Posted on 20 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Steins;Gate 0

9 years. It has been almost 9 years since the original season of Steins;Gate. Since Okabe overcame received a mysterious video message, which prompted him to finally save the day. Back then it was a rather clever, if thin, plot device to get a happy ending. Steins;Gate 0 is the story of this video message. The story of the Okabe who failed, who doesn’t get a happy ending. And I could not be more excited.

Lets jump in! (more…)

Posted on 19 April 2018 with categories: Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These

If I was to judge this adaption based solely on the first three episodes I would declare it a resounding success. For while I do really like the old series, it does have a rather slow start. I say i only truly got invested in it around episode 3 or 4 when the more political side of the story surfaced. However the remake here has managed to spice up the space battles with new effects and the presentation of the story is better. The first episode introduced us to only one side of the conflict, thus not overburdening the viewer by jumping around between two vastly different sides with a whole host of characters. Then the second episode introduced the other side which provided a nice transition between the differences in command and a solid introduction to our two leads with vastly different combat styles. I would berate this series for having stupid commanders who ignore their subordinates good suggestions and continue being utterly arrogant…but actual history does seem to have a recurring theme of having really stupid people in high positions screwing things up. I at least appreciate that the commander handed the reins over to Yang once he was taken out of the picture and acknowledged that he was the only man who could get them out of this. It shows that even if he was prideful and idiotic for ignoring Yangs suggestions, he still was a good person. I admit I found it quite humorous for Yang to turn the battle into a game of chasing tails only for Reinhard to retreat cause he hated how dumb the battle had become.

Our story here has a large scope but generally it jumps between two viewpoints. That of Reinhard and that of Yang. The third episode focused on Reinhard first and when watched the old series I found that I much prefer Yangs viewpoint over Reinhards. Mostly because the situation Yang was dealing with was more interesting and Yang overall was a far more interesting protagonist. Reinhard has his draw but I just didn’t quite find his personality as charming. So it really is a merit of the old series to get me to be engaged with parts of the story I once found my attention wander with. True this could be a product of foreknowledge and since I know what happens I have become more engaged in how the plot reaches that point. But I do feel like the presentation here is really working to keep people immersed. Of course that does not mean that this is top tier animation as during talking scenes it can be the bare essentials but even then we got subtle face movements. The animation of the old series was quite basic so from a animation standpoint there wasn’t much to look at. Here there is greater polish to the scenes which I feel really nails down getting the main points across to the viewer. By episodes end you know Reinhard’s ambition, why he wants to do it and his friendship with Kircheis. As well as the general social structure of the empire which to boil it down, would likely be the result if Hitler won WWII. The old series will always be relevant for having for details but I felt this new series could make for a good compromise for those not willing to watch 110 episodes of content. I even get a better sense for Kircheis’s and Reinhards friendship as in the old series I was never was quite sold on their friendship. To me it felt like more of a master and servant association which Kircheis put up with cause he wanted to bang Annerose. Not saying he doesn’t want the same thing here but at least you can get a sense that he is following Reinhard for more than just Annerose.

I like the opening of this series as it’s a rather different kind of opening from what we usually get, being a ballad instead of forgettable Jpop. But as the chorus of the song played I couldn’t help getting nostalgic as something sounded very similar. I had to rack my brain just to remember it but I finally found out why. The reason is that the chorus of this song is a blatant ripoff of the 1987 hit by Starship “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”. I don’t know if it was intentional or purely coincidental but the two songs are near identail when it comes to the chorus. Truth be told I am not sure if I care though as the song sounds good, I just hope it’s more an intentional homage than lazy composition. Truly if I were to fault this series for something it would be the character designs and yes I believe this will be something I will harp on about throughout the series. Some of the designs I can get behind but I rather dislike how it makes everyone look so much younger. Even old characters feel like they have perfect skin and were varnished to a mirror sheen. The reason this is a big issue for me is that the greatest victim of these designs is Yang Wenli as in the old series he felt like a middle aged veteran and thus when he starts talking history or strategy, it felt like it was coming from someone experienced with life. With his HD makeover he still sounds smart but he lost an important characteristic of his manner. It could be just my fondness for his old design but I really did like the way that Yang was like a tired middle aged man who was sick of the worlds crap and just trying to make the best out of a rather terrible situation he was forced into.

Posted on 18 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Golden Kamuy

Leave it to Japanese cartoon that done the Western genre better than the Westerners, at least from what we have seen so far (note: despite my pun, Western the genre doesn’t refer to the Western culture, but to the American Old West). Granted, Japanese cinema and literature has a strong tradition of samurai genre, which in some ways share many similarities in characteristics with Western genre. For me though, I still consider Golden Kamuy a Western one, and (so far) a good one at that. Treasure hunt is one of the most popular premise within the genre for one thing, and then we have its focus on the wilderness. The vast isolated landscape becomes a character on its own and Golden Kamuy certainly shares this. It has snowy mountain backdrop that sets in Hokkaido and the manga (remains a question mark for the anime) pays extremely careful details to Hokkaido places and the atmosphere. Social order and moral ambiguity also play important roles, so far Golden Kamuy carries many of those traits within Sugimoto character. Ex-solider, now becomes sort of nobody who looks for huge amount of money, and in the episode 2 we see his stance for his moral code: he isn’t a murderer, but if there is anyone going to kill him, he’ll kill them first without hesitation. Lastly, Western genre is famous for depicting minorities community, for better or for worse, and Golden Kamuy follows that tradition with a well-research presentation on the Anui people. On those fronts, Golden Kamuy is rather exceptional.

What I’m worried about this show, though, comes from its production. I watched Kokkoku last season and I feel the production of that show was only functionable, not exceptional or anything. It remains doubtful whether the new Geno Studio can do justice for this popular source. CGI bears aside*, the animation isn’t that consistent to be honest. There are many still frames that was a shot-by-shot with its manga source, so while it looks alright in stills, the lack of movement remains a concern. The characters look slightly off model in some scenes, and this is just second episode. I have my real worry that the production could fall apart as the series go one.

Get into the event of this second episode, this episode is jam-packed with actions and details and splits into three parts: 1) the pair gets into Otaru, the biggest city of Hokkaido and finds another tattooed prisoner there, 2) dinner, Ainu style (do they really eat the brain raw? Eew) and 3) another life and death situation – but hilariously so – with the third tattooed prisoner, an Escape Master. This episode also marks the end of the first volume of the manga, which for me the anime runs at a reasonable pace. We learn about a lot more enemies to our duo beside the bears. On one hand we have the whole 7th Hokkaido division, one of the strongest army unit involved to this gold hunting. The guy Sugimoto faces this time, Oogata is a threatening opponent. I like the way how, after he shoots the first prisoner death, he leaves the corpse there to pursuits the duo instead. Just show you how professional, and experienced this guy is. Kill all the hazards first, then skin the corpse. He manages to escape Sugimoto the Immortal and manages to survive himself, which means that now the army division will be actively involved in tracking Sugimoto and Aspira.

