Posted on 20 February 2017 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

We have a fairly typical 3-gatsu this week, in which its level of quality is what we come to expect now. Its awkward shift in tone and the lack of big thematic plot points are still prominent in this episode, but we also have many heart-warming little moments, occasional touch of visual greatness and the plot that focus balancedly on Rei in his professional shogi life, his social life and his personal life. The notion of hometown, in particular, plays a big theme in this episode. As Shimada talks about his hometown to Rei, there’s really nothing in his town, just farmland, yet he tries his best so he can play the title match in that town again. Doesn’t matter where you end up living, the place where you spend childhood will always give a special, nostalgic feeling to you. And where is the place that Rei consider his home anyways? His true life was taken away from him when he was too young; spending 10 years in a house with little to no happiness; and now living alone in an empty apartment? Is it the sisters’ house then, the house he was just accustomed himself to recently? That song “Hometown” in the end really brings the sad, quiet feeling and it was one hell of a way to end the episode. Nice craft, Shaft!

Although I would be more interested to see the title matches between Souya and Gotou instead, bringing Shimada to face Souya actually benefits the story better. Shimada is still at the level that isn’t out of Rei’s reach, so to see the man’s commitment to face off the top shogi player is a valuable experience for Rei. While I feel that they overplayed the part where Darth Vader and Yoda shogi fighting and the endlessly shogi rambling (still, steamed bun joke was very good), I like the way Rei feel unsettling about the situation in the workshop. He’s the allrounder type, so he tends to focus more on the overall situation than the specific puzzle, unlike those two. The water motif again is very on point this week, depicting Shimada’s spirit and his will through the influx of water that nearly swept Rei away. I’m glad that Rei has gotten really over his depression few episodes ago and now keeps trying to improve his game, both tactically and mentally.

It’s his time with Hayashida-sensei, however, gives the episode a lot of heart. Hayashida has become more and more important to Rei’s current life and he feels like one of a prominent character now, the way he makes his best effort to keep Rei engaging his school life socially. He is one of the best sensei Rei could’ve had (on a second thought, not really, since he actually encourages Rei to skip class and nearly cost the poor boy another year), not only helping him get along with his study life, but moreover gives him many valid advices and heartfelt comments. Rei always has a feeling that he’s currently in a standstill: he doesn’t get along well at school, barely make it pass the year, his ranking isn’t improving… but Hayashida pointed out correctly how he has been fighting all this time at an age that normally shouldn’t be bothered to try. While I’d would give the exact opposite advice if I were him- someone in Rei’s age needs to go get out more and explore the world- his sincere comment at least reaffirm Rei’s worth, his life isn’t empty as he think it is. He carries a big burden especially for someone his age and it’d be much better if he understands that his friends are more than happy to carry the load along with him.

And here comes more Hina and Momo moments. I was a bit afraid that having the sisters meet Kyouko would disrupt the balance of the tone of the series, but thank god it didn’t. The three sisters are always brimming with light and warmness, while Kyouko’s always surrounded by dark nights and cold detachments, so how can they mesh together on the same screen? After all, how often you see the sun and the moon together? And isn’t it those times when they are together a special occasions? This week, it’s nice to see Hina and Momo get into Rei’s apartment for the lamest excuse (yeah, like they need that bento box that urgency!), but Hina’s emotional directness always work for someone who always hide his feeling like Rei. Rei makes that moment even sadder when he admitted that Kyouko is his sister, but clearly they don’t share any siblings chemistry at all. It’s perfectly normal when siblings having a fight with each other once in awhile. It isn’t when they having a fight every single time. In fact, the only close-to-sibling-ly moments they shared together was when Kyouko teased Rei about the three sisters. Only Arika sees through this complex relationship and I hope we have a more touching moments the next time Rei encounter the three sisters. Now, allow me to end this post here so I can watch some Squirrely-sensei programme and go to that Mouseland for some adventure!!

