Posted on 19 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

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

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

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

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

Posted on 15 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

An action focused episode and as such I have very little I can say about it. Considering that Avicebron was more about brains than brawn it’s rather odd to see him get taken down like this. In a way I find this to be a big heel turn for him as I originally took him for the more logical type. I don’t think that him using his former master as the core for his golem is out of character as he has shown that all that really matters to him is the completion of his golem. However I thought he was working out of artistic integrity and not making this golem in some bid to save the world. Truthfully I am rather disappointed in that. I rather liked the idea of Avicebrons main goal being to complete his life’s work and that being his only reason for his position in this war. Upon completing it I thought he wouldn’t really care as to what purpose it served and that his only real intent was it’s creation. This however just transforms his motivation into something more petty and stupid. Bringing back the garden of Eden by creating a golem? Why not bypass the golem making process and just use the holy grail?

I feel it would have been better to make this situation more sympathetic. Have him sacrifice his master to create the golem. Upon it’s creation just let it roam wild, only to be destroyed by the servants. Once the golem is defeated, Avicebron is found by the servants where he laments at the realization that he killed a kindred spirit in blind pursuit of his goal. Avicebron then takes his own life as compensation for his mistake. Now that I believe would have really made this work. But sadly at this situation Avicebron is just made into a generic villain who is “saving” the world by destroying it. It’s a pity, as I at least like the situation of having the servants take on a massive golem and team up with Mordred. Even if it feels a bit like a unconditional mid-boss. I do find it funny that Ruler is still operating under the guise of a referee even at this point so that she must come up with cheap justification in order to help. The rules of this holy grail war have already been thrown out of wack so she needs no further reason to join a side.

Another servant has been removed from the game though even with that it seems the red side have a huge advantage. Looks like Atlanta and Achilles couldn’t manage to join the Black side so they are unwillingly on the red team. One thing I am rather disappointed about is that this anime cut out Mordred’s first reaction when she saw Ruler. Much like Gilles did during the fourth holy grail war, she first mistook her for Arthuria and as we know she has some daddy issues. Though I suppose at this point they have sexed up Joan of Arc’s servant design that it’s pretty difficult to see the Arthuria in her. Still it doesn’t solve the problem that she and Sieg are still dull as dishwater and it grows increasingly tedious to see them interact and build what looks to be some sort of romantic tension between them. So we have twelve episodes left for this series and for a halfway point assessment I would say this anime is a decent watch for Fate fans. It’s certainly lacking when compared to Ufotable adaptations but it may be on par with the likes of the 2006 Deen adaption to which I found to be decent as well despite the hate it gets. I feel like this story could have been stronger and A-1 have failed in that regard on adaption. Still with this animated that means Type Moon has one less Fate property to milk and with some hope that might finally get them to work on that Tsukihime remake they promised ten years ago.

Posted on 4 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

We have officially entered the second half of Fate/Apocrypha and with that comes a new opening and ending. The ending doesn’t leave much of an impression but I do prefer this opening over the first opening. The first opening just didn’t really suit my tastes while I prefer the melody of this opening more even if the visuals of it are rather generic. As far as Fate anime openings go for the whole franchise I still believe that Fate/UBW has the best ones. For the past few episodes this series has actually been pretty good but it seems that streak has ended with this episode. Part of the reason is that the long action sequence has ended and another part is that Sieg is getting center attention again. I swear this kid is like a fun black hole, where all fun is sucked out of a scene just by his very presence. I don’t like the fact that I keep harping on about this kid but he really is that much of a problem. His design is boring and every line of his dialogue is archetypal and systematic. He’s quest to discover his purpose is gone and with that he has essentially become the most predictable and expected hero character you can write up. I can almost predict his every line of dialogue in any given situation.

Made all the worse by his continued climb up the Gary Sue ladder with him now not only being a servant himself but also a Master. Not exactly a new thing in the Fate universe as Medea from the main series also managed to summon a servant despite being a servant herself. Though that came with it’s own problems, one of which looks to have been severely hand waved here. For now Amakusa Shirou is is sole master for almost the entirety of the red faction. Now it may be a question for some that if a mage can summon a servant during a Holy Grail War then why don’t they try to summon more than one? There are no rules against having more that one servant. However the problem is that it is akin to trying to drive three cars when you only have enough gas for one full tank. Sure you can drive them all if you divide up the gas between the three cars but all three will never drive as far as one can with a full tank. There are even cases such as with Shirou and Saber in the original where Shirou didn’t have enough mana to fuel her and as a result her abilities were handicapped. So the question is, how is Amakusa Shirou managing to fuel six servants(Including the newly defected Caster of Black) without them getting downgraded? Even taking into account that Shirou is a servant himself who also requires mana. He did mention about potentially being incarnated but even a previously incarnated servant needed an external source of mana. I don’t really expect an answer to this as this show has already made it clear the rules don’t really matter all that much.

