Posted on 1 April 2013 with categories: AKB0048, Anime Reviews



The first season of AKB0048 was a big surprise for me for taking such a silly premise, and actually creating something good out of it. Here is the second season, and was it as good as the first? Nah. Still, it’s worth watching if you watched the first season.

The direction for the sequel is slightly different from the first. The first had a lot of fun with criticizing the idol business next to telling its story, showing its darker sides. The second season takes this the other way around, by celebrating it instead. everything here is glorified, instead of played down. It’s got an interesting effect, and it is great to see these two sides of the coin together. But standalone it does miss something.

Mostly because I find idols to be incredibly cheesy, and this series just goes all out in glorifying them (like, what I was afraid of that the first season would be). That’s a bit of a bummer, because it does make the series a lot less interesting in terms of its plot.

So it was up to the characters and the music to save the day! They did partially. There is a lot of good character-development in this sequel, and the rather large cast has a lot of moments for even the side characters to show off themselves. The series has a really large cast, and unfortunately it does look like a bit of a mess because of it, but the advantage of this is that this series can come from out of nowhere to deliver something heartfelt and genuine.

The disadvantage of such a messy cast of characters is that some characters just don’t work. For variety’s sake this does not have to be such a big problem, but it kind of is when one of those characters is the main character. She never really knows what her role is in this series until it gets forced upon her in an entirely non-subtle way.
One-Sentence Review: AKB0048’s sequel is not as good or interesting as the first season, but it’s still quite an entertaining, albeit messy, animated musical.
Suggestions:
Macross Frontier
Simoun
Mouretsu Pirates

Posted on with categories: AKB0048

So, the finale for AKB0048. I’m going to combine these final four episodes in one entry.

Episode 23… did not start out well. I have no idea what happened here, but this episode felt really weird in which the characters suddenly detoured in this weird mushroom world for no reason other than to stall time. And I can understand building up for the finale, but when the characters randomly started singing with these weird creatures I can only imagine Shoji Kawamori poking his nose into the script here demanding some Macross references or something.

Things got much better in episode 24 which surprisingly focused on the fathers of Nagisa and Chieri. That had a surprising amount of depth to it, especially from Nagisa’s father, and I really liked that. The creators also with this dropped the whole Chieri’s father being evil-subplot, so I’m glad that the creators did not intend that as the eventual climax.

What they did intend as the climax became clear with episode 25, as people started diving into the other world: the AKB48 Theater. It really does symbolize well how this series has changed. The first season of AKB was all about criticizing the idol business. The second season however, is about celebrating it and all of its weirdness. The way in which it showed where AKB started was a really big hint to that for me. Personally I like the first season over the second because of that. But this was not bad either. There is plenty to like in the second season, just not as much. I mean I quite liked how the people from Akibastar changed as well with Des getting more on the foreground again.

Episode 26 had something to live up to, because my favorite episode so far was the final episode of the first season. So did the second season live up to that? Well, it spelled out its message a bit too literally. “Please don’t hate entertainment.” That message alone would have been incredibly cheesy out of context, unfortunately. Within context, I can see what they’re getting from, but I do feel that it lacks substance compared to the first season.

I also feel that Nagisa becoming a successor…. came a bit from out of nowhere. Suddenly they’re like “oh, here she is now!” It’s too sudden and forced for someone who used to be unable to do anything for a very long time. The ending was cheesy, though I did enjoy the part where Chieri just dived into that spaceship as if it was nothing, to tell everyone to stop fighting.

I think that this was a case of Mari Okada taking up too many series this season. AKB, Sakurasou and Zetsuen no Tempest all had endings that could have been more and lacked a bit of creativity. If she had more time then she could have done something interesting with them. With this though, she was oveworked. Ideally, she needs to work on two series at the same time, and no more. She has shown that she’s able to handle those and deliver some really great things. Three is too much though…
Rating: 4/8 (Enjoyable)

Posted on 10 March 2013 with categories: AKB0048

I’ve often noticed that series can get a bit boring when they tend to get more epic. I think that that’s what happened to me for AKB0048. The biggest reason is that it started off so original and different, but there are only so many ways in which you can deliver an epic action scene. Also, these two episodes did not have what originally made me like AKB0048 so much: the way in which it had such a critical eye for the idol business. I originally thought that this would not matter, but its absence does show in these two episodes..

I did like how the focus on this episode went to the center novas, and what happened to them, especially the photographer who went over to the dark side in order to attempt to get the best friend back, not to mention the way in which the Yuuko just blew up with her performance. That’s the kind of change that I did appreciate. The character development for the good guys in this episode was good.

DES though… are pretty lame villains. They are the kind of villains who are willing to destroy entire cities for the sake of progression. On its own not really bad, but we’ve seen these villains so many times before. They’re not fleshed out in the slightest. There’s nothing that makes them stand out, there’s no depth to them. That’s not really the best group of antagonists to feel sorry for.
Rating: 4,5/8 (Good)

Posted on 23 February 2013 with categories: AKB0048

In an attempt to catch up I’m going to combine two episodes in one for this one. But really: the only reason why I’m slow with this is my schedule. This really was a major episode for the characters. And not just one of them, but a whole bunch.