Posted on 13 February 2017 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

Wow, this episode! This is one of the strongest 3-gatsu episode that we’ve encountered so far, both rich in effective little moments, strong characters interactions and smart visual executions. Speeding up to three chapters per episode might be this episode’s most successful trick, because 1) these 3 chapters are interconnected by the same narrative themes and 2) it allows strong moments to sink in faster, and much sharper and 3) the amount of solid characters moments is definitely much higher than normal 3-gatsu episode and this is one of the rare times in 3-gatsu experience that I do feel like I’ve been sink at the bottom of the sea with too much of a good things, for good reasons. The episode produces one of the most breathtaking visual that directly convey the mood and themes of the story. The water motif have been applied effectively throughout the series’ run, but here it adds another layer: both Rei and Kyouko are lost deep within the sea of life, suffocated by the pressure of everything around. The dim lights of her phone to create that light waves of sea is one of the show’s most sensitive visual-storytelling for me. Or the moment the rain just stop after Rei noticed Souya is equally impressive. Shaft carries this show with style, and this episode especially they brings out the best from its source, even the lighter scenes are brimming with finely-tuned touch.

Harunobu, as long last, has catched up with Rei, not only in their professional ranking sense, but also about their maturity. As Rei struggled with his forms and several depressions, Harunobu makes one steady step forward at a time, while fixedly aim at his goal ahead. Harunobu has gained a lot of strong material here and as of now I don’t mind to have his accompany at all. On the other spectrum, the sudden appearance of Souya gives the show the almost dreamlike quality. Souya here is portrayed as someone out of this world, the one who can stop the time, who is unchanged in his appearance after 10 odd years, an angel that so pure and powerful that it brings the force of destruction instead. When people compare him to demon, guess what really remind me of? The old shogi player Matsunaga commented about Rei himself as a “beautiful reaper”. Guess there’s not much difference between Souya and Rei then.

Kyouko also makes the most out of her screen time this week and this might be the first time we have a full picture of Kyouko and her relationship with Rei. In this episode, she’s in her usual spiteful mood at one time, become spirited and playful at other and then deeply vulnerable the next. Her bashing out on the sisters is heavy and malicious, yes, but it comes from her own pain and belief that Rei was the one wrecking her family. What she said isn’t entirely wrong though, As Rei found himself very much at home at the sisters’ house, but still hearing those intentions from a dark and mean perspective certainly is hard. Afterwards, after staying over Rei’s house though, Kyouko amps up her playfulness and really that light tone between them isn’t something we see very often, if at all. The comedy mostly works here and they give off a great chemistry with each other. Kyouko then breaks down, she’s unsure about how to deal with her life. At heart, both of them are pretty insecure individuals, sharing almost the same pain of trying to figure out the way through life. Their relationship, moreover, become much complex and Rei remarks so true in the end “we also haven’t been able to become siblings nor remain strangers”. This was a beautiful chapter.

But the greatest moments for me was when the sisters appearing while Rei and Kyouko having an arguments. At long last, the two forces of nature: the warm, light side from the sisters and the dark, destructive side from Kyouko finally collided and the result is a weird mixed of raw, dark feeling with surprisingly warm-hearted touch. Momo again steals her scene, Hina again is the voice of “follow your heart” sentiments and watching Hina fighting Kyouko might be the greatest pleasure ever (also: Momo calling her “witch”). Those contrasted forces produce such unique sparks that in my book this is one of the show’s brightest and most effective moments. 3-gatsu no Lion is going stronger than ever, and this solid episode comes totally expected because it draws from the current strengths the show has been well established throughout its run. The only downside with it is that now I won’t expect less from it. I know I have been spoiled with too much Kyouko’s and three sister’s moments but give me more doses of excellent characters writing please. Otherwise I would get really pissed-off, just like Hina-chan.

Posted on 8 February 2017 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

3-gatsu had another solid episode this week, which for now was exactly what you would expect from this show. Rei’s getting more social life, and this episode demonstrates the importance of the tutors’ roles, as both Hayashida-sensei and Shimada continues to guide him to improve himself, both in his personal life as well as his professional shogi life. But “solid” and “expected” also means that I don’t really have a lot to delve into, so instead of doing an usual format, I will try something different this time, running the episode down by key moments and giving you my thoughts on those. Notes that this is just one-off, mostly for the sake of trying something different.  

If you really think about it, this “arson club” is the kind of club that Rei would never be a part of. They are as different from Rei as chalk and chesse. The club is noisy, active and silly, Rei isn’t. They try to make soap to attract girls, the kind of thing that Rei would never dare to try. Yet, they’re getting along well, because the club is determined to help Rei out. This section gets as silly and light-heart that it could get, but this is the light-heartedness that I wanted to see. Like Hiyashida-sensei, just watching Rei enjoying himself with other people is rewarding enough.

