked half of its jokes, from Tohru chewing the laundry to her roasted tail, I found it’s lacking in overall tones because in truth it’s a fan-service show from head to its tail. The premise is kind of lazy one as she just suddenly appeared in front of Kobayashi’s house and declared that she’d like to be a maid. Compare it with Demi-chan who actually give a lot of its heart to the characters and this is pale in comparison. The visual is attractive though, so are the character designs. I know after a spectacular Sound! Euphonium 2, KyoAni needs something light-hearted like this but aside from Tohru and the gags about her perspective towards this mundane, “inferior” world, this show is more a missed opportunity to me. If you have to pick one slice-of-life monster moe pick Demi-chan instead.

Potential: 20%

Posted on 12 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Little Witch Academia

Short Synopsis: A normal girl goes to attend a academy for witches

You know if the remaining 24 episodes are as great as this one this anime may end up on of my all time favorites list. Animation is great and full of personality, story is simple but fun and I had a blast while watching it. It’s a big joke to say that Studio Trigger is saving anime but the level of quality on display here actually lends credence to that claim. My biggest worry is whether they can keep up this quality for the remainder of the show and just what they plan on making the main storyline of the series. Though I am most certainly interested in finding out. Look, watch this. I give it the highest recommendation out of everything this season.

Potential: 95%

Mario: Apart from the show being a reboot, meaning that we have to go through the introduction and some of “don’t know how to use magic/ witch blood” situations all over again, which I’m kinda feel overdone at this point, everything else is what to be expected here (and I did expect a hell lot from this). For those of you who unfamiliar with its shorts, think the best elements of Harry Potter (which is its world-building) without all the dark, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named bullshit. Little Witch Academia is all about adventure and what an adventure the cast have been through this first episode, getting lost in the forbidden forest to hunt rare giant fire-breathing chicken. Already in this episode our three main girls have a great chemistry together, the visual is wild but creative as expected from Studio Trigger and the show never lose its sense of fun. If you’re about to watch just one show this season (hopefully you aren’t) make it this one and rest assured that even if this show will be released all at once by Netflix, one of us will cover it regularly for your own pleasures.

Potential: 80%

 

Idol Jihen

Short Synopsis: A farm girl enters the world of politics by singing on a stage.

Ah, the idol industry. The soul sucking demon which takes adolescent girls and treats them like mere commodities for making cash. Idol Jihen may be trying to dress it up like most anime do but quite frankly the only thing produced by Idols is crap music, destroyed childhoods and fanatical fans. I really do love how this show avoids talking about actual idol skill and instead we have these “aura” which apparently decides how good an idol is. Yep you can perform perfectly but you are doing something wrong because of your “aura”. Anyway the premise of this show is ridiculous with Idols somehow being politicians as well? My guess is the political side isn’t going to get explored much and instead idols will sing the corruption away. I can only imagine the fallout once they aged past the point where they are no longer suitable for idol business. There may be novelty value in the premise but all we really have here is yet another idol show.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Politics Idols? I admit that it sounds amusing on paper but when you actually mix them together the show just falls apart. First, the 2 tones are vastly different that it often feels like two different shows; and none of them work. The politics are decidedly in your face with corruption, stupidity (death by food choking?); whereas as much as the series show us the danger causes of this world, guess why the main girl decided to run for election? To make people happy. Yeah, that might be noble but that doesn’t fit with what you were selling us, Idol Jihen. The girls aren’t memorable and you can probably list a dozen other characters with that same traits. Afterall, the only thing remotely similar about politics and idols world is they are just for show so we appropriately can just take it at face value. An easy skip.

Potential: 0%

 

elDLIVE

Short Synopsis: A boy is randomly abducted and pushed to become an space police officer.

Considering this is a studio pierrot offering, the animation is fairly decent but the story is as inoffensive shounen as it was in the manga. If you are a fan of pretty standard shounen this checks the boxes in that regard. But I still say this is essentially the premise of Space Patrol Luluco with none of the fun. Our main character is apparently ostracized because he keeps talking to the pokemon that has taken residence within his body. Which would be tragic if he couldn’t just stop talking out loud to it. It didn’t take long for Migi and Shinichi from Parasyte to figure out that talking out loud to each other is a bad idea. So seeing as you spent your entire life with this and still are making this mistake that kills any sympathy I would have had for this plight. So he’s dragged kicking and screaming out of his normal life to be pushed into a life or death situation by superiors who clearly don’t care if he lives or dies. It’s played off comically but all things considered these policemen such are vicious. At one point when they shoved him into a spacesuit they even considered cutting off the oxygen to the suit if he refused. Though I am just looking at it far too seriously and it is a rather harmless show. Still if I wanted to watch space police take down alien criminals on earth then I would just watch Birdy the Mighty Decode again.

