Posted on 9 July 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Hisone to Masotan

Coming off as one of my most anticipated anime out of this last Spring Season, based solely on staffs involved alone – after all, an original anime written by Mari Okada and produced by Bones (which I regarded as one of the best anime studio working right now) – I can’t help but feel let down towards how HisoMaso progresses and wraps up. It’s a show with many highlights, mind you, as I consider the production as one of the best of the year so far: simple yet expressive character designs, stunning backgrounds and crisp animation. All you could ask for really. It has some interesting ideas, but that precisely pains me even more that the world-building just doesn’t support the ideas HisoMaso has.

To begin with, let’s address my main issues regarding this production. Unlike other anime shows which bring themselves down by treading the same tired path, HisoMaso is a show with many fresh concepts. I would applaud anyone who can think of the idea of them inside the dragons and piloting (note: not riding) as a military fighter jet. It’s a wonderful and whimsical mix concept that fit into the easy-going tone and the simple character designs. In fact, the first few episodes still carry this concept forward due to the fact that it never takes itself seriously. That’s when the issue arises when we need something more substantial when the appeal wears out, and it becomes increasingly frustrated to see the plot progresses without any backup. As an example, the show introduces the whole “ritual” concerning the whole giant dragon which “wakes up” every 82 years. It opens a whole new can of worms regarding the whole village who dedicated themselves solely for this event and even the process of it all. Equally under-developed and underwhelmed is the anastomosis bit, which for me is the prime example of creating conflicts solely for the sake if conflicts. As it stands, HisoMaso often feels like a first draft on a novel, many wonderful ideas but all of them are half-baked because the creators just don’t spend enough time to think this through.

The half-baked approach spread into the characters themselves. These girls have many quirks that distinct them to the rest of the cast, but at the end of the day there simply isn’t much development for them, or the development feel calculated and forced. Take Kinutsugai and Hitomi, the D-pilots who appear at the poster and the ED, HisoMaso just doesn’t know what to do with them. Same thing regarding the dragons, which feel more like mascots. The main lead Hisone embraces what could be the worst tendency of HisoMaso’s attempt of developing characters. Like the show, she tends to tell us out loud what her issues are, and like the show she tends to make rather weird decisions. Many of her conflicts are raised and solved within an episode, as a result the development doesn’t feel earned.

Speaking about making weird decisions, I can’t still put my fingers on the central message of HisoMaso. In some ways, Mari Osada underlines the struggles of working women in Japanese society, as they have to choose between career and family. Having Hisone and Hoshino fall in love that could potentially cause negative impact on piloting the dragons is part of that strategy. But how do they deal with it? By having the entire army unit work on “make them fall in love then crush their love apart”. That’s mean-spirited to the point of stupidity. On that note, they didn’t resolve the love’s conflict thoroughly either. Second, HisoMaso marks the relationship between the dragons and their pilots, as we see in how Hoshino struggling as she considers herself “a pilot” – not dragon caretaker; and we see the theme reflected by the titular characters. But the problem with its is the way Hisone regards her dragon. She considers Masotan as someone who see the specialness in her, and piloting dragon is something that make her worthwhile, as a result in episode 3 we have something as obscure as her demanding Masotan to “take responsibility” because he picked her. That level of dependence repeats later on, when Hisone argues with another girl solely about a boy. This questionable treatment to women is unacceptable, especially with a show about adult women written by an adult woman. As a result, HisoMaso become the first show from 2018 that receive a minus (-) mark from me.

But what HisoMaso makes up for the under-cooked story is the sheer power of visual presentation. Everything looks great, the characters are on the simple design, but that’s exactly why the studio can go wild on their facial expressions and characters movement. What it’s lack from the character depth is replaced by their mannerism, in which each character moves differently and has different tones. The background designs are simply gorgeous with bright color palette, and the animation are crisp and a feast to an eye. If you don’t mind the lack of deeper layer, HisoMaso’s aesthetic alone would serve as a visual treat. Indeed, at top of my mind only the recent FLCL’s production is on the same level with this show for the first half of this 2018 calendar year.

So yeah, HisoMaso is a show with many highs and lows. Its visual strength is amongst the best of the industry right now, and it’s an easy watch all around with some emotional resonance. The lack of a well thought-out world, however, hurts the show since it’s crumble as it moves along. It’s still a show worth checking out, but don’t delve too deeply into it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This show just disappoints me to no end.