But here, we have one of the most satisfied life lesson that one could learn from his sensei for a long while. Heck, this life lesson still resonates well even to me, more than 10 years older than Rei right now. You need to rely on others sometimes in things that otherwise difficult when you do it alone, because then people can rely back to you. Rei is the kind of person who doesn’t want to trouble his friends for his personal problems, which is fair enough, but by doing that he creates a border that others can’t cross, and in turns they keep their distance with him. I haven’t really talked about him in details before but Hiyashida-sensei proves to be one of the most reliable tutor Rei could’ve had for guiding him to be more open in his social life. Rei needs more friends, that’s a given, and seeing him slowly realize the significance of opening up to someone else is really satisfying.

(more…)

Posted on 31 January 2017 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

Let me get off track for a bit, but the truth is that I’ve always been fascinated by moonlight. Moonlight gives me a warm presence, moonlight (especially in full-moon) gives me the bright feeling that there’s no more worry in the world. Sit there and watch the moonlight is one of those rare moments where I truly “enjoy my moments of nothingness”. Coincidently, many media involving moonlight have a special connection to me: “Moonlight Shadow”, “Dancing in the Moonlight”, even last year’s indie gem “Moonlight” gave me a certain feeling that resonate strongly to me. This week in 3-gatsu we start with the chapter named “Moonlight” and again this proves to be a special episode to me, one of my favorite chapter out of 3-gatsu in fact. The ambiguous relationship between Kyouko and Rei has been one of the show’s strongest material, and this episode manages to take that relationship up a notch.

I will forever remember the image of that young Kyouko; there she stands, beyond the moonlight by the window, demanding Rei’s and our attention. If there were moments that best captured the relationship between Rei and Kyouko, that would be the moment she sneaks into his bed, whispering those words “Don’t touch me. But don’t move away from me”. Kyouko, just liked the way Rei described her, is a strong-willed but deeply insecure girl. The girl who has everything that she doesn’t need, and ‘fails’ the only thing that profoundly mattered to her. To her eyes, she’s always the inferior one compared to Rei, both in shogi and in their father’s attention. Rei isn’t any better when it comes to self-doubting though, as a result we encounter one of the most heartbreaking moments when the only way those two know how to comfort the other is by ways of showing that insecurity, but even then Kyouko still gets hurt really bad. That is Kyouko, love and hate someone with the same intensity.

And when it comes to her loving someone with full force, we also see her and Gotou together for the very first time, and this relationship is still pretty much blurred at this time, but fascinating nonetheless. Gotou is oblivious to Kyouko’s feeling, even calling her “stalker”, but of course Kyouko doesn’t back down just because of that. We saw them together twice this episode, and while the first time he allowed her to walk side by side with him, the second time he ditched her like a bastard. Except when you think about it, this is the best kind of actions when dealing with someone as bombastic as Kyouko. He’s a married man anyways. People seems to agree that Gotou has been using her but from what I see it might not be the case; it’s Kyouko who clearly steps out the line right now. I have a feeling he still cares very much about his sick wife but I know we will see more about his relationship soon enough so let’s wait and see.

The rest of the episode also follows the best-of-three matches to determine title-challenger between Gotou and Shimada. They are basically equal in terms of skills level so the matches are long and worn-out ones and resulted in one slightly beaten out than the other, which the first match goes to Gotou and the second goes to Shimada. I’m glad to see that Rei really invests in those matches. Yes, to learn from the people who are higher than you and get inspiration from those matches are the right way to get out of his own depression now. Speaking of that, Hina has an adorable moment of sitting in the chair and worrying for Rei, just so that the grandfather gives her his wise advices of basically come down to “let him deal with his issues himself”. At the same time, Harunobu offers his insight on how Rei changed his attitude towards shogi and the very reason he cares deeply for his “best friend”, this is a sweet little material for Harunobu, but I can’t help but feel that we already know that Harunobu felt that way even before he tells it, so the result gives us very little impact; which is a shame. As now a tradition with 3-gatsu no Lion, if I have to recommend the series, I’d just recommend certain chapters out of the show because when the show hits, it hits real hard, like this week’s Moonlight chapter. Other chapters though aren’t as strong or memorable and I guess with the intention of adapting faithfully to every chapters of the manga by Shaft, we will have to bear with it for the long, long term.