I don’t like Riders master. No, I don’t mean that in the obvious way as she is a character meant to be disliked. What I mean is that I don’t like how horribly and lazily written she is. With such a large character roster it’s understandable that a couple of characters would get shafted when it comes to characterisation but this really is F grade villain writing. She gets off on torturing others and throwing them into despair and it’s just such childish reasoning. If you want to write a character who has that with better motivations and personality then take notes from DanganRonpa’s antagonist. Here I just realize that the entire purpose of this character is for this one scene, to give the protagonist a free servant and the satisfaction of seeing her head get chopped off by Mordred. Not saying that wasn’t satisfying to witness but come on, Shinji from Fate/Stay Night had better writing than this. I also find myself immensely irritated at what is the worst forced servant retreat in this series to date.

We have only four servants on the enemy side, defected Avicebron, Semiramis, Shirou and Karna. On the good side we have Joan of Arc, Atlanta, Chiron, Achilles and to top it all off Mordred enters the fray. Five against four and two fo the four are low tier servants. So why did Sisigou order a retreat? Karna is a problem, most definitely but he can be kept busy and while Semiramis has a territory boost she still would have trouble with a Saber. With Shirou being the master of all red servants, all the good side needs to do is kill him to win. So why did Sisigou order a retreat? Shirou may have command spells but Joan of Arc is a Ruler Class and thus has two command spells per servant. She can quite literally order all the servants on the opposing side to stand down. Not to mention getting into the hanging Gardens of Babylon again would be a hard task and facing Shirou with such advantageous odds again is even harder. So just why did Sisigou order a retreat? I just can’t understand it no matter how much I think about it.

Posted on 20 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

If Fate/Apocrypha can keep up this level of quality till the end, I may just change my overall opinion on it. I don’t think it would match the works of Fate/Zero or Unlimited Blade Works but it could beat out the 2006 Fate/Stay Night, Prisma Illya and Fate/Grand Order. It’s a decently respectable position in that regard. But of course this is mainly because the following series of episodes have been one extended action sequence and it will be a wonder as to how the show will move forward after this. So against the wishes of Vlad, Darnic forces him to use his Noble Phantasm, Legend of Dracula. Thereby turning Vlad into a bloodsucking vampire with all the benefits and negatives that come with the change. I can’t say I am fond of the forms design as I think the ears are too big and make him look silly. He gets a fairly massive power boost and has the ability to turn those whom he sucks blood from into his vampiric underlings. An ability quite dangerous for achilles in particular as his special in invulnerability would not stop him from being turned into a vampire.

Seeing the threat that Dracula poses to not only them but the entire world, everyone agrees to take him down together. Much like the bees in Fate/Zero, just having one vampire make it out of the garden could end up creating a apocalypse so it makes sense that heroes would put the protection of the world above the Holy Grail War. A part which always confused me a bit in the novel was Dranic somehow using a command seal to take over his servant. Command seals can indeed grant special boosts, hence why Ruler ordered everyone with a command seal despite everyone agreeing to fight Dracula. However I find the particulars of this command rather questionable in regards to the rules. Command spells can’t necessarily do the impossible and this command is similar enough to Rin’s command in the fifth holy grail war for Archer to have absolute obedience. When the command is rather vague it generally weakens its effects so I find this questionable. Though to preface it I believe Darnic has kept his young appearance by taking over other bodies so he may be using his own magecraft to take over Vlads.

I at least understand why Darnic did this despite it seeming a desperate and risky gamble for when you look at it, the Black faction where practically finished. Berserker and Saber are dead, Rider is injured, Assassin is rogue and the only servants left are a relatively weak caster, Archer and Lancer. Vlad was well on his way to being defeated after losing his territory bonus and there is no way the other two could beat the five servants on board the Gardens of Babylon along with the Saber on the ground. So this desperate move makes sense but it sadly it backfired on him. All the servants turned against him and he was killed by Shirou Kotomine, now officially revealed to be Amakusa Shirou Tokisada who was the Ruler servant from the third Holy Grail War. I swear, the more I hear about the third Holy Grail War, the more I want to see it. Sounds like one hell of a party. You likely don’t know who he is and the simple answer to that is that he is a Japanese Catholic claimed to have holy powers who lead a rebellion against the Shogunate in 1638.

Considering this Dracula was up against a catholic servant trained by an organisation packing black Keys made for the specific purpose of hunting down Dead Apostles.(Aka, Magically made Vampires) This is why in the Nasuverse matchups are decided not by those with the greatest stats but rather the one with the best compatibility. You can have the best servant in the world and still be outmatched by someone with the right abilities. Hence why you can argue till the end of the earth about who would win in a fight with Nasuverse characters. This fight went a bit differently in the novel as their Shirou smashed Dracula’s head into a wall while performing an exorcism but I think this restrained manner was more suitable. Next episode will be a recap episode so there will not be a post but with the Black Faction well on their way to defeat just how will the story go?