For a long while I kept wondering why Nagisa was the main character. This episode she got her chance, and she showed that it would be for her stupidity. She’s the only one stupid enough to suddenly make such a giant declaration when everyone is trying to be perfect. An incident that is bound to be able to get some publicity since the rules of AKB can be so strict sometimes. And yet she tries so hard. Cutting off one’s hair is a gret symbol for character-development.

And then there is Mimori, and I now see what the creators were trying to do with her. She grew from a walking boob joke to someone really interesting to follow in the way that she continues to grow, but in the end sacrificed too much, taking her body into neglect.

Kanata and Shiori meanwhile finally had a little moment together again in order to develop their relationship, and in particular the problem that Kanata still has not become a successor. Then there is the talk of the new Center Nova, who Hikari and Shiori are working towards becoming. It’s still build-up at this point, but the characters do a great job of showing why it’s so important for them.

And I think that is the strength of this second season. Like I expected, the focus is less on criticizing the idol business (it’s still there, though), but more on the characters. And so far, it has really succeeded in bringing out the emotions of all of the new characters. The huge case makes sure that it can keep switching between all of them and their stories. And it’s doing a pretty good job of developing them all. It’s the thing with series with a huge cast: you can’t have characters that are as well developed as with series with a small cast. The trick is the big picture: give everyone attention, and make the cast come alive. Highlight a few characters as the main characters, but don’t excessively focus on them at the expense of others. AKB does that pretty well.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 3 February 2013 with categories: AKB0048

Once while zapping, in a lazy mood, I saw one of those model talent hunt shows which required its models to bungee jump. I can only imagine that this episode meant to poke fun at that completely silly and pointless practice with the end of this episode, otherwise I cannot fathom the bizarre set-up of having a gigantic hole with at the bottom a giant power-off switch. Nor why DES mechanics have a wide availability of bungee jump cords available… or perhaps…

What’s interesting is that this episode revealed this series to be one giant joke. Des has been profiting from AKB0048 just as well, and it’s using its entertainment ban and offensive actions to make huge amounts of cash, not to mention that apparently they’re very interested in Kiraras. Because of that, this it explains why they never really were able to take out AKB0048: because they never tried. The question now remains how much of this show ended up scripted. Knowing Mari Okada… yeah.

In the meantime, more character-development, this time for the useless one. It showed that yeah, being useless also has its charm, especially when something pays off. The character-development for the rest of the cast also showed because of this: they were able to goow up and become more dependable. I mean just look at them: they just ran in and grabbed a bunch of machine guns and started shooting stuff… yeah. It’s not like my suspense of disbelief was still in one piece for this series. I do appreciate however that they completely failed at driving a mecha. In the context of that scene it worked well. They didn’t need to drive it accurately, it just needed to make a big mess. Which it did. DES probably left the keys in on purpose or something…
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on with categories: AKB0048

Now this was a tear-fest! An entire episode dedicated to the general elections. There were just so many heightened emotions as everyone got announced and had to make an acceptance speech. The creators stuffed in as much emotion as possible here. That’s the advantage of having a big cast: you really can pull off episodes like this and make it very interesting to watch. With a main cast of five people this would never have been possible.

Chieri was probably the only one who went a little over the top. It’s okay with being over the top, and I know that she was very emotionally distressed there, but to have her make the speech as if she were having an orgasm… that’s not really the right way to do it. The point that the creators wanted to make with her: that she accepted her own position for the sake of standing in the spotlights despite feeling bad about it. It would have worked so much better with a bit more subtlety on it.

Beyond that though, this really had the amount of happiness and emotion. The main characters who really were glad to have made it rocked (number one and number two, after all of the build up together worked really well). But also the small scenes with some of the minor characters worked. Characters who may in the past have had only a few moments were developed here. Everyone acted so differently here, a great way to flesh them out.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 25 January 2013 with categories: AKB0048

I hate, hate, hate CG dance sequences. Every single time they’re done, they look incredibly fake and out of place. But even that I can’t fault AKB0048, becaus its CG dance sequences are the best I’ve ever seen. Don’t get me wrong, they still stand out. But they’re kept short and concise, and the dance choreography is actually worth something.

Setting that aside, I still have no clue why this show manages to move me so. I mean, I am a fan of this series and all, but still I loved the end of the episode even thoughit was just the general election for the characters, preceeded by another performance for the idols.

Also, as for the walking boob joke. I have no idea whehter the creators heard me or something, but she showed a totally different and actually quite inspiring side of her in this episode. Heck, I really loved the climax when it was her who got to stand in the spotlights, instead of Chieri or Nagisa. In fact, both of them really had interesting roles in this episode: Nagisa still is in her underdog position, with no signs yet of moving out of it. Chieri meanwhile got to find out first-hand what it feels like to become popular, just because you’ve got influential connections. They’re still there: the subtle bites at the fans of the idols.