Posted on 25 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

What’s there to say about HisoMaso? I’ll be blunt but I see this whole final arc a missed opportunity. It builds from neat ideas, but the way the show creates and resolves its conflicts are hammy at best. Take the two main struggles this episode: Hisone decided to quit the job altogether and the grandma possible yuri relationship with the old miko. All of these are established and quickly resolved in about 15 minutes, and I can’t say I feel anything about their conflicts. For Hisone, I can ‘barely’ get the reasons for her quitting. She doesn’t want to hurt the people she love. But for me it’s just an easy way out, she’s running away because she can’t deal with it. Now, I realize that this is HisoMaso’s point all along, but consider this: why the show introduces this drama too late of a game? Is it creating conflicts for the sake of conflicts? This new development effectively kills little interest I have left for Hisone character.

And then we have a brand new conflict in the name of Sada and that opens up another can of worms. Sada formed a special “relationship” with the old miko, just so that she witnessed the death of that shrine maiden and still hanging on it. It’s a nice little drama in concept, as it questions the necessity of sacrifice someone. But in practice, we have HER piloting Masotan instead of Nao, which for me makes completely no sense. Isn’t it another case of creating conflicts for the sake of conflicts? And then all this plot is building up for HISONE JUMPING INSIDE MASOTAN. Have you ever heard of the expression “Jumping the shark”? Well, it’s the same here (Jumping the dragon!). And it comes up with some more issues. First, how the hell it’s okay now that there’s two pilots inside the dragon and second, it feels that all these developments feel utterly calculated, and I must say, cheap.

Regarding how this story gonna closes up, I’m guessing that Hisone will find a way to save Natsume and all them come back safely. Remember they are inside the great dragon, right? Couldn’t they pilot or do something the same like what they do with Masotan and other dragons? One more thing that struck me is that the old lady might not die yet. We see her shredded clothes but surprisingly not her body, and regrading it’s HisoMaso we’re talking about, it could go in any direction. I still feel a bit betrayed how Hisone gets off and comes back a bit too quickly and easy, and worse the worldbuilding just isn’t strong enough for me to completely suspend my disbelief. For me it’s just another case of creators don’t think about this world hard enough.

Posted on 19 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

Pretty visual aside, I wonder how much fuel left for this aircraft before it runs out of ideas. HisoMaso has never been a show with detailed world building, or even thick plot to begin with, and as the usual case for me, nothing much happened in this episode. The biggest plot point of this week is that Hisone and Hoshino now have to choose between love and career because somehow fallen in love is like a toxic for your dragons. I guess Okada’s point is that she raises one of the most common issues normal working woman will have to face: family or career, but even putting this story in that light, I can’t help but think HisoMaso is sexist. Guys are free to flirt around, guys at the top twitch the noses of our girls, and our girls take all the fall. Not only Hisone and Hoshino, but now Natsume is officially a Binden – literally a sacrifice (even that poor girl can’t have the man she loves, damnit). So by having Hisone decides to quit the job at the end, it also mean she strays away from the restriction, the repression. Hopefully I read that right because to be frank, part of me still thinks that Okada’s just trolling us around.

We get to know more about this Natsume – Okonagi’s romance and I’m not in a bit surprised here. It goes to the most common trope of unconditional love from Natsume, while Okonagi part-oblivious, part-see her as his sister- bullshit. I don’t really appreciate the way he dodges the kiss, but the blowing air to the nose part itself is quite a lovely bit (guess that mean that Masotan will have a chance to blow her nose in the Ritual). Another detail is about the village dedicated to this Ritual, where they raise young boys and girls to be shrine maidens and… what? Priests? How many priests they need in the ceremony anyways? (the answer is one). And how long in between each ceremony (the answer is 74 years). You get that? The whole generations of shrine maidens and priests were wasted because the dragon won’t wake up. This tells me that they haven’t thought the world-building out well, because the more you think about how it works the more it falls apart.

But we still have some nice moments in this episode. Nao has a chance to shine. Being somewhat written out towards the latter half of this series (the reason is simple: she doesn’t have a dragon), it’s nice to see her piloting Masotan again, an evidence that she has finally came to terms with being who she is, and piloting Masotan also means she helps out Hisone and her dragon as well. She has some nice chemistry with the designer (but wait, doesn’t she have a crush on this guy? Why can she piloting then? Guess the saying remains true: each girl tastes differently, right Masotan? In short, this is a so-so episode in an underwhelming last arc so far.

