Posted on 23 October 2017 with categories: Ballroom e Youkoso, Currently Watching:

Boy, this was really a Tale of Two Ballrooms. One of these episodes was almost certainly outsourced, based on the visual inconsistencies that extended even to key poses, but handled its character moments dutifully. The other looked markedly better than most of this show’s recent offerings, but rushed through so much material that its conclusion had hardly any impact. I suppose it’s a good thing I watched them together, since they make up for each other’s weaknesses, but episode 16’s abrupt finish left a sour taste in my mouth to end the doubleheader. A word of warning before you read any further: this is going to be one of those reviews were I make reference to the Ballroom manga more than once, and the eternal anime buzzword “pacing” will probably make an appearance before too long. If that sounds like something you can tolerate, at least for a few more paragraphs, then let’s unpack these episodes together.

My favorite part of “Taking the Reins” was the introduction of Kugimiya, who made an excellent transition from page to screen. He’s a blunt, imposing figure, whose tall stature and thin eyes make him a good aesthetic foil for Tatara. They’re opposites in the way they approach dance, as well; Kugimiya speaks harshly to his partner (who he’s nicknamed “Banshee”), and considers the strength of a couple’s leader to be of paramount importance. When Tatara objects to that philosophy, Kugimiya uses his undeniable skill to toss Tatara (occupying the female role) around like a ragdoll. Even Kugimiya’s theme, with its schizophrenic bassline and backwards piano, is brash and off-putting – the anime staff did an A+ job with his character. Off-putting though he may be, he’s right about how important the leader’s role is in ballroom dance, a fact that Hyodo’s mother Marisa reiterates more clearly than ever before. As Tatara’s new coach, it’s her job to make her pupil take a more active role in his routines, but it won’t be easy given his typically passive attitude.

Tatara’s old coach makes an appearance in this episode, as well, with Sengoku’s return to Japan after a month-long timeskip. The kids attend Japan’s International Dance Championships and watch as he and Hongo place third on the world stage, a feat which leaves Tatara in awe of his former mentor. After sharing a few laughs throughout the day, teacher and student have a nice moment together when Tatara works up the nerve to call him “sensei” for the first (and probably last) time. I thought it was swell of Ballroom to acknowledge the influence Sengoku has had on his old student’s development, especially because its newly-heightened narrative pace risks leaving some characters behind. Sengoku could have been a little more sentimental about it in the moment, but he had some encouraging words for Tatara during their classic train station farewell, so I’m happy. If there’s one criticism I’d level at this scene, it’s that it played a bit like a final goodbye, but it shouldn’t have, since I doubt this is the last time they’ll see one another. And speaking of scenes that don’t feel right…

Here’s a tip for all you aspiring storyboard artists out there: USE THE MANGA PANELS WHEN PLANNING YOUR ANIME. The beauty of series with existing source material is that some of the work is already done for you, and comics in particular lay things out really nicely. You can deviate from the manga, of course, but since anime is presented to the viewer at a fixed tempo, it’s important to note panels that indicate the passage of time, and use a similar device in your adaptation. Elaborate on them, do a montage, or throw a few stills on screen set to a throwaway piece of music – just make sure the episode is paced appropriately. Here’s what not to do: finish a scene with Marisa telling Tatara and Chinatsu that they can’t compete in a Grand Prix, fade to black, and transition immediately to the two of them on a train to the Grand Prix one month later. You might do this for humorous effect, but that’s not what Ballroom wanted to achieve here, and their omission of the manga’s dance training and end-of-school panels made the end of the episode feel super choppy.

The same problem carried over to the next episode, where Tatara’s obsession with a peculiar sensation he experienced while dancing led to his disqualification from the Grand Prix. He zoned out while sitting on the sidelines, you see, and when he came to, the competition was over. That’s what you might think, anyway, given that the anime only presents us with a shot of Chinatsu’s anguished look, then cuts straight to them in street clothes at a train station. Gone are her repeated attempts to rouse him, his slow return to reality, the call from another competitor asking if he should be on the dance floor, and the indication that the heat is still going on and they only missed it by a minute or so. The show was so preoccupied with showcasing its (admittedly cool) four-legged animation that it forgot how to sequence itself. I can only guess whether anime-only viewers found these scenes to be sloppy, but I know that similar transitions in other series have bothered me, even without knowing a thing about the original work.