Still, even in this harsh, “the strong alive the weak die” world, there’s always time for more food porn. I get the intent that Golden Kamuy wants to delve deeper to Anui culture – and indeed, so far the show has shown its appreciation and respect to the Anui people – but the tone whiplash here is too severe. When these two characters have that chibi style and fluffy reactions (especially during Sugimoto exclaims(!!!) “This is so good”, I have a feeling someone padding me in my back and telling me I’m a good boy – the amount of self-indulgence is unBEARable. Other than that, the attitude towards Anui culture is overall positively portrayed in the show. Take a scene where the Escape King mocking Sugimoto about Aspira in which she sets aside and said “I’m used to it”, it just speaks volume here. The way Sugimoto feels about the insult isn’t subtle but it’s the right kind of attitude towards those kind race discrimination.

The last segment turns this capturing and chasing game into some odd whimsical enemy-turn-comrade situation, but for the show as grim and dark as this, a little light tone is more than welcome (just don’t go for food). Again, the setting of winter Hokkaido becomes its own character, it’s a force of nature for our characters to overcome. We learn more about the Leader of this prisoner gangs, who was a Samurai before and a scary figure that our duo need to be mindful of. I like this Escape King character and I figure we will see him back again soon. Overall, we have s busy episode where we got introduced to many major characters. The gold is nowhere in sight, the myth keeps getting more mysterious and heads certainly will roll and skins certainly will get ripped off. It’s a marvellous ride, now let’s all see if the production can keep up with it.

* I think the world has complained more than enough about those bears in the first episode that it isn’t worth beating that dead CGI bear dead horse at this point – although I can offer the reason why the director Nanba Hitoshi thinks it was a good idea. In one of the interview, he remarked that “[] bear have a special status for the Ainu, so I think the way to show them is different from other animals.” TAKE THAT.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

Welcome to THE comedy gold of the season. Before I get into anything specific, let’s me discuss about what make this little show about a psychic girl and a yakuza hilarious in the first place. The main source of humor in Hinamatsuri largely comes from situation-based weirdness. Putting these characters out of their comfort zones and see how they react. It helps that Hinamatsuri always gets straight to business – there’s no beating around the bush here. Like in the first episode, it doesn’t take long before Hina appears out of the blues inside that metal egg and gives Nitta one heck of a time. The comedic timing is largely sharp and when it’s time for a more heartfelt scene, Hinamatsuri nails it without succumb into soapiness. The show also has a rich cast in which they all have great presence and bound off each other very well. So far, our lead duo Nitta and Hina more than carry the show with their odd-buddy but surprisingly grounded chemistry.

Coming to this second episode, I’m more than happy to report that this second one is even better than the first, both expand that world with more awesome characters, and still put the central development between Hina and Nitta into forefront. In the first half, there’s this little girl with crazy power appears and wreaks havoc – Anzu, a more eccentric counterpart of our Hina. What makes her character stand out is how well contrast her appearance and personality compared to the oblivious Hina, yet in the end the two kids are still… little brats who need love, attention and FOOD (on that notes, thank GOD that Hinamatsuri never sexualizes those girls when they’re nude). The comedy gold hits right off the bat within the first few seconds, with Anzu miraculously gets herself out of that metallic egg. I have the same sentiments with her regarding the egg’s structural design flaw. What the use of any of it if the person inside can’t get themselves out? To raise the bar of hilariously ridiculousness even higher, Anzu then wipes off the entire gang in one whoop and steals the boss’ uniform in a process. The comedy is really on point again when all her victims say nothing but “Ouch”, in turns.

The man of the moment in this segment, however, is Nitta. Realize the same vibe this new kid has, he follows her in the most obvious way possible: camouflage himself as a tree in a middle of the freaking city. Yeah, genius. There are couple of good gags before he decides to bring Hina along for the “ultimate battle” – psychic style, chief among them involve the homeless man who thought that Nitta gang will do bad things with the girl (boy, dark humor here), and how Nitta reflects that he might save the world without knowing it (on that, imagine what kind of misadventures Nitta will experience – and what kind of series we will have – if Anzu were the one dropping into his house instead of Hina). So, the girls have to fight since this was Anzu’s goal all along. In order to protect the lives of possibly entire Japanese population, Nitta alters the rules, while continuously manipulating Hina-side with ikura (red caviar), since manipulation is obviously how yakuza works. The fight, I must say, remains one of the most refreshing and downright hilarious fight I have seen in a while, and the animation and deadpan “facial reactions” – if I can call them that – are dead-on. I won’t go into details about this duel since I believe it’s something you need to watch for yourself. Needless to say, the emotional core hits me again when Hina offers Anzu to spend the evening together – just hanging out and playing like normal harmless kids, because as crazy overpowered as they are, they still remain kids.

The latter half, while focuses on the main dynamic between our duo, Hina’s classmate Hitomi becomes my install favorite character out of this rich cast. Imagine this, a good girl Hitomi was tagging along with Hina to tail Nitta (for the reason as obscure as “because the TV says it’s better with two”), left behind by her friend in the adult bar, encountered the drunkard old man who demands her to make an alcoholic drink and already excelled at bartending when we meet her again. She had me at “Daiquiri-desu”, my friends. Meanwhile, the more heartfelt conversation between Hina and the real bartender Utako carries the show distinctive quirks as Hina literally floats on while listening to Umeko ‘s adivce. That moment is so Hinamatsuri-esque that I am in awe of a show that understands so well about its own personality. The later moment when Hina finally speaks her mind, and Nitta agrees to hang out with her, and the rest of the gang, including Hitomi is a nice resolve to their little conflict. I could say more but I’m at risk of just recapping the whole episode with my squeaky over-excited voice, so let’s just enjoy this episode with a glass of champagne and kanpai for the Super Illusion.

Posted on 17 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Last time Darling and the Franxx had it’s best episode yet which raised my opinion of the series and gave me hopes for greater things moving forward. So it’s sad that they follow this up with the worst episode of the series to date. This episode was pure frustration to watch because you knew exactly what was happening and just how easily it could have been avoided. If either Hiro o Zero Two tried to explain the situation and what happened in the past then things wouldn’t have got this bad. If both Hiro and Zero Two hadn’t gone to see each other at the exact same time. But most importantly, if somebody could have stopped Ichigo from going too far. Oh boy if there is a serious casualty in this whole mess, it’s Ichigo. I haven’t seen a fanbase turn on a character so fast but hey Zorome wasn’t cared for that much in the beginning either and now he’s actually rather endearing. So could Ichigo turn this around? In a way she is a victim of the writing as they needed someone to put a rift between Zero Two and Hiro so Ichigo turned out to be the tool to make that possible. Looking at the situation from her perspective it’s actually understandable why she took measures to separate Zero Two and Hiro.

