Posted on 17 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hanebado!

When people thinks about Hanebado, they tend to regard the excellent animation as its strongest point. While I partly agree on that, for me it’s the small character acting that makes this show sticks out for me. I do have a KyoAni vibe watching those relationships play out, especially in second episode with the recurring theme of Yu, the blonde girl, eating sausage after practice. There she meets the dropout senpai, she meets Nagisa in one of her rampant, and in the end she meets the senpai girls again with a newfound perspective. It’s the slow moments like this that Hanebado allows the settings and the characters sink in to our mind, and I much prefer this more than drama that relies on “shout until it works” moments.

In addition, both episodes follow a tricky formula. They flesh out the main characters through the perspective of side-casts. It works, for the most part, resulting that we have a feeling we learn about many characters within this badminton club. And for a show that is just in a beginning phase, it’s a remarkable feat. I have a reason to care for those characters, to support them from behind. This focus, however, has its shortcoming. Tachibana the male coach is a good character in his own right, but so far the show doesn’t know how to flesh him out to full potential. The reason being Hanebado wants these main characters to develop on their own, but at the same time wants him to have a positive influence for the team. Being stuck between two roles result in the unclear angle the show wants to develop him.

Although the last two episodes give a much-needed space to develop our main girls, I find those developments through the point of view of these side girls add up magnificently. It adds another emotional layer to these relationships. Take Yu, she’s in an inbetween phase of the club; as one of the few “survivors” after Nagisa lashed out because she loves the sport. We can also sees her having a crush (but subtly so) to one of the club member. Likewise, Elena’s observant is possibly the best element of episode 3. Not only it informs us about the trouble her friend Ayano is currently experienced, it tells us about their own relationship. Transforming from just a supportive no-face girl into a much more complex role, we see a whole whirlwind of her own feeling regarding her best friend, many contradicting emotions: from caring about her, wanted her friend to rely on her (in a very tasteful way using the dialogue from the movie she watched), to jealousy that her friend can devote herself into something she love. Ultimately, she’s the best friend if there’s ever one, simply because despite all the contradicting feelings, she comes out for all the better. She cares deeply for her friend and that will always remain true.

Nagisa’s development in episode 2 is more straightforward but not necessary less effective. She’s in a performance slump, and her slash-out attitude is sometimes unbearable. In one of the stand-out animation sequence (in a show with many stand-out animated pieces), we see her as a kid in a chalk-line art struggling with the way everyone regards her as “having advantage for being tall”. She works harder than anyone else but they fail to recognise that. Her performance stumbles when she’s too conscious of placing the shot right without follow through her smash. It’s more of a psychological issue more than anything else, because once Tachibana puts her struggling into words, once she regains her confidence, she manages to smash her way through. It’s a release from all the feeling bottomed up inside her since when she loses to Ayano that day.

As for Ayano, after 2 episodes I’m a bit worried that her passive, withdrawn personality can’t carry the show, but thankfully, when we get to her flashback this week it’s easy to see why she acts the way she is now. She’s a natural talent kid. And I’m not talking about her physical talent, but more about her love for badminton (on that note, Tachibana keeps pointing out that being lefty makes her some sort of a talent, in which I say NO, no way. Lefty is not that rare anymore and it doesn’t automatically qualifies anyone as better than the other. In fact, when you get to certain level there’s no real difference between a right-handed and left-handed players). Her Mom was a legendary badminton player and she transfers that love to her kid. She was her Mom’s golden choice until one day, after losing her Mom left and raised other kid into stardom instead. Okay, get pass the absurdity of it all, ‘cause we know there’s more than meet the eye here, what get me the most in her flashback is how Ayano’s determined to win her Mom attention back by keep on winning at all cost. You can see in her eyes that it becomes something as an obsession more than a joy to play. It takes its toll after she learns that all she was doing would amount for nothing. Like how Elena points out, her love for badminton and her mommy issues are two separate matters, she can pretty much enjoy playing badminton without caring about her Mom. Based on the OP, it’s going to be her issues all the way and I’d love to see Hanebado address it again in the tournament stage.

Not that every character in Hanebado is a success. That twintails pink hair girl is an eyesore both for her larger than life personality (“I love myself!!!!”), but her role so far is squarely Ayano’s destined rival and boys, these types stand out in a bad way. For a show that relies greatly on subtle personal development like this, having an eccentric, loud character like her doesn’t add any flavor to this story. It’s like a spicy chili ice-cream that can’t help but stick out too much.

Posted on with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

The misadventures of Chio-chan on her way to school continues with some extra flavour. As of now, Chio-chan splits its segments neatly in two halves, the first deals with Chio encounters the absurd events on her way to school, and the latter details her relationship with her friends. One highlights the adventure spirits of this title, the other provides more heart and depth. I don’t mind at all with this formula, since it’s done right so far, but I figure Chio-chan will eventually mix things up a bit in future episodes. The key that ties both segment together, is Chio herself. So far, she’s super relatable character, both due to her commitment to do her best not to stand out, but always find herself standing out in more ways than one, and due to her social anxiety that makes her both charming and real. The best weapon is her monologue, helped by her wild imagination (I say games help her much in that department), and it’s fun to see her stream of thought runs in free form and how she eventually makes her head-stretching decision. Being said that, the bit that I have mixed feeling about is Chio-chan’s OP, which play up the fan-service I normally avoid: jiggling boobs for one, long tongue for another, even nudist!!?

In the first segment, our Chio finds herself in a bind, quite literally, between herself, the blonde yakuza dude (he’s voiced by the seiyuu who voiced Nitta last season. Coincidence? I think not), his motorbike and a random bald salaryman. This is the motorbiker with an unzip pant in the OP (he zipped this time, I checked), but from the bike alone you can pretty tell that… he’s a delightfully weird dude. Pink motorcycle? And that weird seat? The situation where that salaryman and Chio have to walk quietly on the side is both hilarious and relatable, but there’s one nippick regarding that. Chio-chan gave an accurate explanation of the exhaust pipe, but it leaves more than a mark and a scream out of it. I’ve experienced it before and I’m pretty sure kids growing up in a motorbike culture experienced at least one in their lives. It’s second-degree burn for Christ sake so having Chio acts like nothing happened with her leg afterward is a huge slip of reality.