Posted on 13 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

We have a hat-trick as Apocrypha pulls out it’s third good episode but admittedly the reason for that is because we are still in the middle of a pretty massive action scene. Perhaps this is why earlier fights were so lacking as they needed to save the effort for an action set piece as big as this. Animation has most certainly improved as the fights are more dynamic than ever. But for the love of god can someone fire the sound director. I watched this episode with headphones and while the music is great, the sound effects are an abomination. I don’t know why but fight scenes are bombarded with reverb, compressed sound effects and far too loud explosions. These are servant battles so it’s natural that the clashes would be loud but here whenever a fight starts up it’s just a constant barrage of unpleasant noise. It’s just never lets up as when explosions stop you have uncomfortable reverb in between the sword clangs and thuds. It really goes to show how one small element can really ruin a scene.

This episode we had fight after fight after fight but I will admit to being disappointing when the Karna and Vlad fight was interrupted over some silly reason that Karna was ordered to retreat. I thought this was rather idiotic as literally a few minutes later Karna and Vlad resume the fight in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. However upon seeing what was happening to Vlad I have to admit that it was a very smart move. Out of the black faction it is clear that Vlad is their strongest servant and that is mainly due to the stat boost he gets because Romania is his home ground. The Hanging Gardens however are not Romania so that means that within them Vlad’s power decreases immensely. By attempting to abduct the grail they gave reason for the black servants to infiltrate the Hanging Gardens and now their strongest servant has been put at a disadvantage. We also have another berserker taken out of the lineup as Spartacus explodes in a beam of energy after taking too much damage. Seeing Joan use her Noble Phantasm put a big smile on my face as I have been playing Grand Order quite a bit and during the hundred years war chapter I used that Noble Phantasm more than once.

The episode ends with Darnic about to force Vlad to use a Noble Phantasm that he despised with all his heart. I really dislike that A-1 decided to cover this information now with a flashback instead of bringing it up near the beginning of the series like it was supposed to be. Having it be mentioned mere seconds before it’s relevant just makes it feel like lazy writing. The episode keeps quiet about what exactly it is however with the clues in this episode I think people could figure it out considering the context given here. If not, let me ask you this. What fictional figure is constantly associated with Vlad the Impaler? Yes, you likely caught on now and honestly I think this is genius. Vlad Tepes joined the holy grail war in order to use his wish to erase the story of Dracula from existence. Marvelous, I adore that motivation because of course Vlad would be furious that his legacy is forever intwined with a bloodsucking monster. Even if his methods were questionable, he still defended his country from foreign invasion. He was a hero to his countrymen. Yet in the modern day people only tend to know his name because Dracula was based on him. Thus because of that association he has even gained a Noble Phantasm directly linked to Dracula. It really is a pity that Fran died as we could have very well have a Dracula vs Frankenstein’s monster matchup. Well regardless of reasoning I doubt Vlad will be very happy with being pushed to use that Noble Phantasm.

Posted on 8 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

This was an action focused episode as Mordred takes on pretty much everyone. It is rather nice to see a Saber than actually lives up to the claim of Sabers are the best class. Upon examining the main Fate series poster girls record as a servant I find her to be disappointing due to her low win record and a Noble Phantasm that just is too risky to make use of. Though she isn’t overpowering as it makes sense as to why she can put up a good fight in this scenario. Her opponents in the beginning are Astolfo who is weak from taking on the hanging Gardens and Fran who is just a bad matchup to begin with. In Fate combat the combat is usually a matter of suitability as what may be an unbeatable foe for one servant is a easy win for another. Berserker is sort of a wild card of the system as while you get an advantage by boosting their parameters with madness enchantment there is a disadvantage in that you cannot control them. All you can really do is set them on an enemy and hope they can overpower them with mindless attacks. So against an enemy that cannot be overpowered and can fight tactically, a Berserker is dead on arrival.

Thus it isn’t a surprise that Fran couldn’t defeat Mordred but she certainly went out with style putting everything into taking her down. Backed up by a master properly using their command seals for once. Those things are more than a single use unbreakable order, with them you can give your servant a significant power boost when the need calls for it. Be it to power up an attack or boost your servants defense. I have to say I adored the scene of Berserker powering up her noble Phantasm, this show nailed that scene perfectly. Mordred did indeed almost die and if it wasn’t for Sisgou using a command spell she would have clocked out then and there. Sadly the second drop out of this holy Grail war is Fran. As for Rider, he’s at a disadvantage already seeing as he doesn’t have his mount. Thus enters Sieg with the powers of main character plot Armour to turn into Siegfried and put up a fight with Mordred. It’s a pity the kid couldn’t stay dead when Mordred stabbed him but on the other hand it’s nice to see Siegfried in more fights, even if he’s a possess homunculus or whatever nonsense they used to justify this. Well to be fair there is some logic behind it as this isn’t the first time a body transplant from a servant managed to grant someone power in the Fate mythos. However there are certain circumstances needs for that to be remotely feasible, ones that i am sure are getting hand waved away with the Homunculus argument.