It’s just that under the present circumstances, that was the worst thing she could have done. For she was reenacting exactly what happened in their past to tear them apart and wound up Zero Two to the point that Hiro would see her at her lowest moment. Made all the worst by Ichigo forcefully stopping Hiro from running after Zero Two with her forced confession. Which really was in bad taste as it spits on Goro’s confession to her. Yes, she is under no obligation to love Goro just because he confessed to her but I just find it heartless to disregard his feelings entirely and chase after a doomed crush. You can tell she started things out of concern for Hiro but then her own emotions started pushing things too far that even the team was uncomfortable with how she was handling the situation. You cannot say there wasn’t any spite in how she ostracised Zero Two, particularly in trying to force her out of the next operation. This episode has Ichigo be selfish and ignorant which earned the venomous reception of the internet. For she is the single thing preventing the scene viewers wish to see between Hiro and Zero Two with the action being made all the more hateable by it being born of good intentions amplified with selfish desire.

The thing that makes this episode problematic is that while the characters actions make sense, the situation is just so utterly contrived. It’s clear the writer wanted drama and to tease out the reunion between Hiro and Zero Two. This series of unfortunate events just to create a conflict to force Zero Two away from the team is frustrating to behold and makes all the characters look bad for it. Which makes it more painful when you consider that it will take more than one episode to resolve this stupid misunderstanding between the characters. If they are smart about it, this development could be fixed fast as I am sure not many are a fan of it. But I fear we are in for episodes of Zero Two brooding over Hiro, Hiro brooding over Zero Two and Ichigo trying to sandwich herself in Hiro’s broken heart while Goro looks over it with depressed resignation. And boy, that certainly doesn’t sound fun. Oh and as a final note it is rather humorous for Mitsuru completely brush off Hiro remembering his promise despite him obsessing over it in a previous episode. Not sure if he was just playing it cool or if Kokoro helped him get over it.

Posted on 15 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Megalo Box

Welcome to the Spring 2018 anime season! I am proud to present to you the Ashita no Joe 50th Anniversary project, Megalo Box. Easily the most stylish anime of the season. Lets jump in!

With just 2 episodes, Megalo Box has become my favorite for the season. Everything about it feels like it comes from a different age of anime, the time of Hajime no Ippo’s first series, Cowboy Bebop or Trigun. Even the story, so far, is Ashita no Joe with robot arms, with certain shots coming straight out of original 1970’s anime. In today’s anime landscape, Megalo Box is a breath of fresh air. Its thick, rough line work contrasting the all to clean and thin art we normally see. The vibrant color pallet that gives us bright greens, blues and oranges instead of muted browns and greys of regular highschool life. The only negative I can think of with Megalo Box is that, at least the Crunchyroll version, seems to have some resolution issues. Like it was upscaled to 1080p. Luckily with its style, Megalo Box doesn’t suffer for it much.

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Posted on 10 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

That was the best episode of Darling in the Franxx to date. Truly I am impressed with this though it may be perhaps because the fanservice aspects of the show were not present at all during this episode. Todays episode was spent entirely on the past of Hiro and Zero Two. When this episode is over it brings a whole new light on events before this. All the strange disconnected things that Zero Two did throughout the series just suddenly click and you realize just what she was trying to do. Her distaste for tests, her love for sweet things, searching for picture books in the library, her insistence on Hiro calling her Zero Two over giving a new nickname and even why she calls him Darling. It all connects right back to when they were children as Hiro is the one who influenced all of this. Well the picture book seems influenced by what we can assume is her creator which appears to not be the plantation. They were shocked to find a creature as humanlike as Zero Two.

On that front Dr Franxx certainly lost a lot of points today. Up till now he seemed like the voice of reason within the society but seeing him torture Zero Two with delight over her Kalozuar characteristics certainly paints him in a new light. It’s possible that in the future he wishes to somehow atone for his actions but it’s just as likely that he’s motivated by pure cold scientific curiosity. HIro also could go through a massive character shift here as well as in his memories he certainly is more confident and motivated when compared to his teenage self. But the memory erase seems to have screwed him up bad. With the return of his memories by episodes end this could very well spell a return of the confident Hiro of the past which I would find most agreeable. But yes that moment, when Hiro confirms that he remembers to Zero Two and her turning back to realize that Hiro is indeed the boy she loved in the past. Damn that was a cruel cliffhanger. When taking into account Zero Two’s breakdown it does seem to be more the product of deciding that after all these hints with no results that Hiro wasn’t the boy she knew in the past which pushed her objective to “Becoming human.” So I suspect shes going to cool down quite a bit with his return. What’s more I wonder if the return of Hiro’s memories cause him to start responding more confidently to her advances. Now that would certainly be fun to see.

I will admit that it’s not as if the events in this episode were surprising or unpredictable as I pretty much knew where it was going the whole way through. What makes this episode work was the the execution was on point throughout and it didn’t matter if the events could be guessed beforehand, you were still glued to the screen to see them all unfold. This could very well be a changing point for Darling in the Franxx, where it stops being that strange enjoyable mecha show with weird fanservice and actually branches out into something truly taking note of. Or this could very well be a Little Witch Academia situation where episodes promise greatness only to let down once the next episode starts. Regardless I have found during the string of strong episodes this series is having that it is essentially the only anime I covered during the Winter season that I actually felt interested in seeing what it was to bring each week. Depending on what comes I may even start recommending that people watch this show and be frustrated that they can’t get past the ass controls. Yes, they certainly could have used more subtlety in that department.

Posted on 7 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

It hard to have an opinion on the last three episodes of Fate/Extra when the content has been quite similar to the previous episodes of the cour. For now the series has ended with the remaining episodes coming as a special later. Still unknown if that was the actual special broadcast that was originally considered a second cour. These three episodes mainly dealt with our protagonist getting through the fifth and sixth floors and yes, the fourth floor was rather shamelessly skipped over and only spoken about at the beginning of episode 8 as being “No big deal”. They essentially pulled a Katanagatari on it and to a degree I understand as the fourth master really was someone not really worth caring about. In fact depending on what route you took in the game the fourth master could be one of two different people, neither of which are particularly interesting. Only real thing of note was that one of the servants was actually Arcueid from Tsukihime which was rather neat.

Despite the different episode number the problems of the series remain the same. The fifth floor attempted to give some characterization to the protagonist and even featured female Hakuno for a brief time but ultimately Hakuno just remains a bland faceless void that you can’t really care about. Again the Scenario is interesting but the execution is lacking and it really does bug me about how that became a running theme. Really, looking at the story of Fate/Extra purely on paper it’s hard to imagine that it would be as lifeless as it is. Let us recap, the first floor had a city set up to harber masters that gave up on the war which culminated in the entire city getting flooded and Nero fighting a pirate ship on top of the ruined city. The second floor featured a forest with a sniper whose been killing people for a thousand years with a servant who can turn invisible. The third featured a cyber ghost girl in a weird wonderland who has been twisted into a monstrous abomination while waiting for the return of a friend. The fifth featured a master who was also a dead face, causing the protagonist to question his very existence and find new meaning to his mission all while finished with a battle on top of skyscrapers between master and master with servant vs servant. The ice landscape sixth floor had two masters who fought each other to a tie and ended up becoming the floor itself spawning hundreds of soldiers to fight each other for a thousand years only to finally gain enough sanity to guide Hakuno to the sixth floor just so he can end the long standing tie. Looking at all this , it all sounds very interesting and even great so why is it that I only remember feeling apathetic while watching previous episodes? By all accounts this should be engaging, it should have me anticipating the next episode with excited glee. Yet, much like the personality of Hakuno, I just feel it’s been a lifeless void.