By the way, this series also sees its EDs as an extension of the series. The ending of this episode was wonderful because of how the ED extended the big surprise that preceeded it, instead of continuing with the usual ED. This is something that is easy to do, yet most series are too rigid for it. It’s a sign of good production and people using their heads there.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 14 January 2013 with categories: AKB0048

Now that we’ve got the obligatory string of first episodes out of the way, it’s time to focus on what really matters this season. I still say that the Winter of 2013 sucks, because in terms of original content there is very little that stands out, not to mention the lack of variety. In the end, for anime to move forward, this is the most important for a season overall, otherwise we’ll just get stuck in a string of endless sequels.

Nevertheless, there is a lot of great stuff in store the upcoming three months: the amount of sequels and continuing series that will all stand out on their own way is amazing here. It’s been a while since I’ve seen so many of them at the same time that managed to impress me like this. And this is series that all deserve their length they need to become even better, rather than being just some corporate sell-out. That’s the theme between the 10 series I’m blogging this season anyway: no pointless padding!

Anyway, AKB. This time we’re introduced to the the absolute horror. The thing that’s even worse than watching a bunch of idols: VARIETY TV! I really hate those kinds of shows. In the Netherlands they are already utter crap, but I can only imagine how boring they must be with Japan’s standards. So yeah, when this show started to poke fun at them inbetween the lines, it did make my day. First the characters being utter crap at it, and afterwards them succeeding by doing what? Having fun at dodgeball and losing their clothes? Speaking of which, Mimori has turned even more into a walking boob joke. Go fix that in the upcoming episodes.

Inbetween the promotional activities, there also was this plot going on. Most important twists here revolved around Chieri, and how she suddenly became incredibly popular after last week. And yeah, the reason behind this was pretty much her backstory: she made the news, on top of being a famous daugher. Because of that she caught the attention of a lot of people. Her speech did the rest. The question now is what her father is planning: he’s obviously trying to use her popularity now, but what for?
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 6 January 2013 with categories: AKB0048, Some Quick First Impressions

Minami-Ke Tadaima

Short Synopsis: Our lead characters are three sisters living together.
I watch Minami-ke really if I have nothing better to do: it’s not bad or anything, but the pacing is a bit too slow for me to actively watch it if I have other stuff to do. Having said that though, this episode did make me laugh. It’s got the type of humour that tries to be funny by being annoying: the entire episode was basically Kana (one of the three sister) being an ass towards everyone. And that did lead to some funny moments. There were other parts that were formulaic, though. For example, for some reason the creators found it a good idea to have these chibi-shorts in between the different sketches here that are just unfunny and just serve to turn the characters into caricatures of themselves. We’ll see. It’s not like there’s much competition this season.
OP: Dull and generic.
ED: Again dull and generic
Potential: 60%

Haitai Nanafa

Short Synopsis: Our lead character finds a magical girl from a tree.
Three minute moe shows again! Alert! This is even a remnant of past seasons that took forever to get released. I have no idea why. Out of all the 3-minute moe shows though, this one is the best, because it actually impressed me with something: it’s got eye candy! I really did not expect that, but this show’s art design looks really good actually, something that I really did not expect. The rest though…. it’s about a bunch of magical girls. This was just the introduction but its comedic timing felt flawed (bad build-up). It was nothing special, but heck: people actually spent some effort into this one so I guess it’s at least something and I guess it was charming… enough.
ED: Way too long, but again quite pretty.
Potential: 60%

AKB0048 Next Stage

Short Synopsis: Our lead characters are idols who fight in guerrilla concert against an evil government.
Hell yeah, one of the two bright lights of this season has finally aired. The gorgeous visuals along with the well produced songs are as addictive as ever, making this a really enjoyable animated musical. The characters themselves set themselves apart by being so energetic and expressive, so that even the pointless fanservice felt charming, rather than annoying. This episode served as the set-up for the second season, really: it gave a face to some parties that were previously just mentioned and it changed the way in which the idols are selected from some random force to viewer-based voting. I wonder how far it will go with this, actually: there are so many dodgy sides about this, and I hope that the creators get the freedom again to address this. This episode already started by hinting at how competitive it can be, but it needs to do more. But there are plenty of episodes left to do this. The villains, the people from DES, remain a bunch of idiots, though.
ED: Visually boring (recap), but a good song, and well used with the climax of the episode.
Potential: 85%

Posted on 23 July 2012 with categories: AKB0048, Anime Reviews



So, AKB was a series that not many people seemed to like, so with this review I’ll try my hardest to explain why it managed to win me over. And let me get one thing straight: it’s not like I’m some sort of idol fanboy. In fact, I hate the idol business. I really dislike J-Pop as a music genre. And I’m really not a fan of abusing moe and cute girls to pander to an audience. So yes: how on earth did this show manage to win me over?

For the people who aren’t familiar at all with AKB0048: AKB48 is an idol group, consisting out of a huge amount of teenaged girls who sing songs and do other cute things. This series is meant to promote them: the main characters are all played by various members, most of whom have no voice acting experience, and the plot is about a world in which music has been outlawed and the girls run around and perform guerilla concerts as a sort of resistance. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Yeah, but here is the thing: the two main creators, the chief director and the main writer, are two of the biggest trolls around in the anime business: Shoji Kawamori and Mari Okada. And they were given a lot of freedom. I still don’t know who found that a good idea, but bless this person.