There’s a whole half-episode of content left to discuss, but I don’t want this review to hit a thousand words, so I’m calling it here. Looks like I’ve still got plenty to say about Ballroom, so we probably ought to go back to single episode reviews. I’ll touch on whatever I missed from “Four-legged” in the next one.

Posted on 22 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Houseki no Kuni

It just occurred to me since I watched Bakuman (the first season of it, anyways) fairly recently, but watching Bakuman made me realize how tough it is to have your manga publicize, let alone become a popular one. For those who have watched the anime or read the manga of Bakuman, remember the early Golden Future Cup? The one where our main duo, Fuduka and Aoki decided to check each other’s names and plan to critically comment in order to improve them? Long story short, from what little I’ve read at each name, the one that grabbed my attention the most was Aoki’s, and guess what happened to her work? Not only it didn’t rank first (despite the fact almost everyone agrees the three works are on the same level), “Hideout Door” was regarded as too shoujou (since they work under Shounen Jump) and only made it to the publishing phase years later. Houseki no Kuni is what I consider “Hideout Door” in real life, it’s destined to be the title that don’t appeal to the mass and only gain traction to a small but passionate following. And like many cult works, Houseki’s quality don’t lie in how deep or relevant the show is (not to say that it isn’t deep or relevant), but in how it always stays true to itself. That’s how we should judge Houseki, I argue. The moment it betrays itself, the spark will be forever gone.

Back to this episode, we have a slow one compare to the first two weeks, but the level of weirdness/awesomeness still remains sky-high. The large amount of movement and the dynamic cinematography in some sequences, for example, stand out, particular in the part where Dia rushes back to the base to help Phos. Just look at those smooth and breathtaking movements. With that, I take it back all my complaints about the CG movements in previous episodes and this is an instance where I can see the anime version actually improves from the source material. The whole episode, otherwise, plays in an extremely bizarre situation: after gets eaten by a snail, somehow Phos transforms into one, and Dia runs around asking for help to turn him back to normal. Diamond has to be the most adorable gem in the universe (hah!), but this episode is where we learn greatly about Phos’ characters through others’ eyes and what they influent on the gems around them. All of them find Phos as an useless, annoying, careless, egocentric and good-for-nothing character, and it’d be the same if Phos stays in the snail form. Houseki plays it mostly for laugh but there’s a sad truth behind that, and Dia is feeling down because no one but her really gives Phos a damn.

Fortunately, someone else still cares about Phos. Cinnabar, who is in the middle of their own identity crisis, finds Dia napping on their night patrol. When asking about what Cinnabar thinks on Phos, Cinnabar has so much “hatred thoughts” to say, but it also means that they care. Phos is the first gem who really see through Cinnabar’s personal struggles, and their promise that they can offer the better role for Cinnabar still lingers in Cinnabar’s mind, but they try best to regress the idea because it can in turn hurt them if they start to believe the promise. Cinnabar’s rant sounds like a frustration, but his last line “I guess I can give you some more time before I start calling you a liar” really hits the mark for me on how Cinnebar’s truly regarding Phos. A great episode to flesh out the characteristic of both Cinnabar and Diamond.

Turns out, the snail is indeed just some random snail, and Phos’ fragments lie within the shell of that snail. With the help of all the members, they succeed on bringing back Phos’ broken pieces and store him back to life (although I have to question about the eyes), and suddenly, Phos gains a special ability of communicating with the snail. Now that he becomes useful… somehow, having an ability that no one else has. I heard from manga readers that starting from next episode we will have a proper arc and I can’t wait to see how it will turn out. Remember Houseki, whatever you do, just stay true to your quirky self.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Girls' Last Tour