We have pretty much reached the point foretold in the opening scene of the first episode with the exception of Joan of Arc fighting what is most likely Spartacus. Fight scenes went down rather well this episode and this makes it the second time this show has managed to pull off another genuinely good episode. That might be because we are getting what we signed up for, a battle to death between heroes of legend. Though I dislike that we had a recap on Siegfried’s past when it was already covered. We have plenty of underdeveloped servants and masters in the roster that could due with some fleshing out so devoting time to go over what we already know is a rather wasteful decision. One last thing I would like to note is that this series soundtrack remains fantastic. It was scored by a Masaru Yokoyama which is a name I need to look out for in the future as he did the music for Scums wish and Gundam Orphans. This man has some real talent. It is such a pity it’s covered up by the rather lacking sound effects, which sometimes can work but other times be far too overbearing, repeated and loud.

Posted on 30 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

Now this is the kind of quality this show should be delivering. Very good, fights have more weapon clashes and we are getting some great character moments here. The opening scene made me actually want another Fate Prequel to cover the third Holy Grail War because it seems like some great things went down there. I mean for one it looks like Darius summoned Fionn mac Cumhaill and I do love seeing more Irish representation in Anime. I wonder if we can get Urobuchi and Nasu on board for a Fate/Zero 2. But then again it would be rather nice so see Type Moon move away from Fate and make a new goddamn IP for once. Still this is one of the few episodes that really captured what I loved about the parts of the novel I read. The epic battles and the servant interactions. I love Shakespeare strolling in and just commenting on what’s going on and Mordred having an easygoing chat with Astolfo before the two get ready to battle. As well as Chiron and Achilles testing each other’s skills. Fight are going on all over the place so the improvements in the fight animation was much appreciated. Finally this is beginning to live up to my first expectations. The Sieg portions were still boring as hell but at least everything else worked so damn well. Now they just need to keep this quality going.

Definite highlight of the episode was Fran’s breakdown and backstory. It’s things like this that I love this franchise for, taking a historical figure and humanising them. As far as execution goes that scene was done perfectly, barring some rather janky animation. Showing Fran’s memories with an old time silent film filter fit the mythos and gave it so much style. So Frankenstein’s monster’s story is different in the Fate universe than it is in the Frankenstein movies. However oddly enough it is closer to that of Mary Shelly’s novel. The general beats follow that of the novel in that Frankstein creates a monster and then rejects it. however in the novel it was due to it being hideous whereas here it appears Frankenstein was more revolted by the creatures mentality. Frankenstein wished to recreate the perfect humans, Adam and Eve. Thus Fran was supposed to be Eve which is rather interesting because there is a servant in this war that wishes to recreate Adam. However it seems Fran’s infant mind and general lack of empathy caused the Doctor to see her as nothing more than a monster and dismantle her.

She rebuilt herself and proceeded to hunt down Frankenstein in order to get him to build another like her. However no matter what lengths she went to(Even going as far to kill those around him, including his fiancee), Frankenstein always refused her. Her journey ended at the north pole where Frankenstein dies after years of running away from her and in her despair she killed herself in a funeral pyre. There are details changed here and there but overall this is indeed the story of Frankenstein’s monster though tailored to be more sympathetic towards the monster. It’s this history that makes this scene have so much impact. For Shakespeare provided an illusion of the only thing she ever wanted and that drove her mad for in her heart she knew it wasn’t real. For once Fran isn’t some weird moe addition to the story but a genuine character in her own right. Now if only the other characters can get such treatment.

I also really like how they handled Astolfo and his dilemma that he couldn’t take down the Gardens of Babylon because he’s fighting with a handicap. He has some sort of noble Phantasm that packs serious power but seems to require a hefty amount of mana. Thus if he uses it then he would end up killing a large amount of Homunculi from power drain. Of course at this point Sieg has freed to the Homunculi so he couldn’t use it if he wanted to but it does show that Astolfo isn’t willing to compromise on his ideals for a easy win. Having him and Mordred take each other was great as these two talking is amusing particularly on how easygoing they are about this fight to the death. These two honestly feel like two friends having a playful fight up until Mordred starts mocking Seigfried for dying for a silly reason. Astolfo doesn’t even disagree with her but nonetheless doesn’t take kindly to her mocking him for it. The thing is and this is something which Apocrypha has been criticised for, neither of these two are evil or in the wrong. You can see where both are coming from and I rather like that moral grey aspect of the series. Some have said that this aspect makes it hard to know who to root for as neither side seems to have good intentions.

On surface level it seems like we should be rooting for the red squad as the Black squad are the whole reason for this war in the first place. However the leader of the red squad Shirou is a shifty individual you can’t quite trust. At the same time the leader of the black squad is a former Nazi and clearly isn’t someone you want to win either. Then within these teams you have genuine good people on both sides who are fighting for their own agendas. It’s nice to have shades of grey and not a clear cut hero and villain but likewise I do understand how people may have a hard time getting behind it as characters goals seem to be rather scattered. In Fate/Zero despite having a large roster of characters their end goals are more or less the same, win the Holy Grail War. Here we have an even larger character roster and to most winning the Grail War is a secondary Objective. In fact out of what we could consider our main characters, Seig is just looking for some meaning in his life, Joan is acting as referee by obligation, Sisigou is just doing his job and Astolfo does whatever he wants to. Perhaps as the servants drop out this story could become more focused and strengthen as a result.