If I would point out a theme for this segment, it’s that these characters carry the persona that don’t match their appearances. That “salaryman” turns out just a guy who is about to interview for part-time job (haha), and Chio, especially, embraces her “Bloody Butterfly” persona so effectively she fools the blonde biker. That persona might be a fake, but her reasons are strangely convincing (it has to do with the games she plays, but well…). While yes, it’s hilarious all the way to see how she manages to change the yakuza’s mind and STILL manages to stand out in front of her peers despite trying best to be “a normal high school girl”, I feel that the way she does it isn’t that convincing. Like, does she knock the guy out of consciousness by that swing? It might be a part of the absurdist but I’d love for a more crazy version than this.

The second half though is where Chio-chan totally grabs me again. If there’s a variation of supporting characters that I enjoy, it’s a normal girl who use her meanie acts as a mean to justify her own frustration AKA a true brat (last season we have Mami from Hinamatsuri, this season we have the entire cast in Asobe Asobase). Manana fits this bill like a glove. The mutual understanding between her and Chio (that they consider each other a trash, yet they deserve each other) is surprisingly solid. And throughout this episode we can see how (small-minded) devilish this girl can become to step up her social ladder. We see her spreading rumors behind people’s back, we see her snipping around spying on people, we see her telling lies to get other’s approval… this is delicious, I tell ya. Especially when her own efforts to get close to Hosokawa fallen into pieces when it turns out the guy she was just bad-mouthing is Hosokawa’s running buddy, and a president if some company to boost. Right then, she feels the distance between her and Hosokawa just like the distance she leaves Chio behind.

My favorite part of the whole episode, however, is when Chio and Manana spy on Hosokawa in hope for witnessing something lewd, but it backfires and they find themselves near-kiss each other instead (or is it officially their first kiss? They denied so, though). Both their reactions are pitch perfect (Manana ‘s blush, slowly touches her lip – Chio: snap out of that yuri-tone, Manana). It’s those off kilter moments like this that makes following Chio and her friends around such an amusing watch. They are equally mean, in addition, to point out that the guy’s a fake in front of Hosokawa. But it doesn’t matter, since the love for running is there. Based on the OP I would say that Hosokawa will have something more than her “perfect girl” status later on. Being both absurd and grounded, Chio-chan so far is going strong.

Note: I’m using Chio when I refer to the character and Chio-chan when I refer to the show. Hope you can recognize the distinction.

Posted on with categories: Planet With

“So they managed to defeat Torai huh. Well he was the weakest of us.”

“Actually he was the strongest.”

“Wait! Huh?”

Now that’s part of why I love you Satoshi, you lay out a shounen cliche and subvert the hell out of it. Even having Torai in the room about to leave the group only for the leader to say that he could still help them goes against the usual foil of someone getting expelled out of the organization after defeat. It’s been one episode and already love these Paladin guys, for considering they are supposed to be the villains(?) they all hang out like ordinary people. For they don’t think of themselves as villains and actually see themselves as heroes which by all accounts they could very well be. So here’s the rundown as it stands now, we have three factions, the Nebula sealing faction(The weird ass aliens) which seeks to stop humanities evolution due to fear they will take the wrong path, the Nebula Soldiers faction(Souya and cat sensei) who wish to watch over humanity passively without interfering and the Paladins whose goal isn’t quite certain yet. It could have something to do with what the maid mentioned about Humanity taking the evolution of Love or the evolution of power. The leader of the Paladins looked to nearly spill the beans as he looked over the city and declared his determination to defeat the Nebula soldiers…but then he was interrupted by his dad hitting on the secretary. Honestly laughed with him getting exasperated and shouting “Would you knock it the fu-”

So there is a bit of formula going here with another Alien showing up with another Hero getting an illusion shown to her followed by Souya and crew defeating her afterwards. But by all accounts the heroes made some smart moves here for one they got everyone to go home in pairs so Souya had to fight two of them and it seems they laid down an ambush where all the heroes trapped him by episodes end. Pretty clever, others should take notes that instead of letting someone whittle down your forces one by one, maybe just attack them with everyone from the start. As for the flashback within the Alien I actually kinda like these as they act as good spitfire ways of knocking out some development for the Paladins. With it we at least know Miu has a complex over strength and used to fight in Judo tournament with the shy Paladin she’s paired up with. It’s funny that the girl was trying to show her determination to break out of the illusion as something heroic by claiming she has real power now but that certainly seems like a flawed resolution. The Illusion was trying to convince that she doesn’t need to be strong and that it’s okay to be weak and she demissed that by running away to the supernatural power she has gained, one which was all too easily stripped away by episodes end.

Overall I say this show is getting more and more interesting, so it’s a shame that the negative factor would be the action of the show itself. The fight choreography is actually good with two people fight at once instead of having one standby. Even the dialogue and sound is on point. The only problem is that I wish this team could have stolen a mecha animator from the new season of Full Metal Panic or hell even someone from Ufotable because these mecha look bad and there movement is jank. It’s a shame because the action in this series could be so very good but with these CGI models you might as well be slaping plastic figurines together. The CGI actually detracts from the design of the mecha themselves as this is what they look like in the manga. I in particular don’t understand why they took away each mechs individual colour and just gave them all some rainbow energy stuff. The different colours helped them look more distinct. Well dodgy CGI aside this show is getting quite a bit interesting, I for one wonder why they insist on not feeding any meat to Souya. Hopefully the steady uprise of quality continues and this becomes something rather special.

Posted on 16 July 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Currently Watching:

This? Banana Fish? This right here? This is what 91 Days could have been. An intriguing crime drama, with interesting characters all around and the willingness to go all-in on its story. Lets jump in!