Potential: 10%

Mario: elDLIVE is Men in Black, anime-style. Not really. If I compare it to MIB than I give this show too much credits. Apart from Space Police which could be a fun angle to delve on, there’s not much else to recommend. Let see, how this kid was chosen in a first place? Because he WAS CHOSEN. And then they throw him back to his town for a test, but guess who figure out the alien? Not him, his “inner voice”. Who was the one that capture the alien? His inner voice. Who was the one that have superpower? His inner voice. In other words, this guy didn’t do any damn things except talking to himself, and that not even count the time when his complex kick in. That weird voice that come out from his chest gives me a creep to be honest, so no this isn’t something worth checking out. 10% comes purely on the weirdness of that mascot, because for the life of me I wouldn’t dare to imagine what my inner voice would look like in physical form.

Potential: 10%

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Spiritpact

Short Synopsis: A boy is killed by a truck and finds himself teamed up with an exorcist as a ghost.

Sorry China, by all means keep trying but this isn’t going to top Japanese animation any time soon. So what’s wrong? Well the animation is fairly basic, the characters are annoying and the comedy falls flat on it’s face. Though I may be mistaken on this part but I think I saw signs of fujoshi pandering as well. It’s a bit sad that the execution of this show is so lacking when the general premise could work. I like the idea of a ghost and a exorcist teaming up together but the characters are just so bland and the dialogue feels so lazy. The exorcist just says exposition in a tone that honestly makes me think the voice actor is bored out of his skull. Not that I could blame him as does feel like a bankrupt show. There’s nothing interesting or notable about it.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Those Chinese co-production anime just keeps popping up every season now, huh? Anyone who read my post before might already know that I have very mixed feeling with Haoliners animation, and here Spiritpact is another uninspired product from them. I don’t know if it’s more of cultural unfamiliarity when it comes to humor but the comedy sucks big time here, and worse it drags out for too long. The story of getting the main guy to become a spirit exorcist is way too forced, way too inconsistent, way too bland, way to uninspired. The main guy might be one of the most annoying character I have seen in awhile, and it doesn’t help either that the production is among the worst so far this season. I originally brush this off but now with the constant influx of Chinese anime getting into Japanese anime market every season, it’s only a matter of time before Chinese anime make a breakthrough hit that will shake the anime community (I’ll say in 2 years), but as of now this title will be remembered as the worst of this Winter season. Congrats Spiritpact!

Potential: 0%

 

Demi-chan wa Kataritai

Short Synopsis: A biology teacher who wishes to study demi-humans suddenly encounters a number of them in his school.

It can be difficult at times to predict just how well a manga would work in animation. In the case of this I found the manga to be a decent read though not something to blow anyone’s socks off. To my surprise, and what looks like many others, the anime was quite an enjoyable watch. I still think Monster Musume went a whole lot further on the monster girls aspect but Demi-chan is certainly a lot less fanservice focused. Well it certainly has moe in abundance but at least in this case that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The nature of these various monster girls integrating into society is more the main draw for those watching and so far at least it’s doing a good job. The main character is also a nice change of pace as it is rather refreshing to have someone talk about erotica and not flare up like a bunsen burner. After all he did make a number of good points on how vampirism is related to lust and it is curious in the way vampires can live without blood. The vegetation comparison was particularly apt and I at least appreciate a take on vampirism that isn’t a attempt to turn them into fetishised jewelry in human form. Though with only four demi-humans I wonder where the show will go once the teacher has interviewed them all?

Potential: 70%

Mario: Man, I was prepared to approach Demi-chan for whatever it is but I certainly wasn’t ready for this heart-warming and cuteness. The story takes a slice-of-life approach to explore the demi-human points of view in regards to adapting the normal life and redefining the “old legends”, which they deliver both the points in the most natural way. Usually for other slice of life cute girls show characters have their own quirks that more or less make them unrealistic because… eh, it’s weird or sometimes even irritating, but those quirks work surprisingly well in this series because they serve as the main point to both show the characteristics of those demi styles, as well as how those characters see the world around them. Then all the characters have such natural and warm chemistry together and you basically have a winner episode. Out of those demi-human, succubus sensei is the weakest character so far but other than that I have no real complaint. Check this little show out guys, it’s worth it.