Posted on 12 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

After a pretty excellent episode last week, HisoMaso goes into the direction I’m afraid the most: exploring the romance aspect that by all means we don’t really need in the first place. And they frame it in a manner I cannot get behind. Lets see, due to these girls develop a certain feeling, they intoxicate their dragons and now the mission can potentially be halted? So now loving someone is a national crime now? Why do you need to put love in the middle of everything, certain writer? To put more salt to that wound, those romances aren’t that good  to begin with. On one side, we have a love triangle in which that love rival just basically stalks the girl. And then… Look, you don’t suddenly realize you have a feeling for someone like a lightning bolt like this (with all the screaming and stuff). On the other side, we have a crush between the two people who don’t even have normal conversation, and then that old cliche “falling down the stair and accidently kiss”? This trope is so old and tired that it might be older than myself. Seriously, it kills the little interest I have left for HisoMaso.

We also learn one crucial detail for this upcoming ritual, which is there’s going to be sacrifice, as they put it “the chosen one “ (and somehow the episode title sums up perfectly my feeling, eeeek!!), and if it isn’t quite clear right now that person would be Natsume, who has a crush on Okonogi. Consider how long we know this girl (ehhh, 20 minutes?), it’s hard to feel anything even if she ends up as a sacrifice, which I doubt. The question at hand, however, is how they treat the dragons out of their stomachache (okay, the technical term is anastomosis)  and how they discipline poor Hisone and Hoshino (aaaahhhh). I’m never fond with those love webs but now as they are in it, let’s just see how HisoMaso rolls. To be honest, I think the show would turn out better if they focus on the miko instead of these dragon pilots who experiencing their aching first love.

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

Readers who read my previous coverages on HisoMaso would know that I wasn’t very happy with the direction this show took. There’s a mean-spirited tone, and just downright nonsensical with the plot to make our girls fallen in love and then crush their hearts to pieces. But with this episode, I’m happy to say that HisoMaso finds a much stronger shape and it justifies most of the events happened before. So, the main plot going forward gonna focus about the ritual, which actually to move the giant big legendary sleeping dragon to its new bed, and that process can take up to 3 whole days without stop. The real challenge with this is the girls have to fight not to sleep for the whole 72 hours, otherwise that gigantic dragon would go off track. That actually sounds refreshing, for once the overarching plot isn’t going to be “saving the world and destroy bad guys” like I afraid, and there’s still some actual stake in there. Moreover, this ritual speaks well to this strange yet whimsical world.

We also know the true identity of the yogurt old lady (it’s about goddamn time). Turns out she was a OTF pilot back in the last time they carried the mission, and she proves to be a good addition to this cast. Her wise advice regarding how they fight with the lack of sleep, for example, is to sleep, on the ground that they have to be in sync with the dragons in order to ride them normally even when they’re asleep. After a brief argument with Hisone (in which I find her reason a bunch of rubbish. Man, her reasons never make sense to me), the old wise woman proceeds to do just that: let them relax and just listen to the sound of their dragons. This goes well in the end and for me, the episode brings me back to the show after a somewhat disappointing middle part.

So we’ll have a celebration (in which HisoMaso phrases it as “Ritual” huh? Will there be any sacrifice here?), we have the torii gate, the dragons and their pilots as the main players, and naturally we need to have shire maidens too. Which comes to the aspect I’m not confident about HisoMaso: the romances. While I personally enjoy the growing chemistry of Hisone and Okonogi, I can’t say the same with Hosino and the captain whatever-his-name-is. It feels hamfisted at best that they need to show us that these girls have some romantic feeling beside piloting dragon. Furthermore, the reveal in the end, the Okonogi is an important figure of “Divinity department” and his apparent love-interest put Okonomi-Hisone relationship into another light and I’m not sure if I’m on boat with this twist. Now that relationship becomes a three-way love which… is how anime plot tends to do, which is too say it’s repetitive and tiresome. I’m growing fond with Okonogi, however, and I especially like the part where Hisone tells him about the “original shitty horror movie which just released in Bluray” part, so yeah at least for now it’s not a deal-breaker. This episode does a pretty admiring job of pulling this show back from their weak and misfired last couple of episodes, at least for now I’m looking forward to see how HisoMaso going to wrap itself up.

Posted on 28 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

Hmmm, I do feel like I’m watching some propaganda in HisoMaso this week, in which it tries to sell us the ideas that women’s low self-esteem and insecurity are the best way to “soulmate” their dragons, and worse, learning the whole conspiracy method of crushing these poor girls’ hearts to make sure they’ll ever love again, so they can devote all their hearts to pilot the dragons? WHAT? Okay, propaganda is a bit exaggerating, but I can’t help but feel the mean-spiritedness in this approach, especially virtually no one in the higher-ups question about it or that Ilboshi guy’s decision morally, instead they just roll with it. Haizz, they play those up for laugh, and I guess they set all this up so that the girls can overcome those, but still I feel a bit uneasy watching all these play out. Especially seeing the young mug Okonogi tries his damnest to slide between following his orders and just have fun with Hisone. I figure my uneasiness lies in the fact that these girls, our D-Pilots are the victims and clueless about all this. Ways to depreciate our women and their intelligence here, Mari Osada.