Banana Fish did a much better job of holding my attention compared to last week. With all the characters established, it was just on GO the whole episode. So many things happening, one after another. I loved it. Banana Fish is dedicated to its location and this crime/gang drama story. Everything just feels… different, set in a modern day New York City compared to a Japanese High-school/Tokyo. What I find most interesting though is how the story has been updated. The original manga was written back in the 80’s, and was based after the Vietnam War. I’m curious what sort of changes, if any, MAPPA will have to make to account for the time switch. Whatever they do though, I am excited, because just 2 episodes in and they are not pulling any punches. From Marvin and Ash, to Skip. There’s just so many great scenes.

(more…)

Posted on 14 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Satsuriku no Tenshi

This is a very strange show. I may regret choosing to blog this but with the second episode I still find it quite fascinating and I really want to see just where this leads. I will however say that it isn’t because of excellence that this show has caught my attention for at the moment it’s very much on a level of half working. Now the first episode very much portrays this to be a horror anime with a focus on a surreal environment but this episode flips that on it’s head as we are rather suddenly met with the introduction of comedy. Zack has gone from being a hammy villain to as goofball ally and I rather like this change. Before he was a villain that just felt like the author was trying too hard to make intimidating but with this episode fleshes him out a bit by revealing that Zack literally was trying too hard. Zack is like some edgy teenager chuunibyou who wants to be seen as the next Jack the Ripper but thanks to Rachel losing the will to live and actually being able to interact with Zack we can see that he’s not actually insane and has at least some degrees of humanity to him. Of course he is still an actual serial killer who has killed quite a number of people from the looks of it but it remains rather amusing to see him try to play up the insane serial killer angle only for it to fall apart due to his own stupidity.

Rachel has also made a radical shift from the first episode, one which may not be as positive as Zacks for in the first episode she was more like an ordinary girl but since losing the will to live has now become completely deadpan. On one hand this does make her an excellent foil to Zack as he doesn’t want to kill someone who actually wants it so it makes the interactions between the two quite amusing as Zack tries to pull some humanity out of her so that he can enjoy killing her while Rachel tries to find some way to convince Zack to kill her. However this change does make her character rather one note as her responses are either deadpan snarking or monotone statements. So in order for Rachel to die she needs to regain the will to live, but if she regains the will to live then she will no longer want to die. It’s the immovable object vs the unstoppable force paradox which pushes these two to work together to get out of this strange dimension and I adore the dynamic. But it isn’t this aspect which makes this anime so strange but rather the world these characters are in for the anime has chosen to keep the game aspects of this RPG maker game which shows our characters solving puzzles to progress through the world. In this aspect it just makes the surrounding ethereal and otherworldly for this place runs on its own logic. Nothing is realistic and the characters themselves don’t question it but rather just accept it as normal. Almost like a dream where you just don’t think about what is happening around you but rather just follow the flow, in retrospect the way which this series cuts around our protagonists traveling to other areas is just as disjointed as dreams themselves.

Do take heed that this is still very much early thoughts on this series and that I may just be letting preconceptions cloud and bias my thoughts. This series has problems and can very easily slip up and become something bad. Yet I find it’s kooky weirdness endearing and I feel it has massive potential. For when I start a series I often as least have another anime series which I can use as a point of reference to get across a general “feel” of the series. As an example if I was to say this show was like Evangelion they you can at least make a connection of “Okay, so this series has mecha battles with psychological elements topped off with heavy handed symbolism and dark themes.” I admit that is very much a weak method of conveying what a show feels like but for those familiar with the series I reference it makes for convenient shorthand. When it comes to Satsuriku no Tenshi, I have no comparisons for quite frankly I cannot think of a single anime which this show is like. It is it’s own beast and in that regard could very well birth an entirely new genre of anime. But again that’s very much reaching as it assumes this show will reach a level of excellence that would make it noteworthy to imitate which is very much an unlikely possibility.

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

And it’s time for Darling in the sorry I just can’t bring myself to care anymore Franxx. Well once again my previous assertions of what this episode was to be turned out half true and half false. For one they actually did show the final confrontation against VIRM and it was just as disappointing as I could have expected. This episode really was is just a hodgepodge of moments that just felt really familiar for you have seen this plenty of times before. Even the final revelation of Hiro and Zero two being reincarnated just feels so bloody token. The final confrontation basically boils down to Zero Two floating about the place for years and finally finding the VIRM home planet. VIRM then doing something to Hiro to try to prove to be a credible threat and our heroes overcoming things with the power of friendship which didn’t seem to be happening in a moment, so VIRM once again had Zero Two at their mercy for days and still managed to do diddly squat. Seriously why don’t we just head back to earth, it would likely take VIRM a couple of centuries to throw together a new plan and even then they wouldn’t be a

threat. So power of friendship, impregnating a planet with a bomb and the home planet is destroyed along with Hiro and Zero Two. Only for VIRM to show right the back up and state that they would get those pesky humans next time. So fantastic, that heroic sacrifice our heroes did was completely pointless besides buying a bit more time, which they already kinda had cause VIRM got their asses kicked already and likely wouldn’t return for a couple of centuries regardless. This was all just routine, VIRM were a crappy version of anti-spirals and never posed a significant threat and even the battle itself wasn’t even hype cause Strelizia prime can’t do anything fancy. It really did feel like this show wanted to get it over with which makes me wonder why they bothered showing the VIRM battle in the first place.

On Zero Two and Hiro’s sacrifice I must admit to something and that is that these two certainly became very boring didn’t they? I mean Hiro was never anything special but flashbacks showed that once upon a time he had at least a more interesting and bold character which could have resurfaced but instead we are stuck with a wet paper towel for the rest of the series. But the greatest sacrifice is Zero Two because at the beginning of this series this girl did have character but by series end? What happened to you girl? I remember it feeling jarring when Zero Two did a sudden character shift but I at least was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt as it seemed there were some semblance of it going somewhere. Such as that small nightmare sequence she had with all the pilots she killed from years of piloting a Franxx haunting her.(Funny how we danced over that particular plot point isn’t it? Zero Two has killed a lot of people and she was very much about to do the same to Hiro too if he didn’t remember.) But that lead nowhere, it was never brought up again. Instead we are left with a dull boring Zero Two whose personality boils down to “Loves Hiro” and that’s it.