Now, to fully appreciate this series, you’re going to have to need to read inbetween the lines a bit. It’s indeed true that we have a bunch of idols who sing and fight evil enemy soldiers at the same time. But at the same time this series does some really surprising things as a show that’s meant to be a promotion of an idol group. I mean, usually these things are incredibly cheap and superfluous: cartoonified members of the group go on random adventures and try to be as cute or cool as possible. AKB0048 however, completely throws these conventions out of the window and starts to focus on the uglier sides of being an idol; how unfair the business can be sometimes, how hard it forces teenaged girls to work and how it forces some dangerous mindsets on them. This series, on one half is indeed cute girls doing cute things, but that other half is really dark to balance all of that out, with some really cynical messages at times.

Beyond that, this show also is just very well executed. The thing with this show is that nearly all voice actresses are completely new, so they don’t have a stereotype that they all try to fit in like what you’d have if people like Kugimiya Rie were cast and all. There are a lot of characters in this show, but none are unlikable or try to force their cuteness down the viewer’s throats. They’re all well-developed and all have engaging issues that actually differ quite a bit. Beyond that there is excellent animation and musical numbers: the performances in this series really work and its use of music is really excellent.

Having said all that though, the overall storyline of this show IS completely silly. The people who outlawed entertainment are nothing more than shallow villains, and somehow they keep getting beaten by a bunch of little girls despite being in armored tanks and mechas. For as much attention this series gives to entertainment and idols, so little it spends on the actual bad guys of this series. That really is the biggest weakness of this series: at times it will be really, really hard to maintain your suspense of disbelief. The sign whether you’ll like this show or not is probably at episode number two: if at that point the characters don’t interest you, then you’ll have a very hard time with this. That episode however does have the power to really capture its audience though, so if you’re interested in this series, do give it a chance and don’t be put off by the whole premise… too much.

Storytelling: 7,5/10 – An excellent animated musical, but the action scenes make no sense!
Characters: 8,5/10 – Large cast with actually likable characters, rather than characters who put too much emphasis on moe stereotypes. They actually got a balance here.
Production-Values: 8,5/10 – Eye candy! Great use of music and songs.
Setting: 8,5/10 – A very cynical and interesting look at idols that you would not expect from a show that’s meant to promote idols.

Suggestions:
Aquarion Evol
Macross Frontier
– Nerima Daikon Brothers

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
*kind of
Kaiser-Eoghan
While its very much in the shadow of the first and the protaganist started out kind annoying, I kind of got caught up in the spectacle and sentimentality of gunbuster 2.
KTravlos
Urasawa is preparing a new manga
KTravlos
yes the episode where Julian watched the documentary was fun. The Caligula like character comes from one of the lesser episodes of the series, when Kircheis beats up some rebelling third rate noble in the Empire.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Goddammit, fail, it just changed the colour of the login name...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I declare in the red truth that the next anime I shall watch is Diebuster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From what little I saw, I remember a Caligula like character in one episode.
Anonymous1409409
I remember there's an episode where Julian just goes on Space Netflix and just watches a documentary. I actually liked that lol
KTravlos
yup, a LOGH that run like the Altair anime would be bad. It needs to show the sweep of history
AidanAK47
@Anon, I actually liked that aspect. It made the history of the world feel real.
Anonymous1409027
It's compressible, as there are many episodes of buildup, but that's where so many of the interesting details and depth of planning become evident. Some of those episodes read like a history textbook though, so we'll see how the new adaptation handles them,
Anonymous1409027
*pleasantly
KTravlos
Tytania was ok.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the Amakusa Shiro reference in the fate review, I've seen a film about him from the 50s , theres also an old josei manga where the protagonist ends up becoming essentially regarded as him.
KTravlos
Hi Kaiser. Supposedly this is a re-imagining of the original story. Thus independent of the OVAs (old serieis). What exactly re-imagining means is something I and you do not know. We shall see. But it does mean that you do not need to watch the old series to enjoy this one. The OVA was definetly more expansive than the novels. So my guess is they will stick to the novels.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's another anime, called Tytania based on his novels but I haven't seen that series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As in condensable in the way nothing much is lost? I assume there are fillers in the original?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm indifferent to the aesthetics of the new version. What I'm hoping for is that it will be accessible to newcomers and that I'll be able to jump on to the old series where the new one leaves off. I've seen very little of the original and it was a long time ago, is there any way the story is condensable?
KTravlos
The fact that they stayed away from the disgusting new manga is great. I am not too keen on the CGI ships, but they also did not rankle. It looks like it will honor the spirit of the old series, and I cannot ask for more. I am a massive LOGH fan. And the new video out gives me hope of revisiting one of the greatest sci-fi/historical settings out there. I am happy.
AidanAK47
I hope they are using the old anime as a base and not the new Manga adaption. As that Manga adaption is seriously lacking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I like that they blinged up the space battles which is good because those things could get tiresome. But I really hate the design of Yang Wenli. They made him look so much younger and bishi. I don't think i could take this guy seriously if he started one of Wenli's signature hypothesis.
Anonymous1408919
Thoughts on that new LOGH PV? My expectations were low, so I'm presently surprised. Obviously they made everybody pretty boys, and Mamoro Miyano is voicing Reinhard I believe. But art and animation actually looks pretty decent overall. It's a PV, and LOGH's best quality is it's story and characters, so we'll have to see if they remain faithful or not. But it's nice to see it get a visual overhaul.
AidanAK47
By the way this site has the first chapters but check the other versions to find them.
http://mangapark.me/manga/tsurezure-children-wakabayashi-toshiya
AidanAK47
@Mario, Indeed. It's also a pity that over half the couples in the manga were not featured. We only got a small taste of Patricia.
SuperMario
Or maybe I'll try to read the manga. The last time I checked it online, the site doesn't have its first few chapters
SuperMario
@Aidan: man, Tsurezure Children sure is sweet. Really sad to see it ends
AidanAK47
So that's the end of Tsurezure Children.
....I'm gonna need a second season. Now.
....NOW GODDAMNIT! NOW!
KTravlos
As I said I understand the criticisms to RE:Creator, but ultimately I enjoyed most of the show. It could had been better, and it is a missed chance. But I have seen worse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I gave up halfway through, there weren't even enough action scenes and those that were didn't justify waiting around for.
AidanAK47
Could have at least delivered on the action but that was rendered pointless due to the majority of the cast turning good and Altair being a complete cheat character.
AidanAK47
It would have been really fun to see characters discuss their stories with their creators or indulge in what our world has to offer but they really glossed over that part.
AidanAK47
It really should have gone deeper into the whole meta aspect introducing anime characters to the real world. Like they did with Mamika's powers being ridiculously destructive when outside a kid friendly setting.
AidanAK47
@Puran, I at least like the message of the final episode. But as for the show itself it was just missed potential on a lot of levels. I wanted Anime Genre battle royale and instead got a secondhand Shirobako with a crap shounen anime attached.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have been forgiving of Anno as I've gotten older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also just re-watched gunbuster, I'd previously dismissed the ova after a few episodes when I was a teenager, I'd found it too slow, didn't have that issue with the 90 minute version I just finished. I've never see the sequels.
Lenlo
Ill have to finish Creators... at some point
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been dipping back into the Lupin franchise, Gold of babylon was particularly screwball, kind of ridiculous comedy caper/adventure thing you just have to run with....turns out it was directed by a live action filmaker I especially like who made bizzare noir films in the 60s.
Puran
So that explains why Meteora had so much air time in Re:Creators. It's her story....