SO the plan is to figure out all the girls’ potential romantic interests, push it a bit and then squeeze that love like breaking an egg. Haizz. This plot gets thicken fast as Okonogi is granted a chance to go to a date with Hisone, watching some lame horror movie (wait, is it the same film with the one in After the Rain?). Meanwhile, Kinutsugai becomes an informant (because of Kingdom!) by that guy Ilboshi again. He now becomes a sore thumb here as beside babblings all those bullshits about white lovers, purity and what’s not, he acts equally stupid and manipulative too. To make things worse, this week our dragons get left out, in place for these stupid romantic threads (that include Hoshino and “the guy who ticks all the boxes” and Hitomi’s multiple interests).

The show’s writer is most infamously known for injecting unnecessary and drawn-out romances and it seems like she again hits the streak in this episode. It’s not enough to bring HisoMaso down, at least not yet, so I’ll reserve my final feeling when this all business about the ceremony is dealt with, but for now I’m not that keen on the direction it laid out. It should focus on the dragons – their pilots relationship, or even focus to develop our girls, not this. And HisoMaso still holds their cards too close regarding the real identity of the yogurt lady. Too much sniffing and licking without revealing won’t tease people anymore. I’m a bit concerned with HisoMaso now, it looks like it will head dive into the deep ocean full of sharks and I’m not sure if it ever going to recover from that.

Posted on 23 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

At one point during this episode I almost felt that Hoshino was just too overboard. Being stubborn is one thing, but when you’re too stubborn you outright hurt others’ feeling without backing down, it’s irritating to watch. The issue with Hoshino, as we come to learn during the flashback, is that piloting an F2 has been her lifelong dream. And she tries, amongst the male-dominated world, to reach that dream. Then this dragon picks her and she determines to push forward to make her dragon a F2 plane. The dragon understands that so he tries to stay in Foxtrot form all the time. It’s a classic abusive relationship if I’ve ever seen one. The main thing is, for Yoshino it’s her desire to fly, not piloting a F2, that hooked her in the first place and their flight together in the end further reminds her of that.

Meanwhile, the other three manage to survive for few days and initially forgets all about their training objective. No big deal, when the dragons are happy they can just take wings and fly off (And eventually they did). These girls encounter the shrine inside the cave with Masotan and other dragons’ symbol in there, so I reckon that this island is a spiritual place where the dragon pilots – white lovers, shrine maidens, whatever exchange some form of mutual relationship with the dragons. They all have the same dream that night of a lady riding a dragon, which I guess for now is either the yogurt old lady or Nao’s mom. Well, we have all the elements in place now: the maidens, the shrine, the dragons, the last thing left is the ceremony itself so let’s see how HisoMaso eventually get into that part.

While I feel the drama and the overall serious tone are just passable, it’s the comedy that fares much better this time. In particular, the comedy duo Hisone and Nao’s puppet head provides some nice gags, including one of the most tragic faux “death” in recent history (Hisone’s face is priceless). The voice acting also work wonderfully well, especially the licking gags of Hisone – just to show you how weird our main protagonist is. Nao and Iboshi’s current crave for kiwi doesn’t really work for me, but it ties its thread well with the final revelation. As of now, I feel HisoMaso just doesn’t have enough of a central plot to make a proper impact, and it relies instead on the gorgeous visuals and quirky character expressions. It’s a nice show to watch and enjoy, but when it’s all done you realize the story doesn’t progress much, and sometimes it feels like the plot just stands still and doesn’t go anywhere at all.

Posted on 16 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

There’s one thing you can count on original shows, you can never know for sure what the plot is going next. Sometimes, it surprises you with its sheer originality and sometimes, it could go to weird places. HisoMaso falls into the latter this week, literally where it’s taking us to an uninhabited island for the survival test. It’s this week that the show goes for more serious tone, and I’m not quite sure if this seriousness works for the show’s benefit. First, I don’t buy any talk from Administrative Vice-Minister Iiboshi at all. He seems to be the one who knows the most about the connection between OTFs and their pilots, but all his “white maiden” metaphors scream all pretentious with no real substance for me. I mean, the show’s pretty obvious with their visual motifs in support for this white-maiden tale: the traditional festive in the beginning, the torii gate and the rice cakes but now all seem vague and contrived to me.