As for the group on earth we just get time skip after time skip with little emotional weight. Klax bring back greenery to the earth so the whole harsh survival aspect is pretty much thrown out the window so that whole episode painting dark tidings of the planet being too far gone to support life is rendered a big pile of pointless. Oh and Ikuno fixed everyone’s life expectancy so they get to live full lives. Well except her own of course because the future has no need for lesbains that ain’t making babies. Ah yes that’s another thing we need to talk about isn’t it? I have stated before that I normally don’t look very deep for sexism or discrimination with character roles in media as it normally is something where no clear line is defined and must come down to the perspective of the viewer themselves. But there are cases where such aspects are so apparent that even I must find it questionable and Ikuno’s fate is something that really rubs me the wrong way. The reasoning behind her shortened lifespan is arbitrary and asinine and when you see all the other characters getting married and having children, then see Ikuno lying in a hospital bed dying and you can’t help but feel it’s hateful undertone.

Well it’s over and I see people pointing the finger at A-1 pictures for the decline of this series from the halfway point. I personally though don’t as this was one main guys passion project so if anything the blame falls on him but I also see a trend in this that could very well be the downfall of trigger. In the past few trigger works there has been a certain reliance on fan pandering. More and more they seem to be relying on past glory to heighten their new series and that is very much the downfall of Franxx as it abandoned what it’s identity was and became a knockoff of Gurren Lagann. Even Little Witch Academia has the same problem as Franxx in abandoning potentially great story threads for the safer route. I may be off base here but I think I see signs which could indicate Trigger no longer being hailed as the savior of anime.

Posted on 4 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

And we come to a close of this Dragon Pilot show and I’m still indifferent on how this anime wraps up. It’s not a bad ending per se, it has a good emotional payoff and it does somewhat wrap up the story. The more it gets into the conclusion, however,  the more I see inconsistencies in its world building that just throw me off even more. Hisone, as we suspected last week, after learning about the sacrifice, decides to defy the ritual and save the girl instead. She then, in her Hisone mood, sacrifices herself to put the dragon to sleep. But Masotan saves her at the end. It’s all fine and mighty, although I would be much more appreciate if HisoMaso explains me about the “stabbing” beforehand. It just feels as if they create that step to raise the conflict. Indeed a lot of “conflicts” in HisoMaso is designed that way. I know I’m mainly disappointed by the inconsistencies of its world building but it’s the first and foremost factor to sell me on the story as a whole. Failing that and it pampers my personal investment to the show and it makes me question the credibility of every plot’s progression.

At the end though, it saddens me to say that I don’t learn that much from the cast. Except for Hoshino and Sada who have a bit of development, all the side characters are under-written in general. The dragons are cute but again they are just that, cute. I do like the way they’re all confident that Hisone and Masotan will come back somehow in the end. The visual is still a wonder, which pains me even more that it can’t save the show from going downhill because of the weak writing.

Full review will come later but here’s some dot points of what get on my nerve in this finale:

-Grandma pilot Sada with her back story: if she feels that devastated how the hell she didn’t cause anastomosis to Masotan then?

-How comes all the back-and-forth exchanges between a girl who wants to save another girl is all about some other guy? It’s a under-representation of women role. Even with Bechdel test it fails fails fails miserably.

-Okonogi doesn’t fare any better. His childhood friend is on a verge of death and all he thinks of is Hisone

-At the end, even Natsume is more fleshed out than Kinutsugai and Hitomi, and I hardly regard her character as flesh out.

This show just disappoints me to no end.

Posted on 3 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

The longer this series goes on, the faster my goodwill disappears as this episode was terrible on many fronts. At this point I think we can admit that this series has been on a downward spiral since episode 19 and has only worsened with each subsequent episode. Part of the problem was 19 spilling all the beans on the world which it had kept relatively close to heart and the thing which truly sunk the ship was the introduction of VIRM. As I have thought over the events of the last few episodes, i have found that VIRM don’t really make much sense and as antagonists there goals and actions are just too vague and indistinct. Let us examine things by looking at their objective which is to pull all races into some sort of collective being and the question I have to that effect is…what is stopping them exactly? I mean I believe they just absorbed all the adults no bother and it doesn’t really seem like consent is an issue considering that the upper brass were not willing yet were absorbed regardless. So then, why can’t they absorb the children, nay why couldn’t they absorb the Klax when they first landed instead of asking for permission first and then going to war with them? What would winning a war even accomplish?

The second objective seems to be destroying Strelizia prime but again the only reason Prime exists is because they went to war with the Klax! I guess we could reason that in order to be absorbed they first need to get the race to enter those happiness machines they made but again if that was the case then why didn’t they take the same approach as they did humanity and infiltrate society to introduce the machines. I highly doubt that the Klax were the first to rebel against their intent. We spent the majority of the series with APE acting as the antagonists and they too were not great due to being faceless with vague motivations. However they still have a presence and mean something to the characters of the story. VIRM on the other hand is an unknown, faceless entity with a boring motivation that means nothing to the characters. As a villain they are literally nothing more than a plot device and they seem to hold no real threat having being beaten by the Klax and now being obliterated again with little effort. I just can’t see these guys as a legitimate threat, I mean they had Strelizia at their mercy for months and at best they only managed to scratch it. Our villains ladies and gentlemen, couldn’t even hurt an unarmed enemy for months on end.