I hated the ending and I disliked the anime overall.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was a genuine surprise to see that Assayas decided to make a film framed around hentai =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I loved how incoherent demonlover was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The criticisms I'll give wind river, is a slight inconsistent performance from Renner and that very awkwardly inserted flashback scene.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: on Wind River, I agree it's a well-executed case of the week drama, although there are some plot pregressions that I don't get (how did they find out about the man's corspe again?). About Demonlover, man, the film gives me a chill down my spine. Heartless. And a bit misogynist.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: as much as I loved Wong (yeah I too prefer him over Malick), sometimes I do think Western cinema give him too much praise that sadly overshadow other Asian directors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wong is important to me as a hong-kong filmaker, he offers something entirely different from the whole Woo/Lam Hong komg movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On a more positive note Maggie Cheung did mention that she felt her early work with Wong was when she first truly became a proper actress.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I had no idea he had such a sad background.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*investigation drama
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that film also marked/ signified a rather sad period of Hongkong showbiz. Leslie Cheung badically lived the live of the protagonist and commited suicide in 1997. His girlfriend on screen, during the filming, was kidnaped, raped and taken topless picture. The damnest thing is that everyone knowed the culprit but did nothing, and in the press it was just deemed as "kipnapped and assaulted"
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wind river was a big surprise for me, just goes to show that with the right execution an ordinary police drama movie can be elevated higher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thats the interesting thing, tracking a directors career.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just binge watched the new dominion tank police ovas , admittedly these are kind of reptitive and extremely silly but its hard to hate on something so shamelessly fun that made me feel like a child again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you said it there. DoBW is rather raw and unpolished but that's one of the reason why I am drawn to it more compare to his other works.
AidanAK47
In all honesty, it would be nice to finally see a continuation after fusion as all games after that have just been adding chapters in-between.
Vonter
Finally I wonder, if Metroid Prime 4 will definitely branch out of the main Metroid's continuity. It's curious how an interquel subseries is still going to add things in between the first and the second entries in the main franchise.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - I think is nice we can see both takes. Especially since neither one despite a few qualms are still very solid entries for this franchise. I just hope Metroid moves forward, as IMO this is the only game that really needed a facelift do to the heavy limitations of the gameboy. And I hope the secret gallery at the end is teasing how the producer plans to move the plot forward.
AidanAK47
I thought it might be like that but it's good to know they are at least on a close level. I didn't really want Samus Returns to replace AM2R as the "Definitive" version of Metroid 2. Mostly because a lot of love was put into AM2R andit came at a point when it felt Nintendo didn't give a crap about Metroid.
Vonter
Like Zero Mission there's something added to Samus Returns but I'll just leave it at that.
Vonter
I think both have strong points. Samus Returns have better boss battles, gameplay mechanics and more intense action pieces. AM2R IMO has more atmosphere, takes advantage of elements Nintendo don't even try like the Federation subplot, and the ending portion narratively has more heart in AM2R, while in Samus Returns it feels mostly like "the final level".
Vonter
I also did got lost a couple of times in Samus Returns and aside from the big water section in AM2R, the latter is more linear game.
Vonter
I think the controls in Samus Returns bring more to the table though. The 360 aiming makes for better ways to shoot enemies and some of the bosses take advantage of that. If it weren't for the 3DS giving hand cramps because you're holding L and R at several points it'll be completely the most ideal way to play.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - AM2R is very good, I think it has the advantage that because it uses sprites IMO backgrounds and enemies are more vibrant and easier to appreciate. The Federation soldiers are better executed in AM2R and that secret section with the ship is very eery.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, How does it stack up to AM2R? I bought it and am still waiting on it to be delivered but I have the feeling that AM2R would be the better game when comparing.
Vonter
I took me 12 hours to 100% and I've heard the best ending is beating it in less than 4 hours. I think unlike Zero Mission item percentage don't matter, it's mainly to unlock an art gallery.
Vonter
My main criticism is this being a 3DS game. Small enemies can be hard to see or appreciate. And I think the 3DS wasn't made for heavy action packed games like this or Smash Bros. I got the rubber from the circle pad come off in two occasions. Also unless there was something big in the background, several areas felt lacking in detail. Still Samus and the bosses look good.