Potential: 70%

 

Chain Chronicle – Haecceitas no Hikari

Short Synopsis: Fantasy war stuff, I guess?

As this show is really just a series of movies cut into tv episodes I won’t really bother giving my two cents.

Mario: Did they really start the show in the middle of the battlefield, right in the climax of a fight? How they think it’s a good idea to catch our attention is beyond me. Well, I get that our team failed so we’re going to have a whole series building things up again, but for the love of god don’t show us too many characters without proper introduction. They all gathered (and then disbanded) to follow the guy’s quest, but the problem is that we don’t even know that guy, let alone those characters so why should we care? Who is that girl who hold the precious book? Who is that princess, and from which country? The worldbuilding is surprisingly detailed on the other hand considered that this series was adapted from tower defense’s mobile game. The actual story though doesn’t look that promising so if you’re a fantasy buff you can get by with it, otherwise I don’t think it appeals to the general viewers out there.

Potential: 20%

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu S2

Short Synopsis: A former ex-con hopes to keep the profession of Rakugo alive.

It’s good to see this show hasn’t lost it’s touch in between the seasons and having Yotaro do a recap of the first season through Rakugo was a particularly great touch. The drama is still excellent and we already have some interesting aspects being brought up. For one it’s fascinating how Yakumo is in his prime as a performer now that he’s a senior. Age does benefit a storyteller as it gives his words more weight and you can really tell it with Yakumo. We have those claiming that Yakumo is a shinigami who will take Rakugo with him when he dies thanks to his reluctance to take on appearances. Even Yakumo himself isn’t reluctant to take on the role of being Rakugo’s reaper. Yotaro and Konatsu’s relationship is heartwarming and it is nice how Yotaro is a happy go lucky idiot that is charming for how genuinely honest he is. Yotaro looks to be bringing the future of Rakugo with the help of a man who was refused when he asked to be Yakumo’s apprentice. We have a great start to what is likely to be an underrated but absolute gem of a series.

Potential: 95%

Mario: Rakugo is back again in fine form, now the second season follows Yotaro in present day. As Yotaro is much more impulsive than Kikuhiro, the story in turns has a lot more comedic moments and overall offbeat tone. As for now I don’t feel that comic exaggerated gestures (especially his friend in Kyoto who gave up rakugo) fit well with the rest but I will wait to see more. Other than that, there’s nothing to complain here. Making new rakugo plays sounds like an interesting angle to me and I really don’t mind to follow just that for the rest of this season, but then we also have his relationship with Konatsu and Kikuhiro and many of the people who connected to rakugo in all sorts of way. As with the nature of rakugo or really of nearly everything traditional, women have a restrict, limited role so I really look forward for Konatsu to break that restriction. This show is easily the cream of the crop this season so people who missed out on its last season, go watch it. You don’t even need to catch up on the first season, just go watch it now.

Potential: 95%

 

Seiren

Short Synopsis: A series of romance tales involving a boy and various girls in his school.

This is Amagami in everything but name. The good news is that if you liked Amagami then you will like this. The bad news is that it carries the same flaws as Amagami. The biggest being the protagonist whose as bland as they come. I find that self insert protagonists really only work within novels and games where you are in the mind of the character in question. When it comes to the more visual medium self inserts are less effective as it’s difficult to insert yourself into a character on screen whom you cannot control nor hear his thoughts. You could imagine being in his position but not really usurping it. In truth this kind of protagonist only really serves to make the lead as boring and malube as possible which causes all character interaction with him to suffer. The second problem is that when you have romances happening and then negated to move on to the next heroine it somewhat falsifies the romance in question. After all even if the protagonist declares himself to have found his true love then wouldn’t that statement sound hollow considering that if things were slightly different he would be declaring the same thing with someone else just as easily? Either way there is nothing truly wrong with this show and I do find it watchable and the girls are rather charming. Should make for a fairly decent romance series.

Potential: 40%

Mario: In preparation for this show, I watched the first season of Amagami SS and I found all those standalone stories were a decent take on romance. Seiren, although billed as an original, serves as a more spiritual adaptation of that series so you know what you’re getting too. On the matter that whether Seiren can make itself apart from Amagami SS still remain a question mask. I enjoy the 4-episode arc format focus on each girl as the romance won’t drag for too long. The main guy is improved a bit compared to Amagami SS’s but he still isn’t interesting at all. That main character again has a little sister and I really don’t know why the show include her at all. Apart from the harem girls the show spends quite a time for Shoichi and his best mate so that’s a plus for me. At least the first girl Hikari is interesting enough and I very much enjoyed the loose but naturalistic dialogues. Overall I have a good time watching this and for the season that actually crowded with romantic offerings, this one still stands as your safest bet.