But enough of that, what actually happened in this episode? Well this felt like three episodes all crushed into one as we had many a climatic development with none of it felt earned. We start the episode with the squad all playing around in Franxx in space..wait a minute.. how did they modify Franxx to fight in space without doctor Franxx? Oh I see Nana and Hachi (Wait a second, why the hell are you guys here? Aren’t you supposed to be on earth guiding all the children?) confirm that the Klax made it for them..wait…why would the Klax make space equipment for their enemies? No I don’t buy that bull about them somehow thinking that humanity would rise up and preparing equipment for that time. The Klax were fully committed to sorting this stuff themselves, the Klax queen made that very damn clear. Also they prepared a ship which is set to autopilot to Strezla prime(Then again, why are you here Nana and Hachi? If you aren’t driving the ship then what’s the point of being there? Moral support? To exposit that poor piece of justification for the space suits?)

Anyway the leader of the nines is acting as Hiro’s partner now to get him to Zero Two and oh no he sacrifices himself talking about how Hiro and the gang teaching them how to live…um sorry, when did that happen? Last I remember you were all throwing a hissy fit in the medical bay before you decide to go on this mission. Are you talking about those points you berated them for living like that? Wait Kokoro and Mitsuri suddenly love each other again? Zero Two pushed away Hiro and went off on her own despite being completely unable to move prime? Wait Zero Two’s body turned to stone? Wait Prime now is literally a giant Zero Two? Alright the mech science hasn’t being realistic for the whole series but at least it was consistent but this is just pure magic and makes no sense whatsoever. Wait you are planning a suicide attack on the alien homeworld by going through some gateway out of nowhere while using the Klax ship as a bomb? Can’t you launch it through the gate? Considering VIRM couldn’t make a dent in Prime I figure this won’t be much of a final battle. Oh no Hiro and Zero Two may never return and…again sorry I feel like I skipped to an emotional climax without any of the buildup.

Sigh. This episode was a mess. It feels unplanned and unjustified with all these nonsense story developments and sudden changes in tone to try and pull at your heartstrings. It’s feels like the writer wrote himself into a corner by introducing VIRM and now must work to resolve something that would take more than the last few episodes to resolve. Truthfully I question just how much of this story is planned for the episodes of the full series do play out haphazard and without strong continuity with an inconsistent level of quality. This last arc is mainly like a satire or homage to many other famous Mecha shows with none of the finality and with characters replaced with the Franxx cast. I just wonder what the point of it really was for I previously mentioned that Franxx could end in one of two ways, with the gang raising a new humanity or a final confrontation with VIRM. It was though they were going for a mixture but looks like they are going to cut out the final confrontation with VIRM after all and go right back to the setting up of new humanity. Franxx would need to pull out something real special to make all this worth it but considering the tend of these episodes, my expectations are certainly low.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory

Oh no. Well I suppose this was coming with all the news of this series troubles but it is disheartening to see it come to worst case scenario with the quality of this episode. This is the episode that announces without a doubt that this team is at the breaking point. Characters go off model several times, the animation get to levels of absurd with Sousuke running an obstacle course and his animation missing frames, audio errors like Sousuke kicking away a canister for it to make no noise whatsoever from the sound of the sergeants pockets being patted despite his hand currently lighting a cigar. Tessa eating a sandwich without even opening her mouth. Boy of boy, I don’t know if this episode was outsourced or what but you can just see the tremendous drop in quality. I don’t blame the animation team as it does feel like they were going above and beyond for this series and that finally broke them. I previously wished for a second cour but at this rate I should consider it lucky if we get to the end of this cour with respectable quality. Well after this episode there will be a three week break until the next one so I hope that would remedy some of the problems with production.

Despite this the story still holds up as we have Sousuke manage to fend off an attacker, Tessa dealing with insomnia and guilt of over the the stress and guilt of the situation and Chidori finding out Sousuke is still searching for her and finding herself wishing to disappear due to the trouble she’s causing others. Not to mention Kalinin revealing that he was a traitor to Mythril and a Amalgam spy. If this last revela felt a bit out of nowhere that would be because it was supposed to be revealed at the end of the Dancing very Merry Christmas volume which was skipped over by this adaption. So indeed the reveal here feels rather abrupt due to the fact that the audience should already know about it at this point but I kinda wish they gave the reveal a bit more gravitas. He wasn’t a major character but he did play an important role in the series, not to mention being a mentor for Sousuke so him being a traitor is sort of a big deal. Still they set him up well as a villain here what with him shooting a man and telling him that he will die in 30 minutes if not given first aid. Remarkably cold that upon being refused he just left him there to bleed out, not even asking him to reconsider.

It is rather funny that the fanservice moments of this episode were downplayed by the situation what with Tessa stripping down to rest only to be unable to eat, sleep and being racked with guilt all the while lying to her officers and pretending she’s fine. She’s still a teenager after all so no doubt this hits her hard and when Kalinin’s betrayal is revealed to her that’s gonna be devastating. Chidoris situation by contrast isn’t quite as dire and her scene felt a little more gratuitous with her jumping into a pool and swimming lengths in her underwear. Which gave her motivation because…hmm…I don’t quite remember her being on the swim team. I guess cause it reminded her of swimming class at school or that she just felt she needed to do something? Truth be told I don’t quite grasp the logic but whatever it was got her pumped to do something at least. I just hope her little angst moments are few and far between. Other than that we got some good comedy with Sousuke’s old sergeant who was drilling in a personal philosophy of being a soldier into him only fr Sousuke to literally get knocked out and the sergeant goes “Well I guess that happens” Also saying shit in Japanese is fine yet saying fucking in English needs to be beeped out? These censors need some fucking guts. Well we won’t be getting the next episodes for another three weeks so it will be quite the wait till I can close this one off. I am still waiting on SHaft to get those final Fate/Extra episodes out as well come to think of it. Hopefully they don’t all hit during a bad time.

Posted on 29 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Megalo Box

Its finally here, the finale of Megalo Box. And what a finale it was. Lets just get right into it.