Vonter
In terms of difficulty, the game has the enemies packing more damage than in other 2D Metroids. Is difficult in the sense than you can't tank damage as in other iterations, you have to be aware of enemy behavior and bosses mainly get easier do to familiarizing with their patterns, since I did die a lot each time I faced a new boss. And got used to kill them faster as I went along.
Vonter
Ok, so I beat Samus Returns. It's quite good. Unlike Fusion that had dialogue at midst the gameplay. Samus Returns only has a prologue of exposition and any cutscenes mainly accentuate the reactions of Samus confronting a new enemy. The level design is dense, despite having isolated areas like in Fusion and the original Samus Returns, each area is very mazelike.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: =< Awww I kind of like demonlover actually despite all its flaws, it had great sound design and had this cold, clinical, un-nerving mood to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Days of being wild does feel a bit un-realized/un-polished/rough compared to his other work definitely but its probably the rawest I've seen from him and that has its appeal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Haven't seen farewell my concubine come to think of it. Regarding the scifi element I felt I embraced it more further into the film when it started to intermingle more.
While I am more forgiving toward Malick's recent films than most, that decline in quality means I have to pick Wong.
KTravlos
by the way in RE:Creators we probably will be getting a future series focusing on the hunt for Magane :p Meteora probably playing the role of detective. I also bet her novel will be wordy and heavy in exposition :p
KTravlos
i.e his end game might had been a cross-species revolution against him anyway. We will see
KTravlos
In Bahamut Chris proves to not be totally evil, but he is totally crazy. That said I am seeing one of my hunches getting supported, the hunch was that his cruelty towards daemons was with the purpose of bringing them down enough that they would be willing to work with humans as euals (As they are in Jean's army) and thus via that create a more unified world. I
KTravlos
RE: Creators has come to its end. I know the problems everyone has with it, and while it failed to raise to the level of exceptional show, I loved it. As I said, it had been years since a show kept me so excited episode after episode. They blew it at some point, but ultimately for me this is an en-joyful show, and one I would happily binge watch in the future again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: question for you though, between these two directors, which one do you prefer: Wong Kar-Wai or Terrance Malick?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you enjoyed both 2046 and In the Mood for Love, by all mean check out Days of Being Wild. The trio forms a loose trilogy and Days of Being Wild was the first film that Wong began his unique unconventional style. It's one of my personal favorite of Wong and it's a chance for you to watch the late Leslie Cheung acted (you might watch him already in Farewell My Concubine)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: 2046 is indeed a passionate film, and one of his best looking film. He tried something different in 2046 too, experimented with scifi (one of the best part in the film for me)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's stritcly Wong Kar Wai's romance we're talking about, since I don't find the rest of Chinese take on romance that interesting. Romance or melodrama is one of his main theme throughout his career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was slightly overly long however.
I've also seen chungking express, in the mood for love and fallen angels. I think this Chinese take on romance is really clicking with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also thought it was a very passionette film and I love how Kar-wong-wai uses the music in it. I also think its one of his best looking films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I had a look at that Chinese film 2046, very effectively melancholic take on fleeting relationships while also successfully being quite sensual while staying classy and without ever showing too much. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung are two beautiful people =P
SuperMario
for those who still want to catch up with 18if, episode 11 has a huge recap, while wrapping up the show with a new overarching plot. Hopefully they don't pull another Matrix here
SuperWooper
It's shounen-y for sure. The competitions have been my least favorite parts of the show so far. If you're still watching, you might appreciate it more once the Tenpei Cup is over.
Anonymous1399692
Damn Ballroom looks so good. But I really can't enjoy it despite that I want to. It has too many of these typical shounen moments and plot points I can't stand.
Anonymous1399684
Omae wa mou shindeiru
Lenlo
Mononoke is actually what made me find Ayakashi. Also a good show.
SuperMario
Regarding Ayakashi, I only watched the Mononoke segment
SuperMario
"It was a long, long trip, and we're coming finally to the end of the journey. Thank you, Manoyama and Chupacabra. And thank you, 5 EURO" - Sandal-san.
Lenlo
Ayakashi was great for me Kaiser. I enjoyed my time with it
Vonter212
@AidanAK47 - The hard aspect has been commented in several reviews with bosses being able to easily kill you. (Although in my experience it might be just getting a pattern). In terms of length most 2D games can be beaten under 3 hours. This one seems to clock at at least 6 to 15 if you want to collect everything. Then again, we'll see in subsequent playthroughs.
AidanAK47