Welp, I never would have thought Girls’ Last Tour can get any better, but this week’s episode is straight up phenomenal. Episode 3 manages to make some new tricks to its well-established formula: introduces another human survivor to the mix, askes a deeper philosophical question about the meaning of life in that stark world (and manage to execute the theme very well), and constructs many details about its fascinating world-building. I have no problem regarding it as the best Girls’ Last Tour’s episode we’ve seen so far. The inclusion of the new character, Kanazawa, adds a fresh air to this so far two-girls show. He’s the first human the girls come into contact for God knows how long, but what particularly sells me is the tension. The girls’ first instinct when realizing there’s another human around is to stay on guard. That level of highly cautious reaction comes to a far greater extent that Yuu points the gun at him all the time until she trusts him. It might sound grim regarding that they’re all fellow human and they cannot come to trust each other at their first glance, but it fits to Girls’ Last Tour narrative because it’s the human war that singlehanded destroyed the world. But these earlier doubts make their whole encounter far more powerful. It’s a process of gaining trust, after all and as soon as both Chii-chan and Yuu see no harm in his intention, they both invite him to crash the tank.

And that’s a beginning of a fruitful partnership. Kanazawa draws maps as a living breath and he uses his knowledge to lead the girls to the petrol station, and then to the Great Tower, in exchange for a little lift to the upper level. Here’s the foundation of human behavior: cooperation for the same goals. He helps the girls to clear path/ make a stable path for the tank to pass through his man-made bridge. Although appear to be just one-off only, Kanazawa is a welcome addition to this cast. Not only he fits well with the girls, his approach to that world: making maps as he explores the world, and the act of making maps gives his life purpose. The purpose of life was the question both Chii-san and Yuu asking as they drive along, finding foods and just barely making their ends meet. Aren’t their lives then, a string of continuous journey to find food and survive, is there any meaning beyond survival? Kanazawa’s live has a meaning, at least he has something worth spending his effort with, something he can look back proudly once he reaches the end.

Knowing that, Girls’ Last Tour eventually delves even deeper. As the three are in the elevator to the upper level, it tilts and his suitcase of maps falls off the lift, meaning all his efforts up until now are gone, with the wind. He’s depressed and wants to give it all up, echoing what Yuu mentioned earlier: If the maps are what you live for, let’s burn them to see if you’d really die. But the same with the silence of God, sometimes hardship in life (in his case, the loss of his maps) is meant for him to have a fresher perspective and then moves on. He still has a drive for making more maps and sometimes to live is to enjoy the little beautiful moments like the streetlights to the wonderworld and having fruit-flavor ration bar together. He gives the girl his camera as a gratitude, embarking on his own way. And that’s the end of the fruitful friendship… until the next time they meet again, if ever.

Although always serve as a backdrop and I’m pretty sure it will remain that way, the world-building of Girls’ Last Tour is even more realized now, now that we reach to the higher (and hopefully, better) level. One certain thing that differentiate this level with the lower one is the presence of electricity. Another detail we learn through this episode is that the bygone era, the ancient times was the period that human civilization had the greatest technology advance and high population. Then humanity had declined (hah!) and the technology advance had lost and human managed to fight each other until the whole race was destroyed. The generation before those girls and Kanazawa couldn’t figure out the way to function the elevator inside the tower, for example. It’s a fascinating world because we are just like those girls, know little to this world, the bygone world and thus, making their last tour feel like an adventure with so much wonder. At least for now, the girls are heading to the great light in the distance. I, for once, hope that this last tour will never end.

Posted on 20 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Inuyashiki

Woe be unto thee who passes further, for today we are talking about Episode 2 of Inuyashiki! A lot happened this week. New characters, dark twists and the start of what I can only imagine is the central conflict of the season. Lets jump in!

First and foremost, we need to talk about Hiro Shishigami. This was his episode, focusing almost entirely on him. Setting him up as the main antagonist for the rest of the season and quickly defining who he is. I have to say I was not prepared for him. It has been a long time since an anime has legitimately unsettled me, and Shishigami did just that. Initially, he put me off though. His tone and general voice felt fake, forced. All of his emotions felt like a front. As the episode went on however, it became clear that this was a deliberate choice. It outlined his lack of emotion with both words and actions.