Cutting right to the chase, I think Megalo Box was golden until the last 6 minutes. Everything was going great, I had no complaints, and then… Megalo Box anti-climaxed itself. The final 6 minutes simply didn’t fit with the rest of the series. It’s not a bad ending per-se, the status quo has changed and arcs have all been wrapped up. It’s simply an ill-fitting ending. I can understand why they went this way to. They didn’t want to copy Ashita no Joe, they wanted to set themselves apart from it. And I can appreciate that. However I think they went to far away in their quest to be different. Ashita no Joe’s ending is memorable even to those who only see a 5 minute clip and nothing else. Its so beloved for a reason. This? This feels less like an ending and more like groundwork for a second season.

(more…)

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperWooper
Can't believe that guy is still going.
Amagi
I have to admit that I enjoy reading Tenka*eiha whenever I hate an anime.
SuperWooper
>discussing anime with other people
Absolutely disgusting
AidanAK47
Hey! Want to join an exciting desert where you can count the tumbleweeds. Check out the Star Crossed anime Blog Discord. You will likely regret it!
Amagi
Iennar should watch anime instead of being a bot
Iennar
Hey! Want to join an exciting fast growing anime forum/discord. Check out anime.sh you won't regret it!
Amagi
I love the ED song for Tonegawa
Lenlo
I recommend it. Its the best gambling anime out there
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will watch Kaiji someday...someday...just keep forgetting to get around to it.
Anonymous2419710
@Kaiser-Eoghan He's working on a new anime film, not sure when it's coming out
Anonymous2419539
Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji
Anonymous2417730
Can't say that I'm interested in a Jin-Roh remake with the plot transplanted to a near future Korea instead of the 1950s alternate history setting of the original.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still need to see his patlabor show and the first Patlabor film he did.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Need to rewatch the original. I recently did a rewatch of Oshii's works. They benefit from second viewings...and sometimes it better to just to run with some of them/let them wash over you largely because he isn't a particularly accessible director, wish he would return to making animated films though.
SuperMario
So Netflixe acquires a korean reanke of Jinroh huh? I guess it's just a matter of time
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dvd of the new, 6th Gundam origin ova came out last Friday but I can't find it on nya =<
Amagi
It's ongoing, two volumes out in Japan. Mangadex seems to be pretty fast with scanlations.
Masky
Ye have any idea whether its already finished one that hasn't been translated or on going series? Like I said, it seems macabre in fun way so would be disappointing to know it didn't do well
Amagi
@Masky: I found this Marry Grave manga coincidentally while browsing a board. It's really oldschoolish but in an entertaining way. It seems to be weekly or biweekly, but not sure.
Amagi
The idea of how this story is told is completely fresh and unused although I don't wanna spoil anything for people who don't know anything about it. And as if the whole mainstory wasn't nice enough there was a little hint at the end of the game that was a quite shocking reveal. Some people even missed this since the hint was pretty inconspicuous and not directly related to the main plot/character.
Amagi
It's real. Wow. This could easily become the best drama anime of the year if done right. The game was (IMO) fantastic despite being a pixelish RPG maker style game.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Holy shit really? To the Moon?
Amagi
Speaking of Urasawa there was announcement of a Pluto adaption last year, I guess they're still working on it. A good choice IMO, Pluto was not only my favorite Urasawa aside from 20thCB so far, it's one of the few that might be easier to adapt and it isn't too long.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Haven't read Chicago yet, maybe I will look into it. Kinda curious what series this mangaka will do next, same with Urasawa.
Masky
Huh? Found weird manga named Marry Grave. It feels like older manga but I'm not sure what its release date is.. Has rather interesting art and premise though first chapter is bit clunky on exposition
Kaiser-Eoghan
slightly disappointed to see happy sugar life not being covered =<
Lenlo
Oh man, 57? Franxx must have really gone down hill, because you seemed pretty into halfway through or so Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
<Crazy aunt in happy sugar life will have Belldandy's voice actress
<Terror the terror OMO
Kaiser-Eoghan
How do I save Chi no Wadachi's protagonist =< Manga giving me post traumatic stress ;M ;
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: And that game, to the moon is getting an adaptation. I haven't played it nor know anything about it though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It seems you were onto something when you said in your satsuriku no tenshi impressions/posts that other freeware games might see a chance at an adaptation. I recall you talking about a game called To the moon on here a few years back.
Vonter
I did like how they decided to use a Halo aesthetic for the lack of a better term. Bases and alien ships have this Halo like design and color schemes to them. Also when I though a harem could only be depicted in one way, this series proves me wrong.
Vonter
But after season 2. Oh boy, the series becomes a really intriguing and exciting sci fantasy journey, with lots of motivations, hillturns and mystery.
Vonter
I catch up to the Voltron series in Netflix and man. It might the best anime-like series I've watched all year. I was having doubt after season one because while not awful at the start, it's very typical Voltron good versus evil and the like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Chicago was one of the first Manga I read when I was 11, by the same author as 7 seeds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: A 7 seeds adaptation would be preferable, its the more mature of the two. My favourite parts of that manga is everything relating to Hana and also the flashbacks to Ango's team's past, also that flashback side arc which was set in that shelter centered on that guy who had nothing to do with the cast.
AidanAK47
For Mahou, I just wanna see the first VN translated.
Amagi
We will never see the Mahou sequel VN either
Amagi
Theoretically ufotable but I think they'd prefer to wait for the updated story of the new VN sooo never ever
AidanAK47
Op was pretty good for an anime that didn't exist. Honestly wonder what would come first. The remake of the VN or an anime adaption by Ufotable.
Amagi
Just as the Tsukihime anime doesn't exist (liked the OP of that nonexisting anime though)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: The original Basara anime doesn't exist, only the manga does.
Amagi
@Lenlo: I really loved it and as far as I know most people who didn't read it refused it due to its drawing style not the content. The style could get an improvement as anime and I think the story is something most people would enjoy. The side characters were all awesome and pretty diverse too, which is kinda worthy of mention because the series had a ton of them.
Amagi
Arisa might get a decent fanbase as well considering it's some sort of mystery-thriller shoujo despite it's appearance.
Lenlo
Oooh Basara would be one I would want to see
Amagi
@Kaiser: I wish we'd get an actual Basara or 7 Seeds adaption some day. But guess it's impossible in the age of 12-episode series.
Lenlo
Yeah, the Marvin reveal was done in as tasteful a way as I could see it being done. It was just creepy enough without being voyeur
Kaiser-Eoghan
**Done
Kaiser-Eoghan
*superficially