`@Vonter. It's out now but I don't remember seeing anyone claim it's the longest hardest entry 2D wise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Going to watch new dominion tank police next and read violence action and Oddman 11.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It took me years to get round to it, but I finally watched Ayakashi and as expected like most anthologies, again its mixed, the first is a solid ghost story that improves after a weak start, but that third one with the cat spirit was great, really liked how experimental that looked.
Vonter
Soo a new Metroid comes out this week. It is said, it's the longest, hardest entry in regards to the 2D iterations. Still not as great as Super, and depending on your fanaticism it might or not be as good as Zero Mission.
SuperMario
But they didn't pull that scene off too well. It's just... unmemorable. In fact the whole show is very unremarkable. Now only 1 episode left I might as well finish it but I won't give it a full review
SuperMario
Koi to Uso has been disappointing so far. Episode 10 featured the sequence that i was looking forward the most in the manga: the former classmate tells the one sided crush of the main girl from her POV. For a romance that contrived and manipulated like this one, hearing this from the third person's perspective prove to be more powerful
Vonter
@HelghastKillzone - Good luck with that. I almost had my car's engine damaged since it has been raining heavily where I live. Had to ask for help the next day to pull it out of mud. Still not as bad as the other three cars that did get stuck in the water.
HelghastKillzone
Dealing with work and the total loss of my car really sucks at the moment so I'm quite tied up for this week.
KTravlos
I do agree to a point, but to be frank all the episodes of Princess Principal to date have been so solid I have a hard time deciding. Episode 5 though was still the best from a holistic point (action, direction, music etc) was the one introducing Chise
SuperMario
Agree. Dorothy has the biggest heart out of all the spy girls. Also "help" that her episodes are all melodramatic.
Amagi
This episode of PrinPrin showed again that Dorothy is the best character by far. Not just herself but her episodes as well are better written than the rest if you ask me.
KTravlos
It just hit me. The characters in Princess Principal may be very well working for IngSoc :p
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, in the seven chapters it's only really two of them that contain dark shocking content. Chapter three being the biggest one in that regard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read a comment where someone said subahibi shocked them more than saya no uta. While I haven't played it yet, I have seen some of a letsplay...it lleft me thinking....how many hours until this actually gets good/truly unhinged .
AidanAK47
After Reading SubaHibi, Made in Abyss's dark turn didn't shock me too much. Maybe I just got desensitised. I will have a review of SubaHibi hopefully up in a week though to clarify my feelings on it after just finishing it, It was interesting but disappointing.
KTravlos
well, well. Both Made in the Abyss and Virgin Soul do not hold back. Grim! RE:Creators is warping up. Comparing with these other shows I can fully appreciate the problems people have with it. But still I am glad I am sticking to the end. Altair's voice actor by the way did great.
AidanAK47
@Helghast, And Kings Field was the Demon Souls before Demon Souls came out.
KTravlos
having binge watched several of this season's shows I would say Princess Principal is the most rounded. Made in Abyss is good. Kakegurui and The Reflection as SuperMario said will depend on your tastes. There is also Shouko no Altair. You will like it if you liked Tanya Saga of Evil, or Legend of Galactic Heroes, or Arslan Senki or manga like Vinland Saga, Gunka no Baltzar, and especially Historie
Anonymous1385641
Jesus...me watching this weeks Made in Abyss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ogzsWhZcmM
HelghastKillzone
So... Demon Souls was the Dark Souls before Dark Souls came out.
SuperMario
@anon1385426: the safest bets aside from Made in Abyss are Welcome to the Ballroom and Princess Principal. Kakegurui and the Refection are for more acqurired taste
Anonymous1385426
Aside from Made in Abyss, what's the best anime this season?
Lenlo
@KT, the pacing and the framerate early on are my two biggest issues. Later on the story starts to get abit more engaging, and they start doin things I didnt expect, but the pacing is still there. Some akward pauses.
Lenlo
Look, Berserk and Dark Souls are both amazing. But I only have 3 Dark Souls games, and 38 Berserk volumes. Im clearly biased
KTravlos
I sat down and watched the first 4 episodes of The Reflection. It is an interesting attempt, and I can see the people making it having fun doing so. But I did notice a pacing issue. For some reason the episodes felt like they dragged a bit too long.
AidanAK47
Dark Souls is the Berserk of Video Games.
Amagi
Dark Souls really went all Berserk if you ask me
AidanAK47
I am not one for putting down law but can we never ever compare anything to Dark Souls ever again? Cause it's actually become really tiresome how everything is the dark souls of something.
Lenlo
No other sentence has made me want to watch Made in Abyss more
HelghastKillzone
I guess we're finally at the point where Made in Abyss goes all Dark Souls/Bloodborne.
Amagi