Posted on 23 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

One of the particular things I like about Apocrypha is that out of the Fate franchise, this is the only Holy Grail War that is deserving of the title of War. Other grail wars are certainly flashy but by definition they are more battle royales with every man for himself. This on the other hand has armies with two sides each with their own generals. This is a genuine war and not a war in name only. Though while I say that the real deciding factor in this war is the servants with the Homunculi and Dragon tooth warriors being just pure cannon fodder. Another thing I like is that they have pretty much thrown away the whole “keep the war secret” rule which has always been a rather inconsequential rule. It has only ever been relevant in two places in the entire Fate series. One was with Shirou Emiya being a witness to the battle between Archer and Lancer in Fate/Stay Night. Remarkably the only civilian within the Fate universe to ever do so despite the kind of things that the servants get away with. The second time was when Fate/Zero’s caster summoned a monster in the river and gave the masters a reason to all gang up on him. Other than that despite servants having ridiculously flashy battles in open view, no one ever sees them and the damage is written off as gas explosions and the like. There are those assigned to cover it up but it really is silly that no one in Fuyuki manages to see any of this going on. In Apocrypha this rule is just chucked out the window because why bother with it. We got a giant flying fortress with a small war going on so screw the rules, he who dares, wins.

This was an alright episode of the show as we have an action packed battles between the servants. I really do love the exchanges between Chiron and Achilles, as well as Vlad and Karna but the fights themselves do feel lacking. I attribute this to a general lack of fight choreography as far too little do we see servants exchange blows. To often do we have close ups and explosions obscure the action and very little do we see servants deflect blows or land blows. We either get an exchange of laser beams or see a servant wind up an attack only to cut to after he has unleashed it. This is basically the shaky cam style of fight scenes where in exchange of good fight choreography the director just makes a series of fast paced edits which does give the impression of a intense fight sequence but often is too face paced and frantic for the viewer to follow. For me these scenes are just filler which is why I am not particularly fond of the Bourne series of movies. No matter how flashy and epic these fights appear, they cannot hold a candle to the Saber vs Lancer fight of Fate/Zero. I would even say they are inferior to the Illya Archer fight of the first Prisma Illya season.

We have our matchups, Vlad is facing off against Karna and while he has a home field advantage Karna is someone who could fight on par with GIlgamesh so there bout isn’t favorable to him. We did get a bit of backstory on Vlad but once again I am disappointed that it didn’t go into Vlad’s reason for fighting in this war. Chiron is facing off against Achilles which is a matchup made more interesting by their former relationship as master and student. Astolfo is taking on Semiramis and the hanging Gardens of Babylon in the air. Our last fight appears to be Shirou Kotomine taking on Fran in the woods after having decided to leave the garden as a kind of test of conviction. Shirou seems to be under the impression that if he can come back from the battlefield alive then this would mean that god approves of his mission and he can move forward without doubt. At the moment i can’t really think anything of Shirou as much like Sieg he’s playing a bit of an expected role. I have heard he gets more interesting later but at the moment his chemistry with his servant is dull and his general interactions just seem to speak of him having some genius master plan that no one can guess. He’s better than Sieg who I swear just kills interest just by appearing on screen. Well Mordred has landed on the scene and it looks like we are getting closer to that opening sequence we saw at the beginning of the series.

Posted on 16 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

As a Fate fan I can state for certainty that this series does have a problem of having a bit too much anticlimax. Which is a problem that may affect all Chuuni style stories come to think of it. I love the series but I can say that I don’t think any of them truly capitalised on the holy grail war concept. Often at the start of the series there’s a build up and promises that the series more often than not doesn’t deliver on. This is also why I am conflicted when asked to decide whether Fate/Zero is better than Fate/Stay Night. For while in many aspects Fate/Zero comes across as the superior story, I still believe that Fate/Stay Night had better climaxes and did things that Fate/Zero didn’t do. But how is that relevant to this episode you may ask and well it’s just that a conflict was resolved with everyone just deciding to duke it out later which happens to be the third time this has happened. This is followed by a buildup to what could be the biggest fight of the series yet and I find myself with a wariness over whether it will be truly satisfying. At this point characters and general plot haven’t engaged me as much as I would have liked them to so the final vanguard is whether I can see some cool fights. A prospect which is looking less and less likely when the animation per episode is getting rougher.

Still it really is nice to see interpretations of historical figures and their history does enrich their position in this war. It’s logical that Shakespeare wouldn’t take a combat role considering his vocation and he staying by the sidelines just so he can chronicle the whole war as a new work is a great take. Though to make up for his lack of real combat power the Assassin of Red is playing a dual role. There has been some rewriting of the rules a bit and Semiramis possesses double summon which means shes effectively a Assassin and Caster rolled into one. Contrived indeed but hardly the first contrived exception to the rules. This episode marks the rise of her noble phantasm which is a giant floating fortress by the name of the “Hanging Gardens of Babylon”. Exposition time: Semiramis did not in fact make the Hanging Gardens of Babylon but their creation is often mistakenly associated with her. As a result she needs to jump through some hoops to actually summon it but it is an example of a servant gaining a power based on popular association, something which should come into play later. Servants powers are in general amplified based on popular belief. In reality Excalibur wasn’t really able to shoot laser beams nor was Alexander able to summon an army at will.