Posted on 24 January 2017 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

This week in 3-gatsu no Lion, we again witness another one of Rei’s depression, which is fine I guess because this is what the show does best anyways; but seriously it didn’t leave much of an impact on me, both because those depression thoughts start to wear out on me, and this section drags out for too long. Here lies the issues: the way Shaft decided to adapt every double chapters per episode mean that sometimes we suffer the disconnect in tones between two chapters like last week’s, or we have to go through their lesser materials like this one. In manga medium, this is totally acceptable because one volume has multiple chapters, so it doesn’t distract the flow of the story as severe as in adaptation form. This episode is where its deliberated pacing doesn’t benefit the story at all and if they speed up a bit to the next chapter the story would flow so much smoother.

I have to note that this is the first time ever that we witness him lost right in front of our eyes. Kudos for the sharp writing that building up the big match to come between Rei and Gotou before crushing that anticipation from Rei and us apart. We’re pretty much in the same mind as Rei expecting an easy win for him. Except it isn’t. Rei loses and he loses hard. The loss strips Rei down pretty hard that he loses faith in his own ability and even looks for job hunting. It’s pretty understandable for someone his age; young and talented but inexperienced; misjudged the capability of his opponent. This isn’t come from his own arrogant though, but more like he hasn’t give much thoughts about his opponent and he certainly paid his price. The very solid depressing visuals (as expected from Shaft) were conveyed through water bubbles again, and through his own dehydration. If there is one thing we certainly learn after this episode, it’s Rei is even bad of being depressed.

It’s tough to carry all these self-doubting thoughts on his own, so what does he decide to do next? Go to school and keep carry on of course. But kiddo, if you don’t feel okay from the inside, carry on with life like normal won’t do you anything good. He feels like he doesn’t belong at school, so he’s even more depressed and cries out of solitude. Thankfully, there are lights of hope at the end of the road, in the name of Hayashida-sensei who give him a much-needed advice and the workshop by Shimada which will help him improve his game. In a way, Rei needs to take 2 steps back before moving few steps forward, and this loss is something that someone his age need to realize the sooner the better; thus I get the narrative. But the episode lacks the final punch, moreover the male casts can’t handle the atmosphere or carry the emotions as good as the female counterparts (call me sexist. I’ll take it.), as a result this episode is a big meh. Give me more Kyouko, give me more of the 3 sisters please. In the end, characters-wise, the show still rocks (how it gives much personalities to Shimada despite a very unremarkable introduction for example) but I really hope the show doesn’t waste its time for some minor chapters like this and end up not having enough time to cover the main thread.

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 10 January 2017 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

3-gatsu no Lion is back again in the new year with another stellar episode. Structure-wise, I think this is one of the most confident episode 3-gatsu no Lion has delivered for a while, as the show handled multiple tones and aspects in Rei’s current life in one neat package. This episode begins with a deep look inside Rei’s depression, then move on to the noise and colorful life of his shogi life from his shogi-mates, then deliver one of the most intense moments when Rei meet Gotou, and later on back to the warm and cozy atmosphere of the sisters; the result is like a roller coaster of feeling: disturbing one moment, warm and heart-felt the next, all wonderfully tie up with Rei’s own emotion right in the center. Let’s get down to each of them below.

Shaft has always been superb when it comes to depicting Rei’s inner psyche, especially his insecurities towards the life he been living. Sharp lines with black and white imaginaries, water bubbles, the loud noises of his clock and his air conditioner, and even their extreme close-up, all successfully visualize his mental breaking point. It actually gives us the nausea effects that Rei is suffering, put us into his mindscape and for me this is one of the most real depiction of depressions in anime. Rei compares the three sisters’ house as kotatsu, a place so warm that it makes every other place seem colder and pale in comparison. Now he’s sitting in his house and realizes how lonely he is and he knows full well that he can’t rely emotionally to others; because once you rely on something you become dependent, and vulnerable as well, yet at the same time he can’t help but longing for one. I’m myself amazed with the complexity of personal struggles the show given to Rei. It’s not only his struggles but the same for all of us, it isn’t a temporary battle but a lifelong one and even then we might never find a true answer at the end of the road. Must be suck being human.