Apo's Jack the Ripper had at least a nice idea behind it, it's just the clothes that are a bad choice. But there are just too many lolis for the sake of fanservice in that game. I accept it if there is at least a reason for this but it's usually just random.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. I was never a fan of genderbendings and turning historical people into lolis. The first one I can accept with people like Arthuria because it added a lot to her character, but most of them are just plain and generic. I just see no reason why pirates, grown up men or Blavatsky would ever appear as little girls. Especially since popular beliefs should influence their appearance.
SuperMario
On Altair, one commenter did an excellent job of poiting out the appeal of that show; and frankly the show is wearing on me now.
SuperMario
@Travlos: I'm glad you enjoy Princess Principal. I'm quite surprised myself that in the latter half the show slowed its pace down which mean the focus is switched from action to more characters interactions; which I greatly enjoy
KTravlos
Well I binge watched Princess Principal. That is a very good show. I was surprised. Good animation, good music, the art is good, hell I even did not mind the protagonist art. But what I really like is the stories. All the episode were pretty solid and interesting.
AidanAK47
Just won a fight by the skin of my teeth thanks to my Lancer, Cu Chulainn. You the man Cu!
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Been playing Grand Order myself. It's rather fun. There are some good original character in it but I notice with Quantity certain figures designs were pretty terrible. I thought Assassins of black was the worst but some Grand Order servents manage to top it in terrible. Why all the bikini's?
Amagi
Fate/GO has quite some interesting original characters there. Wish we'd see them in some actual manga or anime series with more backstory someday. - I also like that we finally have an overpowered, interesting and competent Hassan with King Hassan for once. His design is metal AF too.
KTravlos
Binge watched Altair. The pacing of the show is a problem, but in general the raw material is good. Altair is sympathetic, and the world is interesting. But I do feel this is the kind of show that would had gained by a Monster or LOGH type treatment. Also, man it is scary how accurate they got some of the traits of Greeks (Phoenicians in the show). I am a Greek, I should know! :p
KTravlos
forgot to mention. I saw the 91 Days special. Three side stories that give some depth to the events in the main anime, but nothing that goes beyond it's end. Still they were in general ok to good.
SuperWooper
It's got Jude Law playing "this kind of huge robot butler called Charles, who is also a rocket ship." What could possibly go wrong?
AidanAK47
Anime with Jaden Smith? Um..I don't know about this.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: one of the good thing about SoL shows like Centaur and even 18if is that their episodes are self-contained, so you can just jump right in to watch the good ones and ignore the rest
SuperMario
I just love Chise's presence so I might enjoy the last episode more than anyone else. But yeah I'm quite satisfied with Princess Principal right now
AidanAK47
Actually I am quite surprised Princess Principal hasn't gone off the rails yet. Might even turn out to be a fun show in the end. If the man can make it to the finish line without a misstep.
AidanAK47
Hey I am having fun with my Shows. Made in Abyss is still quite excellent and Fate/Apoc is picking up. Even started playing Fate/Grand Order.
Lenlo
Man, sounds like I was the only one to have a good week with their show. Reflection really stepped it up this week in pretty much every category. Not sure it will last, but hey. Ill take one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm so disappointed in 18...if. Perfect opportunity to capitalize on something with a dreamlike feel to it and be creative only it ends up getting held back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I see Vonter and Mario are seducing me into watching Centaur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*can't
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can'y see myself giving re creators a second chance, and from skimming these conversations, why should the show only get going at the end? It just sounds like too little too late.
AidanAK47
Honestly that's what Re:Creators biggest issue is. It builds up these great interesting idea's and then refuses to capitalize on them.
AidanAK47
Then it would be a battle to win over the audience and he who entertains them the most would get the most power. Just think of how many interesting ways that would take the fight. Like Altair could lose power and have to win over the crowd with her backstory and theatrics. A hero could purposefully get beaten to hell just so they can get a powerup from saying a boastful speech about kicking ass.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Exactly. Now there is an interesting fighting element. Imagine if both Altair and the heroes had to fight with the limitation of keeping the audience entertained. Altair couldn't pull out overpowered nonsense because the audience wouldn't approve and her power would drop. Same goes for the heroes.
Anonymous1378112
On the other hand I am not a fan of this whole final arc. It's just not believable to me to gather such a big audience who will do nothing but watch and accept everything you show them. Not to mention that the show is technically live acting to them. Considering how much anime fanbases already hate the DN movie and stuff I doubt many would sit there and accept that
Anonymous1378112
@Aidan: This made me pretty angry. like, they wasted a ton of screentime with these boring info dumps and now they're just irrelevant and the enemy just fucks over it
AidanAK47
Actually the last development was actually a screw the rules moment as well. So the only way to beat Altair is to just chuck aside the rules established with the last 20 episodes.
Total users: 18

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