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Posted on 19 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Juuni Taisen

I’m starting to worry about Juuni Taisen. Like what we all predicted last week, this week indeed follows a reverse zodiac order. We have Chicken served as our main POV and at the end she’s the one who get sendoff (with no small help from the episode title. What a huge spoiler). Judge by the quality of the episode alone this week it is a solid one, but for the show about a bunch of badass warriors fighting against each other, “predictable” is its worst nightmare, for when you know who would be the next to die then half of the fun is gone. It doesn’t help that the two most likely fighters to win this tournament are Bull and Rat, respectively, so we could very much follow that reverse pattern here. Knowing Nisio Isin, I would argue that this trend is going to break soon, but as the same time I am slightly disappointed that we got basically what we expected this week. Another worrying trend, is that I used to consider the cast of Juuni Taisen a well-balanced gender cast, but when we look into it, the female cast was only half of the size of the male, and now half of our girls already became the meat for those nasty crows. The male fighters have been overwhelming so far and I’m quite sad that Juuni Taisen doesn’t use this opportunity to power up their female cast. Out of other two female warriors, Tiger doesn’t pose much of a threat, at least not yet. We don’t know much about her apart from she has a grudge against the Bull and her inability to resist the alcohol urge (which is actually charming, by the way), and Monkey who should-be-dead if they still follow that formula. Not a promising sign at all.

Fortunate enough, even with all my complaints above, I still consider this episode a successful one. Our main character of this week, Niwatori the Chicken has a proper character arc and as the episode end, I was genuinely invested about her arc. The trick here is fleshing out her character just about enough.  The first half deals with her flashback, tell us the backstory of Chicken before she was even the Chicken. That flashback doesn’t necessary explain why she got the power, but more about her state of mind. Apparently killing her own parents by the egg topper (boy, do they take “Killing by Pecking” to a whole new level), she was raised by the Niwa family and became their soldier. I can’t help but laugh with the fact that this girl was actually in the battlefield with not a gun, but a spading fork and she still kicks ass. One thing to note that due to her dark past and the way she was raised by the Niwa family, deception is her game and as she becomes better at her job, she can’t tell friends or foes anymore. Guess I was giving the Boar to much credits, since this episode what remains of her was eaten away by the birds. It’s a cruel way to kill an already dead warrior, Chicken.

Back to this Battle Royale, it was her game all along to trick the Dog for an One-Man Army kick (which she herself curiously regards it as ‘doping’. Well, she’s right), and since her physical strength is boosted to the max, suddenly she has a good shot to win this race. What she doesn’t expect though, the doping making her emotionally affected as well. This is where she becomes interesting because the Chicken acts totally opposite to the way she’s supposed to do, “act against her type” so to speak, making her vulnerable but totally relatable. Meeting up with Rat and Monkey who trusted her and gave no caution towards her (although I bet both the Rat and the Monkey are strong enough to protect their owns), Chicken betrays her usual act and ends up not only parting ways with them (while the best course of action is just playing along), she winds up in the wrong place at the wrong time. I really like the way the actual fight is short and sweet, just by a mere seconds it’s clear who gets the short straw. Her “giving away her body for the birds” (maybe her only true friends) really hits the right note and I am sure the Chicken is gaining up fans as we speak now. Despite my issues with the on-going plot, Nisio always demonstrates that he cares for his characters and thus, willing gives time to develop them properly. I’m sad that Chicken is gone now and now with basically half of the cast is gone (counting the Horse, but again if I don’t see him dead I still have my doubts), I’m sure the race will take quite a turn next week as Monkey takes up the spotlight. Just one thing, don’t give any damn spoiler in the title, could you Juuni Taisen?

As of now,

Deaths: Snake, Boar, Dog, Horse (maybe), Chicken

Favorites to win: Bull, Rat, Monkey, Rabbit, no-one

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

It’s funny that only now, when we are well into the halfway point of the series that it takes some time to flesh out its cast. Sisgou has gotten some backstory, Fiore was fleshed out a little and even Gordes got some time to prove he’s not a complete caricature. The last one is something Celenike really needed before she was decapitated by Mordred as at least now Gordes has a little more to him than just being some arrogant mage. When I saw Gordes approaching the injured homunculi I was preparing myself to see him start abusing them or taking out his frustration on them. Instead Gordes completely surprises me and actually starts giving advice on how to heal them. He’s still arrogant but now that the Holy Grail War has gone nothing like he expected it’s caused him to look at himself and recognise where he went wrong. He’s just as antagonistic and shortsighted as ever but this at least makes him a better character than what he was. Celenike meanwhile just remains a sadistic bitch and gets her rocks of seeing others suffering. If we had just a few minutes like this to show she had anything else then maybe her death could have held more value.