In a steep contrast to that dark void of his inner voice, the professional shogi players all serve as an energetic and hilarious facet to spice up his life a bit. All the matches this week aren’t about competition or ranking progression like other sport shows, but function more as bright, light moments in his life. The ninth dan who played against him this week fit well into that vein as his antics are decidedly quirky. I personally love the moments Smith-san won the match, the two were just staring and dissecting Smith’s tactics because it’s so damn unprofessional but simultaneously show how they love shogi at hearts. The shogi chairman also kicks things up a notch with his fishes. A lot of fishes. It’s a brief sequence but I’m totally feel the care of him towards Rei so I’m up to see more about him in the future.

But never before, even in Kyouko’s moments, the show has reached that much intense when Rei (to be more exact, we) finally meets Gotou in person. Unlike Kyouko where Rei’s feeling for her is a mixture of love, guilt, and heaps of pain, there is only pure hatred from him when it comes to Gotou; not that the guy has any better opinion towards Rei either. Now it sheds a rather intriguing twist to Gotou and Kyouko’s relationship: Gotou calls her “a stalker” and wants to get rid of her. Talking about perspective! Either they had been in an affair (his wife is “still” in the hospital) and now Gotou wants to cut his ties or all the intense love from Kyouko are just her feeling alone. Those possibilities are still pretty much unclear at this point; but one thing for sure that Kyouko is in a deeper sh*t than she thought and that Gotou is not a sane guy. Things pretty much set up for the match between those two (poor Smith-san) and I know everyone is pretty hyped up for that moments to come. Well, you better be.

The episode ends with the warmness moments inside the Kawamoto’s house and the show again handles those scenes with styles. Rei now aware that he feels at home in that house but in order to keep forward, he has to step out and walks on his own two feet. The moment when Rei hold Momo tight gets me every time for how emotionally honest it feels. This episode by far is the most tonal inconsistency the show had to encounter so far, but by focusing squarely on Rei’s feeling, those uneven in tones actually become an asset to underline the highs and lows of Rei’s current life; as a result this episode is one of the richest 3-gatsu no Lion had ever pulled off.

Posted on 25 December 2016 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

Christmas and New Year are on its way so it is very appropriate that we have a warm, sweet episode from 3-gatsu no Lion. After missing in action for the last few weeks, the Kawamoto sisters are back and they truly are a breath of fresh air from the heaviness of last week. While last week was about negative feelings Rei had to embrace and let it all out, this week was about positive feelings that Rei has to realize and share with those he loved. Being bed-ridden for few days without any food, medicine and cut off from the outside world, Rei absorbs on his own sickness that he doesn’t realize that there are still people around who care about his wellbeing. Akari brushes him off on “living on my own” feel so true that it makes him understand about his own thoughtlessness. As much as he always sees the line that separate him and his adoptive father, the father treats him like his own child and genuinely cares about him. The same goes with the Kawamoto sisters and that last scene of the new year eve is so heartfelt and emotional that I can’t help but feel truly sad for those characters. Trying to cope with your pain and loneliness takes a lifetime, so sharing those happy little moments together with the ones you care for is a step forward that both the sisters and Rei ultimately need to embrace. There’s sadness linger in every corner of this show.

This is the first time that the Kawamoto’s father is mentioned, albeit very briefly. Exactly what happened to him is rather vague right now, but judging from the way the sisters avoided to talk about him, I’d assume he runaways from home. Elope with another woman maybe. Also in this episode Rei has 2 dreams which are actually relevant to his mind state right now. The first dream of him going up in long escalator without a way back signifies the shogi path, and in larger extend, the life he’s taking right now. As of now he’s considering shogi as his life (the only life he has actually), and as the dream further reveals, it’s a long, lonely way up top and when he gets to the top, there is no turning back. The second dream is about his memory way back from his youth, as his sister and him got scolded by their Mom for putting up stickers on her table. As he soon realizes, he feels this Kawamoto sister’s house like his home, even though he just knew them for a short period of time. Finding the place where you belong is never easy, finding a place where you could call home is much harder. It’s still a progression from Rei as he recognizes the warm feeling he has and bit by bit he can consider the sisters as his family.