I believe i have more or less covered why but seeing as this is the last episode for a while I might as well do a roundup. I can point three things that are messing up this story. One is that this story is almost 90% told through exposition. The exposition dumps are egregiously bad so as to have the setting, characters and current events all told through whatever is deemed to be the mouthpiece of the author. Too much effort has been put into explaining the story over telling it and despite all this it still remains a confusing mess at times because it fails to establish a foundation. Just when you think you know what is what, the story flings another conundrum for you to place and gives little motivation to do so. The second thing is characters with a big offender being Hakuno the blank nobody character. Nero admittedly is pretty tiresome as well considering her main roles is to do the fighting and be waifu fanservice. I am actually having trouble placing who is a worse protagonist, Sieg from Apocrypha or Hakuno from Extra but in truth they are remarkably similar in how they are both non characters with some existential dilemma of their manufactured existence that ultimately leads them to become stereotypical hero archetypes. Though while the main reason for hating Sieg is that he took screentime from much more interesting characters, the characters of Fate/Extra outside of Hakuno and Nero are really just exposition devices in human clothing. These creatures spout exposition about the nature of their character, the world and magic without much emotion. Indeed even in face of their own death they speak there last words like reciting a shopping list. That’s not how humans talk, we don’t just have prepared speeches and lectures ready to be fired off with perfect clarity and precision when first questioned. Our emotion comes out in how we speak, even how we respond to certain topics is within our character. Nobody stands like a mannequin reciting hamlet from memory. Of course some may argue that in this series everyone has lived a thousand years and their dehumanization is the result of dealing with a unwinnable situation for so very long. To which I say fair enough but it means that nobody here cares about what is going on and if they don’t care, why should I?

Then comes the third problem, the animation. Now it actually has be wanted by fans for quite a long time for Shaft to do an adaption of Fate/Extra, a sentiment that I never truly understood. Maybe it was because Shaft animated the openings for the Fate/Extra games but I honestly felt they were a mismatch. Shaft are about artistic animation saving techniques, you can have an opinion on the expression that Shafts style brings but the ultimate goal is mainly to present a show in a matter that’s least troublesome to animate. Considering that the Fate series has a pendant for ridiculously impressive animation it seems like a odd choice to go for a studio that uses style to cover for animation workload. Maybe it was because Fate/Extra was considered more avantgarde? Like hell it is. While exposition scenes are made a bit more interesting with their visual experimentation, ultimately it makes all the fight scenes of this anime feel ridiculously anticlimactic. I once thought Fate/Zero was too anticlimactic, oh what a sweet summer child I was for Fate/Extra truly embodies the word. Not a single fight in this series is remotely satisfying. So the fighting stinks, the story told primarily through exposition and the characters are too apathetic and soulless. So on a last note I will say I did at least like the presentation of Nero’s backstory, female Hakuno showing up briefly and that one small moment where Rin describes her hellish situation with a pained smile. Emotion, makes all the difference.

Posted on 5 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Three episode coverage this week as many things got in the way of my casual blogging, the much late preview being one of them. I must say that the last few episodes of Franxx have been quite strong as we have had a string of character development episodes which have really fleshed out the cast. As well as shed some light on the situation of the world itself. First up we have Zoromes episode where he manages to meet what may be his biological mother in the lower city plantation and through talking with her found that becoming an adult isn’t quite what he expected. My previous theory of there being no true humans in the city turned out to not be true and instead it seems that adults just spend their time in a machine that partially drugs them with doses of happiness. Social interaction has more or less disappeared as the woman states she hasn’t talked with her husband in years. Ultimately it seems that the children above are distinctly more human than the seemingly privileged adults living in the plantation. By episodes end it seems Zorome stopped caring about becoming an adult and prefers to enjoy his time up with the others, even mentioning his fondness for arguing with Miku. While locking away his memories of something devastating the woman told him and the way the officers treated him like some kind of contaminant.

Our second episode mainly focuses on Kokoro, Mitsuru and Futoshi with a rather disheartening route as Kokoro chooses to swap partners so she can work with Mitsuru, leaving Futoshi devastated. While in one way this could be considered a betrayal on Kokoro’s part as before there relationship was shown to be rather wholesome, it does bring some more context to those previous interactions. Futoshi is obviously head over heels for Kokoro but when examining previous interaction it does feel like a one sided arrangement. Kokoro very much puts up with Futoshi and his general overbearing affection most likely pushed Kokoro away. Whereas Mitsuru gives her space and doesn’t treat her like everyone else does. Seeing the greenhouse conversations I felt things were moving in this direction but you still feel bad for Futoshi. Though hopefully this is a good lesson for him. As for Ikuno this episode gave more credence to the theory of her being a lesbian considering her attempting a girl on girl control of a Franxx. I am not quite sold on her batting for the other team considering there is little evidence of her having sexual interest in women. I feel the internet is jumping to extremes again. It’s clear she holds a disdain for boys, likely thanks to Mitsuru, but just because she doesn’t like boys doesn’t mean she wants to pull ichigo under the covers. In the same way that just because Mitsuru is salty over Hiro forgetting their promise to pilot together doesn’t mean he’s secretly thirsty for man meat. Though considering that the mechs are often used as a metaphor for sexual intercourse I can’t say that people are wrong for coming to these conclusions.

The third episode focuses on Zero Two and has thrown the Red and Blue Oni theory back on the table. With her going increasingly more out of control and monstrous shes pushing aside her own teammates. Ultimately her fixtation to become human is pushing her to kill Klaxosaurs while being unaware that her fixation is only making her less human. But what makes this rather interesting is that Zero Two apparently met Hiro back then at a point where he was a golden boy and lost his memories. Theories are going around that Hiro might be a clone and that Zero Two is attempting to find the original Hiro who died through him. Either way we basically find that the squad of the series is indeed an oddball within the facility as they see children who go through much more rigorous testing to make them nice little puppets. The fact that the kids developed more human charistics may indeed be some sort of plan by Franxx, either because of curiously or some end goal. It’s clear the man wants these kids to be human and is slowly letting them know of society. Perhaps so they can judge it? We reach the middle point of Franxx and if there is to be a turning point, this is most likely it. This show could potentially become something else entirely in it’s next cour or we could just continue as things have been. What’s your move Franxx?

Posted on 3 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:

For me a mediocre show is one that I can watch and enjoy, but which does not really break new ground in elements of animation, story, or cinematography, or does not “move” me. It does not if you will touch the “higher” emotions and faculties of who I am, but does leave me satisfied at having some fun. This season I followed three mediocre shows. These were B: The Beginning, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, and Classicaloid Season 2.  Here I will give brief reviews. All these shows score a C on my grading system.