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I have never read this, LetDai is sometimes compared superficial to banana fish.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More fantasy/horror shoujo/josei manga, old ones, not otomeshit or school lifeshit could be adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And wasn't the reveal regarding Marvin down in a tasteful/restrained enough way while still getting the point across?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Akimi Yoshida is actually quite diverse, aside from banana fish, she also wrote Our little sister.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"and NOT with naked muscular men. That’d be depressing!" Thank fuck we still have the slender ones then lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the looks of it Sugar life's only getting 12 episodes, which means it'll stop just before it really gets going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I think 2 volumes of the manga have been covered so far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: "However its spelt" and there I am, realizing how rubbish I am with names and remembering/spelling them.
Lenlo
Oh man, Banana Fish is 24 episodes? Oh awesome. All the time in the world
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: In small doese, small doses he would be tolerable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
An anime about all of us would be fucking magnificent and I will hear nothing to the contrary of this fact.
Lenlo
However that name is spelt
Lenlo
Hmm, Steins;Gate 0 Okabe, or what? Cause Hyoin Kyoma would drive me up a wall.
Lenlo
Oh Grand Blue has some great reaction faces.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not slice of life, but outside of all the dark stuff, I'd probably think Okabe Rintaro would be a fun guy to be around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually that brings up something, in all of the slice of life dramas/comedies out there, a good measure for how worthwhile some of them are could be "Which ones would I actually like to hang out with the characters in"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember when Free! aired, joking with another guy on here who would be who.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You could probably get great reaction faces of the manga/show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I could keep up with the drunkening though.
Lenlo
Wait, ive been psychic robbed? When? How?
Lenlo
Ive known people like them before, though less cartoonishly dude-bro. They are fun in bursts. Made for some good experiences. Luckily the ones I knew, also knew when I was at my socializing limit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jokingly we'd all be blond otaku-t-shirt guy though =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I have committed un-intentional psychic theft of your thoughts.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mario has to be the skinny dark haired Asian guy because it fits.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As funny as these characters are, I probably wouldn't hang out with then if they were real, I'd probably be iritated by them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually hadn't thought it as far as the personalities .
AidanAK47
For I am the one that trolls
AidanAK47
@Kaiser/Lenlo, Wait then whose who in that screenshot. Cause looks wise I would likely be Iori but personality wise I would be closer to the burly dudes.
Lenlo
As for the updated setting, I think it will work out. Keeps it sorta relevant for modern audiences. I'm curious if the changes will be obvious or not, but the story should still work
Lenlo
As for Banana Fish, after this episode, Im not to worried about the fetishizing of homosexual relationships. Unlike alot of Shoujo/Yaoi-lite/bait stuff, it actually seems to condemn some aspects of the trope in manga.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, I had the exact same thought for that screenshot and the writers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol Now imagine each of the characters in the screenshot representing a writer on this blog =P
SuperMario
Fixed
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I posted using my phone so that was the best I could do
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to state, regarding banana fish, for those avoiding it because of shounen-ai vibes or because its aimed at women, even though its listed as shoujo, its really the female equivalent to a seinen manga, it also created, even in Japan a massive crossover audience that also included heterosexual males.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whew lad, might want to center/neat-en up the screenshot on the latest post =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
See lenlo, while I love the adaptation, I'm still worried about the updated setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The manga had something about American foreign policy and the Mafia boss having to do with anti-communism, I wonder will the anime commit to that.
Lenlo
So far, Banana Fish is ony of my favorites. Im gonna make it very clear why tomorrow when I post on it, but boy I wasnt expecting it to commit so fully.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, my ranking so far of the premieres: -Angels of death
-Happy sugar life
-Banana fish
-Grand blue
Shichisei and planet with are dropped, will only watch sirius until I get bored. Don't like shounen action so I'm not continuing Angolmeh.
SuperMario
I know he's a good writer, hence I was looking forward to Dog eat dog. That film made me think he passed his prime
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Raging bull and mishima also he wrote those.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Nicholas Cage is awful and so was Dog eat dog I can agree to that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its alot better than that I can tell you. Also he wrote the affliction, taxi driver and hardcore, all great films.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you mean First Reformed? I watched Schraders' previous work Dog Eat Dog and absolutely hated it. Hated it with a passion
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I don't even know that until you pointed out
Kaiser-Eoghan
*movie blog
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: How amusing, you uses "red blood moon" on your movie blood as a section for bad anime, and have the AKA abbreviation right next to it and that has the same spelling as the Japanese word for Red.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've got a feeling you might be a fan of Paul Schraders new film, its a mashup of Ordet, Winter light, diary of a country priest and Taxi driver. It is speechy, but it has alot to say and Ethan Hawke is great in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think i'd be able to stop myself pulling an animal ears girl's ears if they were real. I'd have to know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think I needed to watch it, just so I could have the feeling of getting away from the world while not needing to think.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that's basically the appeal of Cgdct shows. They're hardy deep or even have that much conflict, but they're adorable and fluffy. Good enough for me ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
The filter/visual style angolmis was going for initially completely took my concentration away from the show.
SuperWooper
(which includes a review of the inevitable AOTS) :^)
SuperWooper
Only one more First Impressions post to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Grand blue is funny but like with wotaku I'm not sure there'll be an incentive to watch every episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Maybe every season or so I will try to fit in a cute girls doing cute things show. I watched Konohana Kitan yesterday and while hardly essential, it was actually sort of adorable.