This episode also addresses quite sensitively about Akira’s own life. What is better  for her? Taking care of the house, doing house works all day; day by day the same process until she’s worn out? Is this occasionally dressing up to work on a bar to assist her aunt’s pub good for herself? As the fella who really care about woman’s life and issues, this surely piqued my interest. Akira has always been a responsible type so it’s no question that she will commit herself to fulfill mother’s role, at least at this stage. Personally I’d argue that this is not the best for her life, sometimes you should be a little selfish and do what you want to do, but leaving those kids and an old man behind is ruthless as well. She’s in a situation where she has no other choice but to commit to it, but the way she gives it her full without even have time to consider her own feeling or her own dream made me want to hug her so bad. This is again a very subtle character’s writing from Umino Chica. This work feels like a heart and soul of her. Halfway marks and I would say two of the show’s best strengths are the sharp and sensitive in its character’s writing, and the creative, thoughtful visual that really dig deep inside Rei’s depression by Shaft that we witnessed last week. That’s a great combination if you ask me and I personally don’t mind to follow Rei’s depressing mindscape for another season. Merry Christmas everyone!

Posted on 19 December 2016 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

The lion is roaring loud this week, both figuratively as the show comes back strong after an unremarkable episode last week, and narratively as this is the first time we see Rei breaks down and screams out loud. I have always enjoyed Shaft’s deliberate pacing for this show, not only because the material is slow-burn in nature, but this pacing really demands us not to look away from the Rei’s raw emotions. Whenever he’s alone, he is in deep, dark and depressing thoughts that if the show rushes over those inner feelings, those emotions can become lousy. Even when Shaft decides to take extra time focus on “nothing happened” sequences like Rei riding train or the match of him and Mr. Yasui; which you can easily tell that part wasn’t in the manga (beautiful score by the way); they nail the mood so right that we can feel the feeling Rei has going to the match. While the way Shaft sometimes focus on quick cuts of extreme close-up shots is somewhat questionable, the pacing is one of those parts that Shaft actually improves on its source material. I’m quite satisfied knowing that the show is in good hands.

Man, that looks from those kids really kill me. For those kids at that time shogi means acceptance from their father so it’s very understandable that those kids were hurt. You can blame the father for being so insensitive but I can understand his point of view. Usually the parent only wishes for one of their child to follow their footstep, and out of the three children obviously Rei fits the bill the most. That’s also the reason he wanted Kyouko to quit shogi. After all, there are many other things outside of shogi they can try out and be good at, right? He certainly undermined the feeling of his own children but I wouldn’t blame him for that. Speaking of Kyouko, she backs again too soon this week to gives Rei another hell. Her own ambiguous relationship towards Rei is one of the show’s rawest and most complicated one. I take that there are two things from Rei that she despites him the most: the fact the he became a member of her family (“you took someone else’s father”. Man, that’s harsh) and his shogi, so when it comes to those two things, she’s as dangerous as a snake and willing to hurt Rei because his very presence hurt her. The hatred becomes too deep that she abused him when they were living together. But I also sense as she growing up now she grows to care for Rei, although just a little bit. After all, many of her little actions suggests that: she fixes the scarf for Rei and came to his apartment to check on his well-being. It seems like her real intention for her venomous talk is not for Rei to lose (she knows Rei’s talent too well), but for Rei to feel guilty if he wins. Every step he walks forward to the path of shogi, she makes sure that Rei FEELS the bones and fleshes of those sacrifices that paved up the path.

The story this week is about Mr. Yasui, who normally a modest guy but when he loses he goes berserk. Unlike the happy ending last week, this time Rei could not improve the situation: it’s his last Christmas with his daughter, but if he loses it mean he’d be in bad mood and really Rei had nothing to do about it. It’s interesting to see Mr. Yasui’s personality through the shogi play, as at first he was composed because he didn’t want to lose, but with one mistake he basically gave up the game. Things never work out the way we want and I’m glad that there is no happy ending for this episode. Actually, when I think back of last episode, the outcome of Mr. Maysunaga makes the result of this week even more impactful. Rei can’t make people happy all the time, and playing great shogi certainly isn’t his crimes. I hope we know about the conclusion of Yasui’s daughter but really even want to know that mean the story already affects me emotionally.

Again, Rei suffers through a hell lot this week. That twisted relationship between him and Ryouko isn’t one-sided after all. He’s all too aware that those words would pierce through his heart but he can’t help but wanting to listen to these. He tries to do something different but those words come back to haunt him, moreover when the consequence plays out exactly like he fears, he feels like he’s a beast who eat up everything in its way. He looks at that hand, the hand of a death god who take away happiness from others, until he can’t take it anymore and explodes. The final sequence is one of the highlight moments not only for this episode, but for the whole season so far. What he screaming might not as relevant to his nature, but the fact alone that he expresses his emotions out loud is something we don’t see very often. He might feel down now and collapse out of sorrow, but one of the best quality that human have is the ability to stand up and walk again after falling down. That I can look forward to.