Flore has also been a character solely lacking development as her defining traits are just that she’s wheelchair bound and has Doctor octopus mecha gear. The flashback to the death of her dog shows that even though she can be a strong leader, she can also be quite naive and too kindhearted for her own good. An observation that Chiron happens to notice thanks to his history as a teacher. It really is small moments like this which can really make a character and what may be the main pitfall of the start of this series as a whole. I mentioned previously that as the death count climbs this could result in the survivors getting more fleshed out and that does appear to be happening. Even learning that Atlanta wishes for all children to be loved is a rather kind hearted sentiment despite her rough disposition. All the more important when you take into account her history where she was abadoned by her parents in the woods and only survived thanks to the pity of Arthemis. Sisgou has managed to keep being an entertaining character thanks to his skills and interactions with Mordred but finally knowing that he has a personal wish as well makes his stakes in the battle all the more important.

I really do love how the two of them delight over planning to stealing the grail while everyone is busy fighting over it. So we now have our factions, the red team has come together under Shirou’s command though there was a mistranslation in UTW subs regarding Karna’s motivation. Put simply Karna said their interests align at the moment so he will fall in line but his one desire is to serve his true master, not Shirou. Shirou seems to have some plan detailed out so that using the Grail won’t backfire on him as that is how it works. The grail has the power to skip the process and deliver the result but you need to know what result that you want. This was the big mistake Kerry made in Fate/Zero when he wanted to wish to save the world, but had no real idea on how to do so. So seeing as the grail was corrupted at the time, it choose to go with the worst way possible to grant his wish. Shirou here seems to know exactly what he wants and the grail here isn’t corrupted so he could very well get it. The big problem is that to accomplish his task could very likely result in something rather horrible, like humanity giving up all free will.

The black team are gathering what forces they can to launch an attack on the Gardens of Babylon which Sisgou and Mordred temporarily working with them. So what of our little rogue element? Assassin of black has done pretty much nothing for quite a while and I worry she might end up being a throwaway character much like Avicebron was. As some last notes, I really, really don’t like that they seem to be going with this Joan and Sieg romance. I have heard others say that if Sisgou and Mordred took over the main character slot then this show would be significantly better and I am quite inclined to agree. Besides that was clear favoritism of your part Joan, giving Sisgou one command spell and Sieg two despite them doing the same amount of work. On top of that they appear to be planting some chekhov’s gun for what looks to be a Deus Ex Machina in the future with his odd command spells. Also can we have more Shakespeare please? His character is criminally underused.

Posted on 18 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World-

In an odd turn of events, the second episode of Kino’s Journey 2017 is a retelling of a story done in the original 2003 version. Where Kino is forced to participate in deathmatches upon reaching a country. I find this choice odd as I would consider the Colosseum story in the original to be the weakest story as instead of Kino acting as an observer to the countries rules and society, she instead is an active participant. When asked as to which of the versions of this story I prefer, I would say the 2003 version did it better but more because that version gave this story two episodes which it could flesh it out more. However despite that it seems that this newer version is actually closer to the source material from what I have heard.

So today is a tale of revenge as shown by the subtitle of this episode presented at the end. We have several kinds of revenge here in this story. Petty revenge in how the cruel king killed his father due to his upbringing being too strict. Revenge for a loved one as Shizu came to kill his father for what he had done to his mother and him. Revenge out of principle as Kino kills the king for all the travelers that unknowingly went to his country and were forced into deathmatches. Then finally revenge out of grief as a young woman sends travelers to the country so that they can suffer as she has suffered. The last however is kept ambiguous enough that it could be seen as the woman sending Kino to the country knowing that she would end up killing the king but frankly I think that would require the woman to know Kino’s capabilities. No, I find her sending oblivious people to their deaths to be far more fitting as revenge need not be taken against those that wronged you. Some find themselves too weak to do so and settle for a simpler revenge, such as pushing others into misfortunes that have effect you. It’s fitting that at the end of all this the one that truly fulfilled their revenge deems the entire concept pointless as it indeed is pointless. Revenge is born out of a need to balance things out but it won’t truly bring anything of substance. Kino got her revenge and in the end only felt frustration over how she was tricked and used.