Once again Seig proves that any moment he’s on screen is a moment this series becomes boring. His talk with his caretaker reminded me a lot of the talk that Waver and his fake grandfather had in Fate/Zero and I get the feeling it was trying to emulate it. However it was missing the real heart of that conversation as well as Gen’s masterful hand at writing exposition. Seig’s dilemma and ultimate choice just come as expected. Even within the narrative it was already decided that he would be jumping back into the fray. So really this isn’t some much a character development moment for him but rather a reaffirmation of him being pushed into a stereotypical role. My hope is that his role isn’t too big in this story as when he’s off screen this does become a better show.

Posted on 1 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

Seeings as we are five episodes in and my joyous period of fanboyism has subsided I believe it is time to admit something. I don’t actually think this show is that good and I am questioning just why that is. I don’t believe my assessment of the source material was wrong as it was indeed a strong narrative there which had my full attention. However here, something is off. I can’t quite pin down what precisely it is but something is killing this story. My previous culprit to blame was the pacing but in this episode they thankfully slowed down. Perhaps the animation? No, while A-1 is far below the quality one could expect from a Ufotable production this isn’t a terrible looking show. Still not gone on the character designs but animation wise it’s fine. No, perhaps the fault lies in how it’s adapted as there are some questionable choices at work here. Take for example Lancer of Black, aka Vlad Tepes. I say most would be surprised to see his leniency in punishing Astolfo in this episode considering his legacy in the common eye as a bloodthirsty tyrant. But in the novel this wasn’t much of a surprise as it went into detail on just why Vlad has joined this battle and I personally though his motivation was a stroke of creative genius. I can’t really go into it at that point as it’s bound to be brought up sooner or later but I think this is the problem with rushing the beginnings of this story. In doing so a number of characters have been left with one dimensional characterisation. I wouldn’t blame a fan of fate animated works being disappointed in this as I too find it much more underwhelming than its book counterpart.

My current state of thinking could be just a temporary thought as this was a rather weak episode in comparison to the others. Mainly because the focus was on Ruler and the newly named Homunculus, Sieg. These two really do drag on and I think that instead of rushing the cool battles we were supposed to get last episode we could have rushed this instead. For this is remarkably dull watching these two utterly bland characters. Ruler I will give a pass as it more or less is her sticking to the character of Joan of Arc and the role of the holy maiden. Still it doesn’t make for great characterisation and at times I am missing the interpretation of Joan from Drifters. She’s isn’t completely boring as she has the standing above all the servants and is badass in her own right but I worry that the main reason this episode got more focus than the last is due to her being prime “waifu” material. But if there is something I just find dreadfully boring with no upside it’s this Sieg fellow. You can give Shirou a lot of grief over his survivor’s guilt and superhero complex but at least it made him interesting. Sieg on the other have is a dull emotionless empty character who basically needs to learn how to live and grow a personality. He’s self insert material and I dislike that he has a role in this at all. He’s dangerously close to becoming the usual light novel protagonist and I even see signs of girls falling for him for no reason and with Siegfried’s heart he’s bound to get free power ups to show how “cool” he is. This kid is a chekhov’s gun that’s just ready to kill any potential this story has.

We get a small glimpse of Assassin of black and her master this week and yet again we have another servant who has been shafted by the anime. Assassin of Black actually has a short story detailing her summoning and the main book did dedicate time to showing just what went down. At the moment they are basically the Ryou and Caster duo in being chaotic evil. Now as it’s revealed in this show our Assassin here is Jack the Ripper and out of all the strange servants on Apocrypha this one is the one I have the hardest time suspending my sense of disbelief with. Personality wise I actually find it interesting to interpret Jack the Ripper as a child demon born from discarded babies from the positives of London. Her relationship with her master is equally interesting as they have a mother daughter relationship instead of a master and servant one. It was made a point in the books that when Jack calls her master she simultaneously says Master in a way that can also be interpreted as mother. But despite this concept being very intriguing and one I can get on board I cannot for the life of me take her remotely seriously based on her design.

I mean, Jack the Ripper, represented by a Lolita in dominatrix gear. It’s just really really dumb. There is in fact another interpretation of Jack the Ripper in the Fate Universe and that comes from Fate/Strange Fake which was written by Narita Ryohgo of Baccano/Durarara fame. In there Jack was shown as a shapeless being who could assume many forms as the real Jack the Ripper was never caught so his legacy is that of an anonymous serial killer. In the particularly quirky style of character writing that Narita has this servant was summoned as a berserker but due to Jack the Ripper already being insane, placing mad enchantment on him only ended up turning him sane. Both interpretations have there great points but in Fate/Apocrypha case I wish that Jack’s design wasn’t so obviously geared towards fanservice. So with the final moments of this episode we have pretty much established that the Red masters won’t be playing much of a role in this war, if the opening and character designs of the them didn’t tip you off to that already.