Posted on 12 December 2016 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

“The calm mind is the way”

It becomes true to both Rei and our old man Matsunaga this week, since their minds are totally tangled with so many unnecessary thoughts and feelings. In more than one way, Mr. Matsunaga is a stark contrast to Rei. While Rei is a young shogi prodigy who become a professional a bit too early, he’s the old man who still hanging on that shogi rope for a bit too long. Rei respects him for spending 40 years dedicated to shogi, whereas the man envies him for being too bright. A rising star vs. a faded star.

And they both have their issues before the match as well: Rei is occupied by the poisonous words from Kyouko: “strangle the old dog”. That first long, uncomfortable sequence of Rei standing on the train, together with frantic close up cuts are really spot on, that what Shaft does best of course but this is one of the rare times that their own style fit perfectly to the material of 3-gatsu. Mr. Matsunaga feels exactly the same way, and of course doesn’t feel really good about that. Well, I came to this episode expecting a tense and emotional match between those two, as a result I didn’t prepare myself for the silly, upbeat beat the old man behaves throughout this episode.

The older you get, the more childish you behave. This is true with Mr. Matsunaga here, as the show frames his behaviors as nothing more than those of a child. All his actions: his silly praying, his clumsy behaviors, his random shogi strategies, his bad manner when losing, his often-contradicted statements; all show his immature (or should I say: over-mature) side of him. The randomness of his shogi surely gives Rei a hard time, for how can you beat a person who you can’t figure out their motives? That gives the match a much more lousy and silly tones than you would normally have expected from any professional shogi match. (Thank goodness there were no jokes about the old man’s bad back, that joke is just… painful and insensitive. But we have him falling down instead. Ouch!)

But consider this, I used to play in competitive level sport before so I know this well: when is the time that you know your time in the sport has come? It is when you don’t have a drive to win anymore. Mr. Matsunaga knows this well, and he’s prepared himself for that moments to come. I love the moment he describes Rei as a “beautiful death god”, it’s just amazing how impressions often work in accordance with our own inner psyche. Except that just like facing with death itself, the closer that moment approaches, the more desperate you want to keep hanging on. His feelings are totally legitimate here, that makes him still feel like an actual human despite his often over-childish behaviors. So comes to my next point, is it really a good option for Rei to encourage Mr. Matsunaga to continue on shogi? As I said earlier I don’t think so, especially the old man even admits one of the reasons he doesn’t want to quit is because of the housework at home. This guy needs a good spanking in a butt.

Kyouko remains a force to be reckon with, as she knows exactly how to hurt Rei. Her calling to Rei to “comfort” his feeling is nothing but abuse his mind but this time only her plan backfires. It’s more about understanding other people, Rei is now more willing to trust and shares feelings with others and this is one step up from the former-Rei. I agree this episode is a minor episode for 3-gatsu, it doesn’t add much in the big picture and especially a let down from last week’s standout episode but it still does its job. Still the show remains incredibly sensitive when it comes to character’s drama so even with a lesser episode like this one, the characters still shines bright.

Anonymous1639541:
CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

Welcome to week 10 of Mahoutsukai! Finally, oh so finally, we have are given some backstory on Elias! Our mysterious male(?) lead gets some explanation. We also get the start of a Chise only arc and finally some more information on Lindel. Lets jump in! As the main focus of this weeks episode, naturally I […]

Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

DIes Irae isn’t making this easy for the anime only watcher, as we get confused montages of Lisa’s backstory and oddly of a character whose relevance doesn’t come till a much later date. I would say it’s rather spoiler-ish if the info wasn’t presented in such a haphazard way that no one could really decode […]

Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

Girls’ Last Tour examines the concept of time and space this week, as the girls riding on a lonely moving train. The train design fits right in with this world: a long metal box that functions all by itself and contains many now-dysfunctional robots – corpses of the machines. Since last week we learnt that […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 10[Kind Country]

Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

Latest Reviews

The Reflection Review – 45/100

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

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

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

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

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

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

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

Princess Principal (Summer 2017) Review – 82/100

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

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul Review 80/100

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

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

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

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

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

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

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