Second, the way Iiboshi (and the show) frames that the main reason the dragons choose the pilots is because of the girls’ self-loathed. Now THAT I have issues with. Hisone puts it better than anyone: Without Masotan, she’ll be just a social awkward girl who talks to herself too much and is unfit for society. The girls themselves admit later on that they regard their dragons as a way to close themselves off to the people around them. Now thinking back, this has always been Hisone’s perspective towards Masotan since they first met. She said to her dragon the same thing before that she was flattered by the dragon’s choice because she feels special; and her speech to Masotan to “take his responsibility” for choosing her. It’s a flawed way of regarding your partner (and definitely not better than Eri who regards the dragon as the tool) but things might change for the better once the girls have more confident in themselves.

The gist of this episode is, however, to show us how dysfunctional those girls are. It feels to me that these girls are the protagonists of their own story, and then awkwardly assemble them altogether. As such they belong to their own story and have absolutely no chemistry put together. It’s a compliment actually since this episode works its way up to improve the girls’ dynamic together (and also, their relationship with the dragons). In terms of set-up, this is as classy as possible: throw the girls into a deserted island with their (somehow useless) dragons, and force them to interact for the same goals. Matters got worse when Hitomi’s dragon eats all the food supply. Everyone has their own way to deal with it, mostly sleeping and wander aimlessly, and working together remains their last option. Disappointed Hisone soon finds out that despite their team work is close to non-existent, each of the girl can still offers something useful, and together they can manage to survive… for few more days.

Their objective for now is to let the dragons have fun until they get hungry, they’ll fly again. But isn’t it better to figure out why the dragons can’t fly there? That brings us to Eri. While the point of this mission might be improving the team work, it also works as a way to improve yourself and understand your dragons better and Eri needs that now. She’s determined to abandon the dragon to accomplish the mission, but as HisoMaso hints us she opened her heart to the dragon once, so now is the good time to revisit the very moment her dragon picks her in the first place. HisoMaso so far gets away with a lot of its stupid ideas because of its incredible ability to not take itself seriously, so I hope when they finally get serious they have to find a way to hold everything up together, because eye-candy visual alone can only go so far.

Side note: I’m not a fan at all of this overlong, LN-inspired title. Remind me in a bad way of the episode titles in Kiznaiv… wait, that anime was written by Mari Okada too? Never mind then.

Posted on 9 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

With this episode the main plot thread of HisoMaso starts to emerge. Not only we have a new character this week, but all three of the remaining cast joined in in spectacular fashion. And befitting with the oddball personalities of both Hisone and Nao, they are a bunch of eccentric characters whose characteristics are all over the place. We have Ririko (codename Jimmy) – a shy and introvert girl, Hitomi (TAC name Morris) – a kind-hearted soft spoken big (and lazy) girl and Eri (TAC name Penguin) – a self-serious and overachiever. Looking at this cast, one has to wonder how unfit those girls are in military context. I mean, army is supposed to be uniform, consistent and those girls are as faraway from those as possible. But maybe that’s the point, that driving (AKA massaging the inside of) dragon is a job that only oddballs can do (And to think that Nao now is the one being left out – 4 dragons and 5 girls, seriously?). I’m still not very convinced about the characters of Hitomi and Ririko so far, given most of the time HisoMaso play their weirdness mostly for laugh.

It’s Eri who takes the main stage in this episode and she’s responsible for HisoMaso’s first real thematic depth: whether to regard themselves as pilot or dragon caretaker, thus regard the dragon as their friend/pet or as the airplane. With a show that been dancing around its theme so lightly so far you’d know what their solution is. Eri’s point has her merits, she wants to be the first big female pilot in the military force and she’s determined to make the boys recognizing her talents, or in the broader sense to make military women more than just an object/ a weakness, but by doing so she’s objectifying her dragon as something no more than a tool. The fact the dragon is too tense that he remains in aircraft mode even after the flight is sad as hell. As a result, he goes over his limits and transforms into the dragon form when Eli pushes him harder.

Again, Hisone nearly ruins the mood of her new comrades by saying mean things as they are, but in some way there’s always a charm in her meanie thought-out-loud. There’s no chemistry between her and the rest of the cast whatsoever, but that’s precisely the joy to see this band of misfits doing missions together, arguing over the most meaningless things while inside the stomach of dragons. The girls’ facial expressions remain as expressive as ever and the visual is certainly top-notch and gorgeous. I’m not too sold with the new cast so far, mostly because it’s Eri-centric episode but I reckon I’ll warm up with the other two as time goes by.