B: The Beginning

The fun part of the show

What it claims to be about: In a fictional contemporary setting , the archipelagic Kingdom of Cremona, there are periodic murder sprees by serial killers. A special force of the Royal Police, together with the genius detective Keith try to solve the secret behind the crimes. At the same time a winged avenger directly interferes in the solution of crimes, engaged in a running battle with secretive group with government ties.  It turns out that Keith and the winged avenger also share a tie, which is part of a wider triangle with Keith’s college friend, and the murder of his sister years ago.

Essentially B: The Beginning tries to tell a series that combines a supernatural  action show, with a police detective story.

What is it really about: Two separate stories badly tied together.  The police detective story is not that bad.  There are attempts at resolving the crimes, and wider mystery behind. They use some of the recent Sherlock series gimmicks to spice things up. In general the characters in the police detective ark, that is the unit of which Keith is part of, are interesting (especially Lily, Kaela, and Erik), have good chemistry, and work well as a group. The supernatural action story is a mess. A already convoluted plotline is made more convoluted for cheap twists. None of the characters in that part are really interesting, and their interactions are boring. Now it is true the action scenes are well done, but again you do not really get the point of why this is part of this anime. Do not get me wrong. The anime tries to tie the two stories together in the face of the big bad. It just does a terrible job at it. The big bad itself is not too bad, but trying to shoehorn the supernatural  into his modus operandi just ruined the potential. Now, there are series that do this well. Full Metal Alchemist is ultimately an action series tied to a  political conspiracy thriller. It works for me. But it did not work here.

Why you should watch it: The detective part of the story is good, and the characters in the investigation unit are great with good chemistry. Animation, music (especially the ending theme song) , character art, and art in general are very good.  It is good enough I am willing to give a sequel a try.

Why is it mediocre: The supernatural action plotline is substandard, with boring characters. The attempt to mesh the two together fails. The ultimate villain is a boring idiot.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

Did we tell you about Hakata’s great baseball?

What it claims to be about: A all-ensemble cast story in the vein of Durarara! and Baccano! Cool characters interacting in a city of crime and mystery! Cool action! Hakata is Cool! Lin, a cross-dressing assassin, teams up with Banba, a private detective, and his cute bunch of frenemies, including a genius hacker, a friendly torturer, a guy who gets paid to do revenge, and others, try to survive in the deadly, sunny, rather clean streets of Hakata,Japan. There is ramen!

What is it really about: An attempt to advertise the city of Hakata. Which is not that remarkable. By presenting it as a place were 1 in 10 people are professional killers. Come see our City! Don’t mind the body! Careful to not die. I have no idea why anybody thought this would be a good way to raise tourist interest about a city. Ah well, the show is not half bad. Essentially you have a bunch of people who are trying to be cool, and are self-conscious about it-so at least you get an answer about why some of the things they do are idiotic, doing cool stuff (at least in their eyes). Most of the cast does not get much development, and some of it really has no real purpose.  The problem here is this. The key to the success of a show like Baccano! was the chemistry of the characters. While not all were equally developed, the plot provide some common development that tied everyone together. Hakta fails at that. Some of the characters get good development (Lin, the hacker guy). Some of them have some good chemistry. But most of them are really just cardboards of “coolness”.  The action and stories are so-so, as the adversaries border on the ridiculous, and our heroes are just so “cool” that one never feels they are in danger. As a result this is not a show of tension. You can enjoy it as a mild entertainment with a nice beer, and then reminisce about how much more fun Baccano! was.

Why you should watch it: It is fun enough, and the some of the main characters interesting enough to provide some mild entertainment. You really want to know a bit about Hakata. The Opening song is not too bad. Animation is serviceable.

Why is it mediocre: Hakata is boring. Most of the characters are boring. The storylines are not really much to write about.  If the goal was to get me to read the light novels it failed miserably.

Classicaloid Season 2

Mozart, Wagner, Beethoven. Luminaries of Classical European Music.

What it claims to be about:  The first season was a show pgsels liked, but the rest of the blog group did not care much about. Since it seemed to be absurdist comedy, and since I like that a bit (Cromartie High FOREVER!), I decided to give it a try. It was fun. The 2nd Season continued the same story. A bunch of artificial humans that have the personalities of great classical conductors live in the same house and interact. The addition of a new character based on Wanger, and his attempts to win acclamation provides the central theme for these seasons, as Bach’s machinations did in the first. All characters come to learn something important, and young Wagner grows up. Or something like that.

What is it really about: Absurdist Comedy in the service of getting you to learn or care more for some of the great composers of the classical European music era. The first and 2nd seasons do not change much in style. Most characters behave the same, and I must confess in the second seasons some of those characters became irritating (Mozart, Sosuke and Schubert mostly). The show is still fun but the Wagner sub-story felt a waste of time. Ultimately this is mindless fun, and sometimes it dragged.

Why you should watch it: It can still get you laughing hard. It did get me to look more into some of the composers. The music is good and sometimes the variations on classics are very interesting. Art is colorful and fun.

Why is it mediocre: No real growth makes many of the characters irritating this seasons. A pointless and boring central plotline.

 