Again I don’t really like the level of participation Kino had in this story as she has passed through countries in a more reprehensible state than this and never passed judgement on them. Here she literally destroys a country with her new rule. It is not out of character for Kino to be so merciless to kill a country as she has shown the capability for killing or allowing atrocity. But it is a very emotional move on her part. You can find some poetic justice in how Kino refused to kill any of her combatants and instead had the audience which shouted for blood, kill each other. I would also like to believe that only the people in the colosseum would die, leave those  not involved with the death games to guide the country. Though this seems to suggest that the entire country was doomed. Hard to be on Kinos side here when you take into account that her rule would apply to the children too. I am willing to make a bet that this will be the only remake of an old story in this version and I believe the only reason it’s here is just because of one thing. That being the character introduced in this story, Shizu and the talking dog Riku. In later stories sometimes the protagonist isn’t Kino and hermes but instead these two and i think the only real reason we got this episode was to make their introduction so we are not caught off guard later when they take to spotlight for later stories.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Dies Irae

There may be those of you who ask why I would cover this series despite it’s rather disastrous prequel episode. Even I will not be attempting to defend this adaption as I sorely believe it will be rather poor indeed. But when you truly think about it, isn’t it the case that I would be the best to judge this series quality? This is clearly an adaptation made for the fans, considering that it was a crowdfunded adaption to begin with and as while i cannot consider myself a fan per say, I have read the original visual novel. As an anime this won’t be anything special but for someone just looking to see DIes Irae animated as a visual novel fan i think someone needs to step into evaluate this. Though truth be told upon hearing this will have an 18 episode run I find my feet getting cold. We shall see how this all turns out.

This is truly the first episode of the series and where the story truly starts as the previous 00 episode was a side story about how the villains came to be. The previous episode has cause quite a number of problems in that it makes for a poor introduction to the story and the animation is bound to scare off any potential watchers. But on top of all that, there may have been people who planned to keep up with this series solely because “At least it isn’t some edgy harem crap with teenagers in highschool.” and along comes this episode to introduce a harem, teenagers and high school. Indeed…I don’t think many people will be keeping up with this series. I might as well point out that the school has about as much significance as the school in Fate/Stay Night. Basically as the story continues it just becomes less and less featured until it’s not even relevant. I will also say this episode is an improvement over the last episode but sadly still in mediocre levels. Animation and storytelling has improved but now it has to deal with the thing that more or less all anime adaptions have to deal with, a slow start.

In visual novels it’s a rare thing for stories to start straight away. You may get a flash forward to future events but more often than not you will spend some slice of life segments with the characters first before the story gets going. The purpose of this is to form an attachment to the characters to that when the story gets down to business things hit a lot harder. It’s the kind of emotional investment that can make visual novels far more powerful experiences than anime but as well it’s very much a double edged sword. For if you don’t find these characters interesting then these parts make a story feel slow. Enter Kasumi, who makes this episode so much harder to watch. I never really liked this girl despite understanding the need for her role. It’s not that I have a prejudice against childhood friend genki girls but in terms of those kasumi is certainly the most annoying type. Loud, obnoxious and trying way too hard coupled with the fact that she’s supposed to be annoying. But intentional annoying is still annoying.. She’s certainly the thing that makes the start of Dies Irae harder to get through than it needs to be.