CHANGE USERNAME
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
Anonymous3070771
Also, anybody notice Blanca's VA is Kira (from Diamond is Unbreakable)? What a wonderful duwang!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: The producer guy Miyano is voicing, much like the show is irritating because the show has this "look at me look at me" feel to it, it just comes off as desperate to me and this is just going by the one episode I watched and hated.
Anonymous3070771
What's that damn piano song that plays when Ash and Eiji are talking about Japan. It's too good. For some reason, it's really magical
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was the one who said that.
@Niello: You don't need to see steins; gate zero, myself and lenlo discussed it to death as it was airing, its all over the place. I like the original too but after a while of the first half being fun, I just wanted it to start.
Anonymous3070771
Phew, great episode of BF; whoever said the gang war stuff was the weakest point was right. this stuff is getting fantastic again.
Niello
Also I agree, Zombieland first episode was amazing, second episode is still rather great, and then the other episodes have just been meh.
Niello
In Zombieland it doesn't help that the character he's voicing with that tone is an asshole, which isn't a good combination because it's making him more annoying by the episode.
Niello
Steins;Gate is pretty good, but I don't think I like it nearly as much as most people do (I gave it a 7/10). I also haven't bothered with Steins;Gate 0. And although I didn't mind Myano in Steins;Gate, I didn't particularly like his voice there either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the sombreness of Blanca's character. Poor Ash, so broken in this episode.
AidanAK47
Yeah after episode 2 it's been a downgrade. Zombieland is still alright to watch but it really has become what it parodied.
Vonter
Zombieland sadly has winded down. I mean it was expected but still I was hoping some more creative attempts to use in the typical genre. It'll have been better if they had waken up more slowly in order to flesh the archetypes a bit more. It still has charismatic moments though.
Lenlo
Really Niello? See, I like it because it's the voice we never got in Steins;Gate 0. Its Okabe's Kyouma voice, and I have a nostalgic love for it
Masky
Wasn't gyary isekai another one that existed?
Niello
I hate Miyano voice in Zombieland Saga and find him annoying tbh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am getting sick of self aware humour though. I see this show as something that was fun to make (such as Miyano seems to be feeling based on performances) but not fun for me to watch and that kind of extends to the manager who while I agree would be the best part of the show, I stopped finding funny after the joke was done.
Lenlo
For me, the main selling point of Zombieland Saga was always Miyano. I love this mans crazy voice.