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
The Jim Carrey movies.
Vonter
Dorei-ku seems like a Kakegurui. You see one episode you've seen all. It'll be better if it was crazier like Mirai Nikki. Mind control IMO could be a very creepy setup if it's watched through the perspective of the victim rather than the perpetrator. Losing notion or reality and control. Could liar liar and Yes man be considered mind controlled stories?
Vonter
Ore Mahou Shoujo, baffles me, since I had to skip another long musical off key number, which makes me wonder where the budget cut starts and where the trolling begins. Also makes me sad, there aren't a lot of female to male transformations since it'll be interesting watching that perspective. Maybe a love triangle from both genders could apply since females are more accepted to be bi, in media.
Vonter
Megalobox could be something really special, but I hope like with Ashita no Joe, the anime isn't solely boxing. Joe, had social commentary, had a personal struggle do to the protagonist origin, attitude and view of life, since he started very immature and rebellious.
Amagi
Megalo Box, Tiramisu (I find this genuinely funny), S;0, GGO which is so much better than SAO, Wotaku, Hinamatsuri, Cutie Honey, LotGH, Hisone to Masotan and so on
Amagi
I really love this season as well.
Lenlo
Also personally I am enjoying this current season a alot. But I also know/like a good bit of the reboots/sequels
Lenlo
Oh man... 2015 winter was good. Forgot thats when those came out
Anonymous2028818
@SuperMario: Wasn't that Natsume season 5?, pretty sure season 4 was several years earlier.
SuperMario
Another strong anime season for me was 2015 Winter, where we had YuriKuma Arashi, Maria the Virgin Witch, Death Parade, Durarara whatever season, second cour of Shirobako, Parasyte and Your Lie in April
SuperMario
Even so, with this season I'm still willing to give some shows another chance, like Caligula or Cutie Honey Universe(!)
SuperMario
For me, the best season in recent years was Fall 2016 when we had Flip Flappers, Sound Eupho 2, Yuri on Ice, Natsume 4, Fune wo Amu, Drifters and 3-gatsu no Lion. But I know that Aidan would disagree with me on this
SuperMario
@anon2028201: it's me who said this season is a mixed bag. It's like you said, this season is too heavily on sequels/ reboots and only some new anime stand out, the rest of the pack is just meh.
Anonymous2028201
To me this seems like a pretty good seasons, but judging some of the impressions, it's a bit more of a mixed bag for most. Just curious, what were the best seasons for recent anime? This one seems good to me, but to early to tell right now
Anonymous2028201
Lovin this season so far: a lot of reboots/reimaginings and sequels, but I'm enjoying them all. MHA S3, LOGH DNT, S;G 0, Megalobox, Golden Kamuy are what I'm watching right now. I hear Full Metal Panic is good as well, but I haven't gotten around to watching the original series.
Anonymous2028258
so i just recently rewatched fullmetal panic fumoffu and i gotta say that this is easily one of Kyo ani's best works. It's such a surprise that this was their first anime; it's a damn good romance comedy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lol I love B-movie type stuff, because the rules are off.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was the only person who watched Mazinkaiser skl and shin mazinger and skullman.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Takeshi Koike really wanted to really sell it as a grindhouse feature and I ate that shit up; I really dug the tone he was going for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was strange seeing that Goemon short, much as I enjoyed it, thats the goriest I seen lupin get.
Anonymous2026379
Megalo box is pure retro while lupin is a mix of old and new...and you're right; people just think they can't jump right into it. But that's why more people should be talking about it; to let the masses know that you don't need a starting point to get into the Lupin franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a massive fan of the devilman manga and I thought devilman crybaby was better than it.
Anonymous2026379
90's-esque throwback feeling shows like lupin and megalo box have been giving me
Anonymous2026379
Luoin part 5 is definitely mixing the best of new and old. Honestly, I've been having a blast with it as well as this generally 90
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the problem is, people see lupin as this long thing they can't get into, when really its so episodic/standalone mostly you can pick up and watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course getting the best bits out of old and new.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*visual style
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a fan of this hybrid old and new style, megalobox does it too, mine fujiko aswell and casshern sins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how well the Fujiko mine show came together in the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll be interested in picking up more facts about thrm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come think of it, Akira Kurosawa did some old western (eastern?) in Russian, that had an Ainu in it.
Anonymous2026379
Asirpa is sooooo adorable.....almost feels patronizing to say that about her due to how badass she is
Anonymous2026379
What makes Fujiko work so well as this sexy icon is that she isn't just sexy: she's smart as shit and uses that sexiness to dominate and control her opponents (similar to bayonetta) rather than be chained by the objectification of her opponents (and the viewers for that matter)
Anonymous2026379
I wonder what other obscure cameos we may get this season. And yea you're right about some of Lupin's potentially sexist traits being assuaged by his level of cool and the genuine respect he shows a good deal of the women he has encountered throughout the series
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yet still a fun film at the same time.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Yea, mamo was a pretty dark element introduced to the lupin franchise; and considering the tone of the gravestone of Jigen, it makes sense he would cameo there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Help I want to kidnap Asirpa =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm probably as surprised as you, at finding someone to talk to about Lupin on here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: And through comparing/contrasting the jigen grave stone and Fujiko mine, with some of the sillier older ones, it shows the Lupin characters are flexible enough to work both in a darker AND sillier context.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fujiko is precisely how a fanservicey character should work and how built in/essential it is to her haracter, without becoming an irritant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: By all means Lupin himself shouldn't be a character we like, much like Bond, but like Bond theres a coolness to the character that allows us to love him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Another great thing about Lupin is how it uses its 60s cool to get away with what would normally probably be considered fairly sexist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I had a big smile on my face when Mamo made a cameo appearance at the end of one of the recent ones and thats because I remember the Lupin Mamo movie was one of those first anime that I watched about 20 years aago.
Anonymous2026379
not to mention that its one of the few anime this season that actually knows how to utilize dialogue to explore flesh out its characters rather than exposition or contrivance: looking at you darling in the franxx
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser-Eoghan Nice fun facts; but yea Lupin III is a series that has always had an amazing sense of pacing and adventure, traits that are definitely on display this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its a huge franchise too so I'm often never sure where to go next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may or may not know this, but the voice actor for solid snake voiced Lupin in one of the dubs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched a few episodes of the Italy set lupin show too .
Its a fun franchise due to its cast but its something I have to follow irregularly, lest it get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fun fact, guy who directed the gold of babylon film was a famous B-movie noir director in the 60s.
Lenlo
Dont trust anything written by the original SAO author. Everything is his fault. Kirito is not in this series.
Lenlo
Even the original SAO author has little to do with it, which is why its actually good
Lenlo
So SAO Alt is basically completely removed from the rest of SAO
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lupin is one of those things I dip in and out of, whatever part of the franchise it is. I've seen birdcage kingdom, Mamo, cagliostro, nostradamus, Jigens grave stone, mine fujiko and the recent Goemon centred special.
Anonymous2026379
it's a damn shame not a lot of ppl are talkig about/watching lupin the third this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
But for all I know with that team behind it, its an improvement, but theres probably not much point in me watching as I dropped the first season after less than 10 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See how he attempts to seduce me into watching something related to sword art.
Lenlo
Huh... I didnt know the writer for SAO Alt was written by the Kino's Journey creator and produced by the Flip Flappers people. Explains a lot
Lenlo
I wish I knew what you meant by shaman girls, and I cant wait
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Oh I know Leskinen. May he find his Japanese Shaman girls one day. But seeing as I know the story I wanna experience it differently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its even set in hokkaido, Korean/Japanese director, Japanese cast, Ken Watanabe is in it: https://letterboxd.com/film/unforgiven-2013/
Lenlo
Also, I love the ED. Really, 2 episodes in, I love S;G all over again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: really? They remade Unforgiven in Japanese?
Lenlo
its*
Lenlo
Like... is good.
Lenlo
But your missing out on the cult of Leskinen. The engrish is actually one of my favorite parts
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Meanwhile I am happily waiting for the dub.
Lenlo
Dangit... I have to wait another week for Steins;Gate 0 now. I cant do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Japanese remake of unforgiven had ainu people in it.
Anonymous2025797
Also I wonder if budget is distributed according to the director, some animes will spend more in the first episode. Some will spend more in the last ones. It's subjective, but if it's like all business it is looking for the better result at the minimum expense. Hence why I believe Berserk was made the way it did.
Anonymous2025797
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ideally a story should be as long as it needs. But reality seems that a number of episodes is decided before production. And so you either have to stretch or cut material. Kinda like that 300 page manga of Les Miserables, is simply unfeasible translating that book into that few pages.
KTravlos
Oberstein was a great character.
KTravlos
I actually feel Aidan can do a good job on it. Sometimes been too exposed to the material may lead to clouded eyes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I'm surprised by how I unexpectedly laughed at wotaku, I do wonder if later on it will include any slight drama elements to sustain interest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
OMO; OBERsteins; Gate =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
From watching episode 2 of golden kamuy, yeah, the source material definitely is lifting this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm going to have to wait and see on steins; gate 0, it is encouraging to here this might be darker , at the same time I remember having to sit through too much goofy humour in the first one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was actually surprised, that, while rare, there were some moments of humour, that lightened it for me.
AidanAK47
Throughout the entire series I expected Oberstein to pull some inevitable double cross. And was shocked when he never did.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree with Oberstein. I think antagonists are es important as the mains in fiction and I loved this guy, he's perfect for series like these.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Galactic heroes was an example of where when watching it, when big death scenes occured, I would make noooooo and shouting noises at the screen while clenching my fist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love characters like Oberstein, shrewd, clever, but done right to where I can believe it, not characters like, say Lelouch .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be concerned if the new galactic heroes series skimps on the violence, that kind of thing needs to be in there, in most shows/films and shown to be explicit, consequences need to be shown.
Amagi
*about, not with
Amagi
Sadly, most original 2+ cours series I know feel dragged whereas many 1 cours originals could have needed ~3 more episodes. Talking with series that have an actual plot of course.
Amagi
I really like the 13 episodes thingy for originals but I wish there would be more 26 episodes series, especially for adaptions.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I agree. Nothing kills my interest faster than formularic episodes and repetition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In general I think 50 episodes would be the most I'd watch for an anime, 39 seems ideal.
Amagi
Or worse and the romance drama is the main plot and it's Kiznaiver all over again, while the rest is just flavor to make the romances more forced since they're the MCs are only teens and such. Dunno but I can never bring myself to care about this kind of stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though better 110 episodes of galactic heroes than a long shounen that just repeats itself.
Amagi
Speaking of recent episodes, I unironically thing that FranXX's world (building) is pretty interesting (although I hope those klaxxosaurusses will be more than just random cannon fodder) but I doubt the series will ever get to the main plot again the next time.
Amagi
Same here. It was really the only time I did this. I am usually exhausted by just thinking about marathoning long series. It's the reason why I won't get into FMP for the new series either. LotGH was an exception since I found it easily to watch for some reason.
SuperMario
Man, just image burning through 110 episodes of it and my spirit fades away
Amagi
Watched that whole series ages ago.
Amagi
Just watched the first three Neue These episodes and I surprinsingly liked it. Thought I would hate it due to being an OVA fan, and I still prefer the old designs by far but overall it's pretty good. I think I might even prefer this version of the first battle, but I have to rewatch the old one I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also while I can't remember which episode, Yang picks up a book with the author of the series' name on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Arslan feels so lightweight by contrast/comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think, given your knowledge KTtravlos, that a series review of the new galactic heroes season would probably benefit from you writing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring up the music in my earlier comment, because I can understand your reservations regarding the music choice in the remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And certainly one of those shows, that going back to the first episode after finishing, gives a strong perspective just on how evolving the series was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*despite me not
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite not being monarchist , because the characters were human moreso than cartoon characters I couldn't hate on Reinhard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: I suppose by the time it got to Julian's arc, I was surprised they were still bothering to fight but the fact that they were essentially the last bastion of their beliefs made it special.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Sometimes when I just finish a show, its a case where I HAVE to jump online immediately after and excitedly ramble out an essay on it.
niello
ugh democracy
KTravlos
@Kaiser ultimately LOGH for me was a decisive point in my political life, as I think it made the best defense of democracy in any form I have seen. And it worked partly because the opponent was presented in the best possible incarnation (Rienhard). Yang's continued adherence to democracy, despite recongising its flaws, helped me avoid a personal descent into authoritarian politics.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I am happy you had a good experience. I watched the prequels a while after the main show and I was happy because it was great getting back to those characters. The prequels were also great in fleshing the setting and the characters. So yes, take your time and a break. That way the prequels will be like visiting a place you liked again after a while.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@KTtravlos: I have some other stuff to get through before watching the galactic heroes prequel though =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
YES according to discord poster I'm not a millenial!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for overposting. I have always always being an incredibly verbose person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter; Not that I oppose captilistically made for a buck cinema, it can be entertaining yes, but I set a standard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: As open as I am to trash cinema, I consider the resident evil films, like the superhero ones, anti-art.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand why people don't like Villier, but he did I think work as a device to add extra tension.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel some release at finishing but at the same time sadness at saying goodbye to the show and its characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
, showing its age.
But for something of this length, it kept itself up far better than most long shows and I feel the length its somewhat justified.