CHANGE USERNAME
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I need to actually watch that Leiji Matsumoto stuff some day.
Anonymous3316528
Also Galaxy Express 99 I think also treated that topic.
Anonymous3316528
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't that Gate?
Anonymous3316528
Just like how Gundam made one for the Vietnam War.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A proper story dealing with isekai and immigration crisis.
Anonymous3316528
I mean they could make an allegory of the Berlin Wall.
Anonymous3316528
So Papers Please the anime?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think a romance themed isekai involving borders and beraucracy getting in the way could work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked those czech Jules verne animations.
Anonymous3316528
I suppose the work for creating assets for new settings it's why they don't do it. Most Isekai seem like they can take a tree, or a house from previous works and just change them a little.
Anonymous3316528
On second thought, that was technically the Anastasia animated movie.
Anonymous3316528
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Yeah. Just take the roadmap Bloodborne put out. It's even the perfect setting for an antihero archetype, considering these settings are about the hunt, surviving and superstition. I'll also like the Russia setting, harsh weather, espionage, travelling through train, boat and land like Jules Verne's Ivan Strogoff
Kaiser-Eoghan
That time I got reincarnated in the Soviet union.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see an anime set in Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gothic horror or industrial if only for liking the genre. I still want my anime western.
Anonymous3316528
All in all as I always say. I want new settings, steampunk, western, egyptian, chinese, space, nuclear dystopian, castaway, underwater, skyworld, gothic horror. Or any other tired trope other than european medieval fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, with the nostalgia of old games undertale went for, but without the maudlin di7alogue.
Anonymous3316528
Or something like Mad Max or the RPG series it inspired Metal Max. Maybe another one inspired by Phantasy Star.
Anonymous3316528
I got it! What if someone makes an Isekai on the vein of Earthbound or Undertale. I mean most are influenced by the standard fantasy JRPG. So why not take from the less typical ones?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just for the novelty of it, I would like to see an anime about a relationship between un-traditional/un-usual couples that we never see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe that'd be cheesy or something but they manage to form new friendship/families which allow them to put behind what they lost.
Amagi
I like semi-episodical series that have an episodical plot and a golden thread at the same time, the latter usually being more subtile or like a subplot and each episodical adventure gives the audience a few new hints or informations about the setting, characters or main plot.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't even mind a drama driven otherworld story about a depressed person trying to move on and the new world actually helping them move past that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So how about my don-quixhote anime Japan =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time there's a bunch of serious stuff, but its not clashing with the lighthearted stuff badly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite type of adventure story though are the ones where its more about the journey and hangout, sometimes the story appears here and there. And its usually centred around three goofballs with alot of chemistry.
Amagi
Sadly there never is any culture clash or culture shock either, speaking of the LN/game mechanic isekai here. The isekai people are just like the people of nowadays Japan but with swords and magic, basically. Maybe a few rituals at best.
Amagi
An isekai should be like King of Thorns despite KoT not being an actual isekai. But awakening in another world, not understanding anything, exploring, mysteries and slowly piecing things together that make the MC understand the logic of that new world a bit better while trying to integrate into the foreign culture.
Amagi
@Kaiser/Anon: I feel like that too. I love explore and isekai would be perfect for exploration and yet it's always about the MC finding his place as soon as he got teleported, he finds his crew, friends, house, power and so on.
Amagi
@Anon: You're right I watched a few scenes, the dub actually fits pretty well to Nanbaka. The series itselfs is too insane for me I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lack of journey, focuses too much on harem/romcom bits.
Amagi
I have yet to watch Voltron. The animation looks somewhat weird to me but everything else I heard about it so far sounds pretty good.
Lenlo
I welcome the essays Kaiser! Sakaki is a much more complex character than I expected, and Animosh is right that it doesnt justify his actions. I didnt mean to imply that. I do think however that Sakaki is not wrong to be angry. He is just directing it at the wrong person.
Anonymous3316315
@Kaiser-Eoghan - In what sense? In that it isn't a journey? A quest? A series of trials? The hunt of ancient treasure? Or whatever dimension hoping happens in Milk Closet?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Well said about Sakaki's character and I agree with you on it. Saves me writing an essay response now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Tangent, but I want to say something, one of the most annoying things about LNs is when they do the isekai thing, the other world almost never feels like an adventure.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I honestly wouldn't complain if it was full blown yuri or shoujo-ai.
Anonymous3316315
@Kaiser-Eoghan - A lot of series have hard ship baiting. Voltron, She Ra, Seraph of the End, Korra (which at the last second they did it). I know sometimes is a stretch like Frodo and Sam in LotR or Venom and Eddie. But other times it's that relationship in everything but name.
Kaiser-Eoghan
People seem to play up the shoujo-ai thing in Euphonium.
Anonymous3316315
@Amagi - Nanbaka has a good English dub. They knew the delivery had to be as hammy as possible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm looking forward to those Gundam NT films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't finish violet evergarden nor did I watch tsurune. In the priors case, that was something I would have seen myself liking maybe 10 years ago.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I liked Koe no kitachi aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We can call it Racing Lads.
Amagi
Okay thanks. I can deal with slow pacing as long as there is an atmosphere or good character story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Free and kaze cross over WHEN!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked how scaled back it was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I think you were asking about the new kyoani movie earlier? I can't remember if I posted about it on here what I thought, but I actually liked it more than the main Euphonium series, it stood out in its adherence to using body language, silence and movements moreso than dialogue while giving me a coming of age movie I had been asking for. Though some won't like the glacial pacing
Amagi
KazeGa is pretty damn good. It kinda feels like it actually is what Kyoani is always trying to do when they produce sport series with a male cast that are half comedy half drama. But while I often like some aspects of Kyoani shows (like the setting and themes of VEG), I never like the execution, save from the looks of course that are awesome but don't help making the content any better.
Amagi
*above
Amagi
@SuperMario: IIRC mosts Steven Universe VAs are actual singers so they should be a level about typical VAs anyway. Not sure who's voice acting for RWBY.
Amagi
But since I watch everything seasonally subs are faster and I usually don't rewatch series, otherwise a rewatch could be a good reason to watch the dubs for the second time.
Amagi
At least eng dubs got way better in general over the yers. Probably because anime is more mainstream now. Maybe I would like many of them more if I started with the dub.
SuperMario
Maybe it’s a translation issue, by that I mean usually some nuance from the native language is lost in translation. That issue can be alright if it subs, but when saying it out loud it becomes unnatural?
Amagi
Japanese VAs also talk a lot about their characters and give interviews about them, including their own interpretations or head canon stuff. Not sure if western VAs of Japanese shows do that too.
Amagi
Instead when it's a foreign show there is nothing to do but to memorize the finished lines and everything is already set in stone, so you are 100% passive and can't really view it as your or your team's work.
Amagi
I often heard that western VAs thought up some ideas that were integrated into the script. Not sure if that's the case for most cartoons of if these were exceptions, but it could be a hint that VAs are way more involved into a show and the development of their characters when it is a native show, it's kinda logical.
Amagi
Yeah, native stuff is usually better.
SuperMario
Then again, I enjoy the English VA of western cartoon like RWBY or Steven Universe so I guess it’s just a matter of original intended language for me
SuperMario
Well, I’m not a fan of dubbing either. Not that much of a dub-hater but I remember watching Monster and Cowboy Bebop in english dub before I had to switch back to Japanese voice midway through
Amagi
Still living ones I mean. But as said actual movies are usually well dubbed, so I guess it depends on how much money something generates.
Amagi
I knew a bunch of old ones but they're all dead by now. Know maybe three or so with name and face (and often don't even recognize them in movies) and another 6-10 by name only.
Amagi
@Kaiser: To be honest I never know any actors no matter how well known they are.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Is it awkward hearing a famous actor you associate too much with a certain role, voicing an anime character?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, what is the stance on professional well known film actors voicing anime movie dubs?
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Hello and welcome to show number two for me of the new season! Dororo is an interesting one, based on a 1960’s manga, with this being its second adaptation. This week we meet another demon, learn our leads name and that not all spirits are bad. Let’s dive in! Visually, Dororo is sort of a […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 – 2 [Urban Legends ~Encountering Rumors~]