And in regards to Isekai, discounting this most recent one, SAO actually is pretty good this season so far. Kirito is still bland, but its taking things a lot slower and actually building the world. Its taking its time with 52 episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the sound of it, if some who liked the first episodes don't care for the ones beyond those two episode, then I'm glad I stopped watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did flick through episode 2 but the rap battle thing was particularly awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I couldn't stand the humour and have up on the show after the first half of episode 1.
Anonymous3065780
What Zombieland does have that Ore doesn't is better animation and Miyano hamming it up. But that's all it has going for it at the moment.
Anonymous3065780
You have a few "ha ha look at this" moments scattered here and there like how Ore episode 5 was basically one big middle finger to the nature of anime production, or Zombieland's Tae Yamada. But the parody value from the first two episodes is all but gone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its in part my own fault , I jumped the gun in the first half of episode one then all goodwill I had for it died after the first couple of minutes.
Anonymous3065780
@Kaiser Same here. Very disappointed that Zombieland is going down the same route that Mahou Shoujo Ore went down: basically becoming what it purported to parody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every isekai that pops up in recent seasons, I simply just ignore it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On another note, surely I'm not the only one who dropped zombieland saga? I'm not alone am I?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean, I've never seen an episode of konosuba or rezero and refuse to , no game no life is a series of two halves, I barely watched any of gate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the only one I can say I care about is Tanya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I think I've done a fairly good job at avoiding the modern isekai thing, I've never actually cared enough to sit through one fully beyond the first season of log horizon, 4 seasons of zero no tsukaima. Other than that I've seen maybe 7 episodes of sword art . Never seen a single episode of overlord and won't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm also glad their mentioning stuff like the peoples will, the historical assassination of the Russian emperor. I enjoy the tidbits of historical reference for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: But I don't think the animation is as good as it should be in the anime adaptation and its not as violent as the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I am up to date on the manga, the post first scene chapters that have caught my attention most have been Edogai, the big scenes in the prison and that bonnie and clyde duo.
Anonymous3065196
@SuperMario Are you watching GK s2? Any thoughts on it since you aren't covering this weekly?
Anonymous3065196
I think I laughed more from this than most of the comedies airing right now thanks to these bizarre situations and characters they're introducing.
Anonymous3065196
The anime is now covering the parts in the manga where things get a lot more dramatic, and a lot more weird and oddly hilarious.
Anonymous3065196
Wonder if anyone is still watching Golden Kamuy? We're way past the embarrassing CG bear.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A polar bear isekai exists.
AidanAK47
@Anon, it will be after in another world but a polar bear but before the gyarus in another world Isekai.
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Nobody could care about world building not really making sense or being inconsistent if it didn't have the grimderp parts that cause internet flame wars
MaskyAtPublicComputer
So it goes back to what I said: GS at its core is about (at least seemingly) about cool gorey tactical action with some character study of what its like to be broken person like GS is, but rape stuff just kinda ruins it for most people and it doesn't handle subject well
MaskyAtPublicComputer
gear doesn't rust and break down
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Anyhoo, I might remember wrong, but didn't GS purposedly use lower quality gear that has danger of breaking down in middle of combat? Thats kinda what I meant with "apparently using average quality gear is too dangerous", especially since its kinda hard to believe goblins could repurpose armor used by humans for themselves. I'm completely okay with him not using magical gear since D&D wise magical
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Like, you can't be like "Aha, characters think they are in JRPG, but its actually tabletop rpg oh wait no, it still follows realistic logic instead of tabletop rpg rules"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
See, barbarians in D&D don't wear armor because they are stronger without it, sure they have lower AC, but they have lot of health so they can tank a hit. So showing barbarian adventure dying in one hit because they were stupid enough to not wear armor just comes across as "So wait, is this supposed to be realistic, tabletop rpg or JRPG or what?"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
@AidanAK47: That IS actually part of reason why I said GS' author isn't thinking it through with world building. See, I actually think world being gods' D&D campaign does actually explain lot of details about how things don't make sense and it does fit with GS being D&D inspired, but that is another example of how GS is inconsistent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps not the strongest episode of honda-san, but the golden kamuy and Brazilian guy bit made up for it.
Lenlo
I might give it a watch after Kaze Fui finishes and write that up, just for you then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anime kind of feels a bit live actiony, which I know sounds confusing to hear, what I mean is the character designs.
Anonymous3060338
I'm very interested in doing a comparison between the anime adaptation and the live-action adaptation of Kaze ga once the series concludes next year just because these are two different mediums adapting the same novel. I would really like to know what they had to change or cut to get it down to 2 hours, compared to this two-cour series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*storytelling
Kaiser-Eoghan
Old films are particularly a coin toss with the huge build up model style of story, the writer needs to be really good to connect all the dots in the last act.
Lenlo
To me, delayed plot points like that are the best, but also dangerous. If it sets it up and pays it off well, its fantastic. However if it falls short, then its a long promise that failed to get fulfilled and it stings.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not a fan of these exposition last minute backstory then the character dies just afterwards "development".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kaze has created a mood and rhythm thats justified its slow burn, by gradually unveiling rather than one giant infodump, the series seems more natural for it.
Anonymous3060338