On another note….as corny as the third ending theme is, I got the feels listening to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But while the first 50 odd episodes were an easy job for me aswell as all of the 4th season and some of the late 3rd season made it difficult for me to pull myself away from it, the dialogue even though often well observed did become difficult to follow at times and somewhere in the middle theres a stretch of episodes, bar some moments that feel a bit of an endurance test and the animation is at
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its attention to detail I felt was at its strongest in the documentary and the series dedication to filling the view in on its world building/fictional history.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I admired the scope, ambition of this series and the battles eventually grew on me and I was surprised by just how visceral the melee combat got which suited me perfectly. At the same time for all the strategy and action, I found myself more in it for the story, characters and intrigue/politicking. Those battles, due in part to their music choices, had an epic feel to them
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the end the characters stood out for me the best were Reinhard, Oberstein (for being essentially the amazing man with the plan), Reuntal, Kircheis and Rubinsky, I warmed up to Julian, Yang and Schenkop. When important deaths occurred, they felt highly dramatic, in four cases emotionally effecting for me .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, KTtravlos, thank you for pushing me toward watching the original legend of the galactic heroes, my opinion on the series is largely a mixed one, but by the end I felt I’d watched something rewarding and I’m happy its crossed off my list and I should have gotten round to it sooner.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm probably the oldest here, being 32. Which apparently makes me around Yang-wenli's age, which according to someone means I'm middle aged .
Kaiser-Eoghan
To the discord guy who brought it up, its difficult not for me to be political, my father was an activist and is a Marxist , I ended up becoming a contradiction a semi-agnostic, but spiritually inclined/tolerant socialist with internationalist ideology.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Ends in very cliffhanger/abrupt indy way though and the things weakness/how to kill thems too easy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I liked how it explains nothing also and the creature design and how it visual communicates to the audience.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While I won't say anything, a character death is handled in what I considered a schmaltzy manner. There is a particularly headscratching decision the characters make that you'll either rationalize or hate, but it leads to one of the tenser set pieces later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Quiet place has a good idea at its backbone, that they use sign language in the film to communicate and occassional whispers adds to it, it and the silence allows for a mood to be effectively communicated. It does have jump scares, I wasn't annoyed by them, but I never felt the film required them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read the discord, if you ever need to ask a question relating to film, come to me about it, I will without fail be able to answer 9 times out of 10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was adequately amused by the first episode of wotaku, but found the male lead funnier, which I'm attributing to him be more deadpan.
Lenlo
We found a convient weekend for everyone
Kaiser-Eoghan
*watching
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would also float the idea of recommendation podcasts every now and then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will listen to the podcast more in full later. But I was surprised after asking/suggesting it on the discord, that it came so soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am thinking of re-watching gasaraki and ai yori aoshi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Perhaps after a while of watch the anime I will simply jump on to the manga.
Vonter
I watched Resident Evil: Vendetta yesterday. It's incredible dumb but kind of fun. I do wonder if in terms of entertainment are like the best videogame based movies. Since it plays like a videogame, it's based on a videogame and is more or less in line with the tone the series has had for a while.
niello
It's such a shame that Golden Kamuy art direction is such a train wreck.
KTravlos
and for the sake of Clausewitz there is clinical term for what Reinhard did. It is called "defeat in detail". Napoleon was a master of it. Proper way to defeat it , is to order the threatened force to retreat to a point where other allied forces are converging. The enemy will either have to retreat, or fight at a disadvantage. The 1813 and 1814 campaigns against Napoleon are examples of that.
KTravlos
Episode 2 of LOGGH: Der Neue Thesis was much better than the first. The music is still an issue, but Yang was well portrayed. I do think there is lack of the directors in showing the cruelty of war, like the first one did. We will see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Still need to see his short films and black Peter.
Amagi
@Anon: I already know the manga and enjoy it, think the anime is a good adaption so far. Feels good to see a series about video games that are actually just games and romance without tsunderes, tons of blushing or unworldly naive harem girls.
Anonymous2016456
the anime
Anonymous2016456
how do you guys think of wotakoi?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Hereditary sounds pretty promising here
Kaiser-Eoghan
Forman's an interesting case, when you look at the huge disconnect from his early films from the 60s and then what he went on to make.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, unfortunately I am not a fan of country music so Nashville didn't appeal to me =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And before Jack kept playing the same role over and over.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Aside from Courtney Love's presence, Larry Flynt is an excellent film. I love the custom camera tricks Kubrick used in Lyndon , dog day afternoon suceeded for me because it did so much more than being just a bank rob film. I wish Spielberg would return to his pre-90s films .
SuperMario
Cuckoo's Nest reminds me of the great 1975 Oscar Best Picture, which for me was Oscar's greatest line-up. The line-ups for that year were: Cuckoo Nest (winner), Nashville, Barry Landon, Dog Day Afternoon and Jaws
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Leave it to Japanese cartoon that done the Western genre better than the Westerners, at least from what we have seen so far (note: despite my pun, Western the genre doesn’t refer to the Western culture, but to the American Old West). Granted, Japanese cinema and literature has a strong tradition of samurai genre, which […]