Time for some story context. If you are wondering just what in the hell the Nazi’s were talking about at the end of this episode, don’t worry because that’s normal. For the first while of this story these people are going to be talking with their own little code. Lets just give the cliff notes and say they are Nazi’s and they are coming to this town to kill a lot of people for some reason. Now despite the last episode putting a lot of time into adapting a side story, it did a poor job of adapting the actual prologue in the VN. If you want to check it out then here. But again for the cliff notes it’s a introduction to the villains and has a speech from Reinard about how this world is trapped in a loop with the same events playing over and over again. And while it is fate for Germany to lose the war, they can still have victory at a point far into the future if they hand over their souls. And there was much rejoicing. As for why our main protagonist and his friend Shirou were beating each other up on a rooftop, Shirou suggested that they should fight each other to the death for shits and giggles. This may sound strange to you but believe me, for Shirou this is well within character. Well I am gonna see how long I can stay on this train as I am surprised by just how much I had to write here. Let’s keep going and see what happens.

Posted on 16 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Houseki no Kuni

Note: due to the fact that the whole cast of Houseki is agender and I DO care about the issue, I will address them either by their name or by gender neutral pronoun. But do forgive me if sometimes the old habit gets the better of me. You readers, on the other hand, can address them in whatever way you like. We all live in a free country after all, even more so with the net. Just be mindful not carry yourself overboard like the folks over animefeminist (where they no longer associate with the ANN source because the said source used feminine pronounce for these characters). Geez, I get their intent, but it was way aggressive.

We still stick to the introduction phase of Houseki, this time we follow Phos meeting the entire new cast of the team. Basically, we have the same plotline as the first episode: Phos have trouble coming up with ideas for the encyclopedia, the based team (this time consist of speaker Jade – the cutest screaming voice ever – and Euclase) advises Phos to meet some other member who is on patrol aka “Character of the week” and while they meet up, Phos learns about their trouble and they will have to fight with the Lunarians as well. Bear in mind that this plotline is Houseki at its most normal, because boy, Houseki is getting weirder and weirder even at its beginning phase. The melting Phos, for example, is something so striking that I won’t forget anytime soon. I believe most of you might notice that Houseki is a work that has strong Buddhism context. I mean, just look at the Lunarians, compare to this; or the fact that Kongou-sensei is the monk. The story so far doesn’t touch much of Buddhism philosophy yet, but since those are crystalline lifeforms, they might take the idea of “reincarnation/rebirth” to a whole new level. I myself expect a strong Buddhism reference that will pop up soon as the story progresses.

This episode gives us a closer look at Dia, whose despite being one of the toughest gems of the team and the most adorable thing on Earth, feeling deeply insecure about their role. In fact, the main theme of Houseki so far is the struggle of our characters towards finding who they are and what their role is in this world. From Cinnabar who curse their very own existence, Phos who literally looking a for a suitable role and Dia who feel totally useless despite being a diamond. Dia’s new technique, a baseball-style that first looks impressive, but too risky and even careless since Dia’s body can’t handle the constant pressure, and she knows it. Bort and Dia make up a complicated team since it’s clear that Bort go out their way to protect Dia because they love Dia, but it ends up making Dia frustrated that they can’t do anything and resend Bort for that. So far, Houseki has been quite successful in fleshing out the personal issues from the cast around Phos. Phos, on the other hand, don’t develop that much but it’s understandable since the story is still in its early stage.

I really love the art designs of the Lunarians. Appearing like a dark storm, they are frightening in how bright they are. The art designs of that sluggish thing, however, are so eerily out of this world, but that’s precisely what it is. It slurps Phos up and we can see him melting right before our eyes. We know pretty sure that Phos will survive, but how much left of them will remain? People have mentioned this show as a body-horror show, and while I can see some of that elements, the graphic details don’t upset me that much. It fits very well to this story. Houseki is weird, that’s awesome. Houseki is raw, that’s even better. I have absolutely no idea what will happen next or even how the hell will Phos get out of this sluggish monster alive, but you bet I’m intriguing. The wait for the next episode will be long for me.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Welcome to the Fall Season everyone! Let me introduce you to Mahoutsukai no Yome, a piece about a young woman made a Magus’s apprentice and future bride. The first week introduced us to our main characters and some basics of the world. This week sets up our first arc, gives us more information about the world and magic itself. Lets jump in!