A pity that some folks are going to drop Kaze ga just because they're not getting immediate catharsis from seeing Haiji getting what he deserves according to them. We're still likely going to get reasons for his actions eventually, but it will take a while especially when we haven't seen the consequences from the rest of the team. Patience is a virtue.
Anonymous3060338
However, I doubt this sentiment will be shared with most anime viewers who are too used to expecting immediate payoffs because of the episode amount leading to a need to rush through developments.
Anonymous3060338
You know, with most adaptations being required to move quickly to adapt source material from the manga/LNs just to fit in 12/24 episodes, seeing a show like Kaze ga take its time with the episodes it has as a novel adaptation is kind of refreshing.
Lenlo
@Anon, I havnt seen this weeks episode yet, but I am hoping the same. Haiji needs a bit of a reality check. I like him, but he has been very manipulative so far
Lenlo
Yup! I am a fool who keeps covering long shows
Kaiser-Eoghan
Beyond Kakeru's story, I think I'm invested in Kings one aswell. Due to how easily relatable it would be for most.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't aware Kaze ga was a two cour series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't read the light night novels, only some of the manga adaptations, is the "its a game of the Gods" thing ever followed up/developed on later in the light novels?
Anonymous3059830
And perhaps show some vulnerability from Haiji, since it seems like other people are getting the impression that we have to sympathize with a manipulative liar and con artist. Granted, I don't think Haiji is exactly that. It's stupid to pidgeonhole Kaze ga's characters under sweeping generalizations.
Anonymous3059830
I'm kinda hoping that during Kaze ga's next episode, that most of the team ends up underperforming during the track meet aside from Haiji and Kakeru. It would show just how unready the team is for the marathon.
AidanAK47
If we are really gonna dig deep into how the GS world functions the big question is how the hell they manage names if everyone is named after their class.
AidanAK47
On another note Masky, part of the game like nature of the world of Goblin slayer is because it literally is a D&D campaign between the gods.
AidanAK47
And I told you lot that it was going to be popular right? Why are you surprised?
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's not the reason he uses lower quality gear. With the amount of goblins he's killing any higher quality weapon would be rendered useless and he doesn't require anything fancy to kill goblins.
Lenlo
Exactly! I loved both of those series as well. I love series where tactics are involved, instead of just yelling louder and getting stronger. Some old Naruto fights had this to, though that fell apart in Shippuden.
Anonymous3059351
@Lenlo - Something like Yuyu Hakusho or Hunter x Hunter were they made a plan for attack through the episode and then do it?
Lenlo
For me, the appeal of GS was, excluding the rape, the attempted realism of the combat. I was hoping for a sort of guerrilla warfare against the goblins esq series. Where a protagonist wins via tactics and knowledge, instead of typical shonen raw power. Sadly that has fallen off a bit since episode 1.
Masky
Thats kinda what I meant though, it wouldnt' be as notable if GS didn't try to be "realistic" aka you know how whole first episode is about how longswords suck in narrow caverns and such. It kinda draws attention to stuff that doesnt' make sense
Anonymous3059351
Even Mirai Nikki was at least bat shit insane on how it played fast and loose with its shock value just for the sake of having a twist.
Anonymous3059351
Still aside from the shock value and the memes I don't get the appeal of this particular series. And I'm saying that as someone who liked Hellsing and Elfen Lied and the shocking parts of Evangelion. And to me I think this isn't as blatant, manipulative or even that edgy. Might just think the intend is perverse but it just hasn't build an atmosphere as let's say Attack on Titan.
Anonymous3059351
I agree there's something off when one puts more thought in what the author intends than what the story does. Because like sexualization and violence is all about how you frame it. The manga I think has more male gaze towards the situation than what the anime has shown, because on one the depiction is centered on the victim and the other at least cuts more towards the attacker.
Anonymous3059351
@Masky - If you think about it. Monsters in fantasy setting rarely are put in depth. How does their populations work? Why several live in dungeons? Beasts, animals and spirits are usually put in the same group.
Masky
Like, Goblin Slayer's wholse speculation about goblin hatred for everyone else being cycle of revenge thing kinda becomes weird when you realize "wait a sec, they can't breed on their own, so even if adventurers never attacked them, wouldn't they still attack villages?"
Masky
Like, if you check the interviews with authors, it seems like only reason he actually chose to include goblin rape was to make checklist of things that make them really horrible/horrifying :P So without really thinking about "is this good idea to include", which kinda pops up lot in the work where author really didn't think "does this make sense"
Masky
t and realize its really dumb logic to increase your chances of dying because you don't want goblins to take average quality gear :P
Masky
Thats my point though, the whole goblin rape thing makes it harder to suspend disbelief because 1) it really clashes with actual tone of the work 2) there are other logical problems with GS. Such as Goblin Slayer's logic of "I use poor quality gear because I know I will one day fightnig goblins so I want to avoid giving them good quality gear" is type of thing that sounds cool until you think a bi
Anonymous3059208
Willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe something surreal; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.
Masky
Heck on point 3, why the frick side characters treat the world like it is jrpg world. Like, why is there armorless shirtless barbarian character in setting where they can die from one spear to the chest, it doesn't make setting world building wise for that character to have survived to be high ranking adventurer in first place
Masky
I mean, let's face it, in world where goblins like that exist 1) why the heck would they have reputation as harmless pests, they wipe out entire villages 2) what kind of governing body would either let villages be destroyed by "pests" or let villages they can't guard be established 3) why the heck wouldn't all adventures use helmets in world that doesn't follow jrpg logic?
Masky
Anyhoo, my opinion on GS is that it really should have avoided goblin rape thing because it makes people take the show more "seriously" which makes it hard to justify it being popcorn movie level world building.
Masky
Do note though, that over use of rape IS one of things bad about Berserk :P
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SSSS.GRIDMAN – 06 [Contact]

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Planetes – 7 & 8 [Extraterrestrial Girl/A Place to Cling To] – Throwback Thursday

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