Potential: 60%

 

Urara Meirochou

Short Synopsis:

Out of cute girls doing cute things shows this is the best out of currently airing but I can honestly say this genre will never quite appeal to me. Maybe because I am a soulless gargoyle who wouldn’t be moved by such fluffy antics or maybe I just find the general concept a bit too artificial. There are no girls who act like this and the experience of watching this show is akin to watching baby animals in a zoo.  Sure it’s cute but there’s nothing more to it. It’s just watching dumb animals being dumb. So you will watch, go dawww, laugh and forgot it all by the time you walk away. Not saying anime doesn’t need a show like that but I find there is just too much of an abundance of them lately.

Potential: 30%

Mario: Okay, it was rather surprising even to me but I enjoy every moments of this show. The series is simply a variation of cute girls genre but damn are they overly cute! That town looks strange but lively and warm, these girls are admittedly very generic but just look at those ears and those belly buttons (I know, I know!) Those fortune telling types are what sell the show to me and I’m generally intrigued to learn more about those details. Yes, in that world every girls are obsessed to fortune telling, but to what extent and for whatever purpose are still pretty much in the air now. Of course not even the main girls but the instructors, the manly guardswoman, even all the animals are too fluffy that actually turn me off a bit. This normally isn’t my kind of show (on a second thought, maybe it is), but I’m more than happy to spend more time with those girls and those fortune tellings.