Amagi
A bit new info about the next When they Cry. Guess the release date will be the winter comiket. Really wonder how it will be, I have to admit I enjoyed the endless arguments in the Umineko VN a lot. Also it seems it will get the same music composers again.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That airs on July 22.
Anonymous2394727
were is attack on titan 3???
SuperMario
I'll still write a post once the first impressions' over, along with my general thoughts on this season.
SuperMario
Meanwhile, we already decided which shows to blog for this season. The coverage is as follows:
Aidan: Grand Blue, Planet With, Satsuriku no Tenshi
Mario: Chio-chan, Shoujo Kageki, Hanebado
Lenlo: Steins;Gate 0, Banana Fish
SuperMario
Just an update to you, dear readers. We're working on finishing these 1st impressions posts and try to finish it in few days time (3 more posts).
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Harry not Eddie
**Gundam F91
Kaiser-Eoghan
Have the blurays of 08th ms team downloading now to re-watch. Never seen Gundam F91 one . Really looking forward to the final origin ova and whenever more of Thunderbolt is coming out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eddie was a bit crap though, especially when you stand him up against other Char-esque characters and some of the other characters aren't quite as compelling. Loved the old American style setting though, crazypants main baddy was fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I finally finished/rewatched Turn A Gundam lately. It delivers strongly on its spectacle Heim and Soleil were great and my favourite gundam girls , the artstyle grows on you and because of that art style, it gets away with being one of the weirder phase gundamns, where G Gundam wasn't so lucky in that regard.
Amagi
Highscore Girl is way more annoying than I exptected it to be.
Amagi
Haven't played it (yet) but AFAIK they stay there and only move from floor to floor, I guess it's why they shortly mentioned these murders on the different floors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Does the entirety of satsuriku no tenshi stay in the building? I could seen the sense of claustropohbia for the audience disappearing if they left it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back on that comment, I should say, I have not read grand blues manga, so its entirely possible why the animes presentation made me laugh a bit because I've no comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, that blonde muscular guy in Grand blue made me laugh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like how we have very little idea of the buildings layout in satsuriku no tenshi.
Amagi
Not really looking forward to Gridman as I see the typical warning signs I noticed for Kiznaiver and Franxx as well here. The only positive thing is that the series seems to have an actual villain for once. The lack of that was one of the problems that bothered me with Franxx (not counting literal faceless aliens as "actual villain").
Amagi
I hope next actual Imaishi anime will be a good Trigger again. Honestly didn't really like any of their series done by other directors, Promare would be the first series done by the TTGL team again after KlK and Luluco. My only fear is that it might be a TTGL clone but it's too early to for that.
AidanAK47
I am gunning for Kyohime Lancer and Mordred Rider. Thankfully I don't really care about the five starts so my odds are not quite as bad.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes I am happy I got her with just one ticket since I am saving for the upcoming rate ups as well, especially Summer. Hell I need Martha.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Had a few moments like that which were not related to Fate go. Anyhoo I didn't bother rolling Da Vinchi as I got no real interest in him/her(Hard to decide when their reason for genderbending has more to do with beauty rather than gender.) Instead saving my Quartz for either the summer servants for the Knights of the round.
Amagi
Not lying but I had I dream yesterday about getting FGO's Da Vinci with one ticket, woke up, spent one ticket and got her (Yes. "Her"). I am so far into that anime stuff guess I am now developing esp powers just for that.
Amagi
Finally new Sirius subs I hope they are tolerable.
Amagi
Chio-chan is relatable
SuperMario
She's one of the actress I'm really fond of. But of course given how big a status she is
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If voices could be married I'd marry hers =P
SuperMario
Other 2 shows are Cells at Work and Phantom in the Twilight
SuperMario
Kana Hanazawa's extremely busy this season. She's also voicing for 2 other shows. Give me a minute so I can check up these other shows
Kaiser-Eoghan
The most recent I've heard Kana Hanazawa's voice was in 3-gatsu no lion where she voiced Hina, hearing her voice psychochick from happy sugar life makes it all the eerier =P Also watching this feels like less of a slog than reading the early chapters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scanners/photocopier machines however are the greater satan.
Amagi
What kind of cosmic rule forbids printers to ever work properly?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that satsuriku no tenshi's manga adaptation apparently is paced better and more effective at immersing the reader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think my time with shichisei subaru stops here, the cliffhangers just feel liked bad bait and while I hate jumping to buzzwords, this was just really generic and hamfisted. Its like I'm watching a crap adaptation of a bad moe datesim visual novel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah this is also a pretty stilted translation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I ended up watching it with mediocre subtitles also.
Amagi
Wait is Sirius subbed? Nonmeme subs I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Banana fish succeeds in making itself work as an action series all the more stronger, because it allows itself to have a good emotional backing. I'd forgotten how much of prick that one cop was in that scene in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If you want a reasonably quick boredom killer thats gorier than some modern anime allows you could probably do worse than Sirius.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, regarding Happy sugar lifes manga, Late volume 6-volume 8, we're kind of getting somewhere, especially with one particular flashback relating to Shio.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I too am not even impervious to cute and huggable things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*mikocchi
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do plan on watch sorayori, konohana kitan and hakumei no mocchi someday.
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Violet Evergarden’s existence has surely been a public one. Acclaimed before everyone lick a taste of it (it was awarded for grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014 – read, KyoAni awards), it goes without saying that Violet Evergarden is one of the most anticipated show of the sparse Winter […]

A Place Further than the Universe (Winter 2018) Review – 77/100

Cute girls doing cute things is a genre that been done to death at this point. Even within this Winter 2018 we had been overloaded with big eyes fluffy face girls doing a lot of different things of interest. It takes a standout concept or a deeper narrative to make one stand out from this […]

After the Rain (2018 Winter) Review – 89/100

I suppose that most of us, even the perministic ones, enter After the Rain (Ameagari) with some reservations. After all, the premise about a crush from an 18-year-old girl to the store manager who is nearly 30 years senior raises a lot of red flags here. Yet the show handles this tricky premise with deep […]