Hello and welcome to the first outright perfect episode of anime of 2019! Mob Psycho 100 knocked it out of the park this week in every respect, so let’s just jump right in! Right off the bat, Bones is out in full force animation wise. Everything about this episode, visually, was fantastic. Even in drab, […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) – 02/03 (Boogiepop Does Not Laugh 2/3)

Welcome to Boogiepop, one of the hallmark franchise in the history of this medium. The Light Novels itself dated back in 1995 and is still considered as one of the earliest Light Novels ever released and is often credited as starter of the Light novem trend in Japan. The anime adaptation in 2000 remains one […]

Zombieland Saga – 10-12[NO ZOMBIE NO IDOL SAGA/A One-of-a-Kind SAGA/Good Morning Again SAGA]

And so Zombieland ends…or more that it just decided to drop off for a bit. The last few episodes decided to focus on Sakura with the first being her overzealous preparation for a big concert and Kotaro’s efforts to just get her to chill out and relax, the second being the return of her memories […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 12 [Summer Prank]

Ah, the break is over, the New Year is here and Kaze Fui has returned once more! This week a few more of our boys get qualifying times, Kurahara loves his team and everyone goes camping! Lets dive in! Starting off, I have to make it known how happy I am for our boys in […]

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Planetes Anime Review – 89/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 87/100

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 86/100

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018 Fall) Anime Review – 73/100

In the last few years, it’s great to see P.A Works has slowly created their own studio identity, putting more original works with consistent production values. Just in 2018, they produced 4 shows (quite a good number if you ask me), 3 of them were original: Maquia, Sirius the Jaeger and Irozuku. As I said, […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai Anime Review – 82/100

In the wake of many a school based light novel show this may be the small bits of fresh air was can savor out of this overdone setting. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl(Or by its japanese title above) is a series not about rascals or bunny girls but instead about contextualising common high […]

Banana Fish Anime Review – 72/100

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way […]

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 73/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]