Potential: 50%

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Masky
I mean, I think the guy was being somewhat hipsterish, but its true the being darker take on genre isn't same as deconstructing the genre
Masky
@AidanAK47: Some other guy on youtube did video that had actually pretty good point about how Madoka isn't really deconstruction, if you go by definition of "Break it down to parts and then play them straight to show how horrifying it would be in real life"
Anonymous670441
Gente - Ristorante no Hitobito
Kaiser Eoghan
If anything its the hate I have for certain characters that makes it more effective.
Kaiser Eoghan
The obsessional level of attachment is just uncomfortable to me, I don't want to get THAT attached to a non-real character.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its literally just a case of "Okay lets look at this picture of this character, she looks interesting, no feelings or expression from me, apply this fetish, fap, get release, go home. "
Kaiser Eoghan
Or drooling/dribbling/heavy breathing/grinning over the characters. I abhor alot of the anime girls I find attractive or am indifferent, even when looking at ecchi/hentai drawings I'm straight and clinical with it.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean to each their own. But I really hate the level of emotion/devotion to moe/finding the characters attractive. Such as celebrating their birthdays, going on about how cute/hot they are, how important it is that they're virgins. Or not being being self-aware of how irritating the characters are.
Lenlo
Anime hipster is pretty accurate. His general treatment of the current state of anime is annoying, as is his obsession with moe. Maybe its cause I cant stand moe most of the time, but it bugs me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: Essentially my brothers view on digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I don't usually feel the need to correct errors in your reviews as the errors are generally un-important, but I think you meant to say apprentices rather than appearences in the Rakugo review, just bringing that up as it felt like kind of a throw off.
AidanAK47
Which is kinda like saying Madoka wasn't a magical girl deconstruction because Sailor Moon and Nanoha had dark elements too.
AidanAK47
Went and read the reddit comments on it and seems I was right on the money.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, He's basically a anime hipster. For example, I saw a thumbnail of his which had Saitama on it and below it "Is There Meaning In "Subverting" Shounen Tropes?" and I thought "Okay, he's going to go on about how OPM isn't subversive and then list a bunch of arbitrary examples in an attempt to redefine what is actually subversive"
Lenlo
I have lots of issues with Digibro. Dude has some good points, but other very horrible ones. Some issues he feels strongly about and gets kinda biased on imo.
Anonymous669202
acca looks visually interesting, and I personally really dig this kind of show, but it seems that it's definitely not for everyone
AidanAK47
Time to live up to my word. Four posts incoming.
AidanAK47
Man, Little witch Academia was so good. I disagree with the whole Digibro thing about being able to recognise a great show in it's first episode but watching this makes me think that this really is going to be something special.
AidanAK47
Alright, gonna put in effort today and have 3 or 4 first impressions posts done. That should knock out near half the season.
Kaiser Eoghan
Had a flip through handshakers. Garish is the word I'd use to describe it visually, it takes you out of the show.
Topgavin
ASuperMario From the first minute I can already tell it's by the same people that made K. Those colour filters and the extremely jarring/obvious city CGI is unmistakable.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, literally makes my hands shaking. It's an abosolute mess. Highly recommended to check it out because it's so terrible it's great to watch
Vonter212
Yeah, and it's also a literal woman in refrigerator plot device, since that the thing that pushes the story forward.
Masky
I'd say that having to hide your sister's body in fridge would count as daaaaaaark and edgy, but when the body is wearing only underwear, and for some reason main character put metal things in fridge to keep body standing(I guess to not knock fridge open from inside?) I think it goes to "exploitation" you are talking about
Vonter212
@Masky - Did someone said doing dark things for drama? That's the bread and butter to get despair. Unless it's for the sake of perversion. Then it's just exploitation.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Masky: His other works dead tube and scumbag go further in the unhinged regard.
Masky
*relies on easy "let's do [x dark thing] for drama!" thing
Masky
Geez, Mayonaka no X Giten is fricking disturbing/disgusting ._. I'm pretty sure that writing relies on e, but I can't help but think mangaka is trying to make corpses sexy.
SuperMario
I found Onihei to be quite good, actually one of the most solid new episode I watched this new season. Guys, check them out
Vonter
I just hope it doesn't fall into the same misstep Kabaneri or Inuyasha or Bleach fall by making a villain so over the top that it crossed the line of not having a satisfying downfall.
Anonymous657941
@Vonter I think they just moved on. I lost interest rather quickly and I guess even the fans did that at some point, like with some other long-running series. There is much more new and more direct "fujo" stuff out there, many of them probably switched. Don't know what happens in the manga but maybe the story got worse or contained things some people didn't like.
Vonter
January will be loli dictator month (for me) :p. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (new), Seraph of the End. For some reason I stumble into three curious series with little power hungry girls. If I can ask, why did Owari Seraph's hype died, I remember back it was mentioned more often. It still has the fujoshi fanart but still, I don't see people bringing it up.
SuperMario
@CATski: well, if you didn't like its first 3 episodes I dont think the rest gonna change your mind. Have you finished Erased then? How did you like it?
SuperMario
But I understand it's difficult to speak in front of camera, get some time to get used to it
SuperMario
@kaiser: I won't commend on poem as I'm terrible at it myself but younneed to work more on presentation Kaiser. Small little things like looking directly at the camera or say "thanks for listening" in the end can connect you to the audience better
Anonymous657071
Ok. I'll give the thing another chance. *clicks torrent* XD. CATski.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Topgavin: You might like centaur no nanami if you like demi-chan.
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn...repeated myself =<
Kaiser Eoghan
There are these things called slam sessions done in bars where people get up and read out stuff in front of a crowd and read stuff out. Actually watching rakugo made me think about practicing for that kind of thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: the video I did was of me reading out a short piece of writing I did, a poem. lol I uploaded it to the wrong youtube account too I just realized =P
[link src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBZ2hBDBYs&t=11s
I"] was recording this from my mothers laptops inbuilt cam while reading off my desktop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I think it's a good idea for you to try out reviewing movies/stuffs in youtube channel. I'll be very interesting to listen to them
SuperMario
@Topgavin: Agree. Demi-chan was so charming. Definately one of my favorite so far this new season
Topgavin
Demi-chan's first episode was good. Like, really really good. That blonde-haired girl was hilarious, the teacher-student relationship between the MC and the girls is really interesting and the social/practical problems the demi's face make it look like my favorite show so far.
CATski
Ah... ok. Is it really that good or it's just one of those "artsy" animes that tend to get overrated by their ardent fans? I didnt find the rakugo bit interesting.... probably the weakest aspect of the show for me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Why did I read that chapter. Why did I do that to myself.
Kaiser Eoghan
Admittedly yes the premise is not for everyone, but if you stick with it, the flashback arc had some good character work in there.
CATski
Rakugo has a season 2? I watched ep 1 - 3 of season 1 then promptly deleted it. The loud "yankee" dude was annoying. And the anime was boring.
Kaiser Eoghan
Oh man, I've been thinking lately of trying to start some kind of youtube channel. I did a few trial run videos. Its much much harder than it looks, didn't realize how nervy being in front of a video camera was.
Kaiser Eoghan
*a declining art and rakygo halls are closing down
Kaiser Eoghan
As the show continues to mention how "its declining art", that got me thinking of the modern day, how while things like tv and cinemas probably hurt attendances for rakugo performances, the internet has replaced theaters .
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