Mahoutsukai opens with its OP, which I doubt I will ever tire of. It then shows Chise on a plane, right before she sold herself into slavery. We see glimpses of her past, her family and their treatment of her. Apparently they didn’t want her. This most likely has to do with her being a Sleigh Beggy, something I hope we learn more about. Then the dream ends and we cut to Chise in her bed, waking 2 days after episode 1. She gets up, goes to the kitchen and we see Ainsworth and the maid. Mahoutsukai gives us some information here. That the maid is named Silky and that she is a fairy. A type that does housework, more of a landlady than a maid apparently. It’s just enough information to tide us over while actually addressing her existence. After that Ainsworth details the plans for the episode.

(more…)

CHANGE USERNAME
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
SuperMario
But I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I feel the relationships are a tad too heavy-handed. The light hearted tones don't work well for me but I really feel a From the New world's vibe from the show
SuperMario
@Amagi: I will talk about Children of the Whales here in the chatbox since we don't cover it. Damnit the cliffhanger. That series really focuses on the theme of repress their own feelings. From the children in the Mud Whales with their custom of not to cry in the funeral or their lacing their hands to express their gratitude. Episode 2 has that monster who basically eats others emotions
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by extension, I would hope that it would encourage adaptations of older fantasy manga aswell.
Amagi
I really hope this type of fantasy will become a new trend instead of the classical world of warcraft type of isekai
Amagi
There is just something really atmospherical about a few characters exploring an unknown world alone that is either almost or entirely devoid of humans or just weird like in Kino's Journey.
Amagi
Shuumatsu Shoujou, Houseki, Kino 2017 and Children of the Whales are shaping up to become my favorites this season. It's funny that they have so much in common, same with Made in Abyss, which also was my favorite of the last season.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well there were fellows down in cork that decided to go Kite Surfing. They had to send out a boat to rescue the dumb bastards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw that there were some profoundly stupid people ignoring the warnings, some guy even decided to go out swimming despite it.
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In an odd turn of events, the second episode of Kino’s Journey 2017 is a retelling of a story done in the original 2003 version. Where Kino is forced to participate in deathmatches upon reaching a country. I find this choice odd as I would consider the Colosseum story in the original to be the […]

Dies Irae – 02[Twilight Girl]

There may be those of you who ask why I would cover this series despite it’s rather disastrous prequel episode. Even I will not be attempting to defend this adaption as I sorely believe it will be rather poor indeed. But when you truly think about it, isn’t it the case that I would be […]

Houseki no Kuni – 02 [Diamond]

Note: due to the fact that the whole cast of Houseki is agender and I DO care about the issue, I will address them either by their name or by gender neutral pronoun. But do forgive me if sometimes the old habit gets the better of me. You readers, on the other hand, can address […]

Latest Reviews

The Reflection Review – 45/100

The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

There are few series which can capture the mystery and wonder of a fantasy world as well as Made in Abyss. Their world is dangerous, brutal and unforgiving but beautiful, wondrous and exciting in it’s presentation. The story is of a ordinary girl called Riko and a mysterious cyborg boy called Regu traveling down the […]

Classroom of the Elite (Summer 2017) Review – 54/100

Here’s a perfect example of a Light Novel adaptation schlock that has some interesting concept but terrible presentation. Youkoso usually starts the episode with a thought-provoking philosophical quote, and then (in one episode in particular) they followed up with a boob shot. It sums up exactly how I feel about this show. In service for […]

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

Allow me to skip over the last episode coverage for this full review of 18if, since I was too underwhelmed by the finale to have anything concrete except pointing out how messy the ending was. The first thing you need to know about 18if is that it’s a multimedia project (along with a mobile game […]

Princess Principal (Summer 2017) Review – 82/100

Princess Principal has emerged as a true sleeper hit for this admittedly sloppy Summer Season. A joint project from indie studios that bring us my favorite anime of last year Flip Flappers (3Hz) and “better than it has any right to be” Girls und Panzer (Actas), Princess Principal records the missions of five cute spy […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul Review 80/100

“Dance!” I have been a  reader of this blog for a long time. Indeed it would not be wrong to say that psgels and the current crop of writers have helped maintain my interest in anime for the last decade. So now here is my chance to give something back to this excellent blog. Shingeki […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members […]

Re:Creators – 22 [Re:CREATORS] – 75/100

There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be […]