Hinamatsuri – 02 [This Is How You Have a ESP Battle!]

Welcome to THE comedy gold of the season. Before I get into anything specific, let’s me discuss about what make this little show about a psychic girl and a yakuza hilarious in the first place. The main source of humor in Hinamatsuri largely comes from situation-based weirdness. Putting these characters out of their comfort zones […]

Darling in the Franxx – 14[Punishment and Confession]

Last time Darling and the Franxx had it’s best episode yet which raised my opinion of the series and gave me hopes for greater things moving forward. So it’s sad that they follow this up with the worst episode of the series to date. This episode was pure frustration to watch because you knew exactly […]

Megalo Box – 2 [The Man Only Dies Once]

Welcome to the Spring 2018 anime season! I am proud to present to you the Ashita no Joe 50th Anniversary project, Megalo Box. Easily the most stylish anime of the season. Lets jump in! With just 2 episodes, Megalo Box has become my favorite for the season. Everything about it feels like it comes from […]

Darling in the Franxx – 13[The Beast and the Prince]

That was the best episode of Darling in the Franxx to date. Truly I am impressed with this though it may be perhaps because the fanservice aspects of the show were not present at all during this episode. Todays episode was spent entirely on the past of Hiro and Zero Two. When this episode is […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore – 08-10[No Second Strike ― Dead End ― /Golden Theater of the Deranged ― Aestus Domus Aurea ― /Unlimited――― ― Unlimited/ Raise・Dead ―]

It hard to have an opinion on the last three episodes of Fate/Extra when the content has been quite similar to the previous episodes of the cour. For now the series has ended with the remaining episodes coming as a special later. Still unknown if that was the actual special broadcast that was originally considered […]

Darling in the Franxx – 10-12[The City of Eternity/Partner Shuffle/The Garden Where It All Began]

Three episode coverage this week as many things got in the way of my casual blogging, the much late preview being one of them. I must say that the last few episodes of Franxx have been quite strong as we have had a string of character development episodes which have really fleshed out the cast. […]

Latest Reviews

Kokkoku – 42.5/100

There are lots of bad anime out there, for one reason or another. Whether it be stilted animation, terrible writing or bad direction, a good portion of each season is simply not worth it. Kokkoku is not a bad anime. It is something much worse. Kokkoku is a mediocre anime. Bad ones get talked about, […]

Junji Ito Collection Anime Review – 40/100

In the realm of manga there is a man whose name is inescapable when the genre of horror is brought up. That man is Junji Ito and his work is considered legendary for its artistic detail, mastery of manga paneling and it’s outlandish imaginative concepts. Up till now his work has yet to have an […]

Yuru Camp (Winter 2018) Review – 74/100

I admit that I underestimated Yuru Camp back in its first few episodes. I took it as a standard, run-on-the-mill slice of life show and I fully expected to give it 3 episodes at max before throwing it into the deep sea of forgotten anime. But as time pass, I can certainly see many good […]

Neo Yokio – 96/100

This may be half a year overdue but I simply can’t accept that none of the writing staff of Star Crossed Anime have cover the the biggest development in anime where Netflix took a hand in producing anime in the form of Neo Yokio. Taking place in the metropolis of Neo Yokio, a mashup between […]

Devilman Crybaby – 83/100

It’s an exciting time to be an anime fan where new business models and players are making big waves within the animation industry. After debuting with the original and excellently-produced Neo Yokio, the juggernaut streaming service of Netflix has decided to revive the classic series of Devilman and gives it the full adaption treatment. By […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 69/100

Fantasy is a rather prolific genre in anime, with a vast majority of Isekai and Shounen fitting snugly into it. Most take place in their own unique setting, either Amestris of Full Metal Alchemist or the made of world of the latest Isekai trash. Few however try to set themselves in our world. To peel […]

Mary and the Witch’s Flower – 73/100 (Joint Review)

Wooper: Mary and the Witch’s Flower is the first feature film from Studio Ponoc, which spun off from Studio Ghibli in early 2015. Given Ghibli’s towering reputation, the bar was high for this inaugural flick, which recently made its way to U.S. theaters, giving Lenlo and I a chance to see it on the big […]

In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]