Posted on 28 December 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, K



Sometimes this happens: the point where I’ve nearly written off a series, and then it pulls something that drastically changes my opinion of it. For a long time, I was just planning to write my review of K with the base of “gorgeous, but unambitious and boring”. Then the final episode turned out to be the best of the entire series and a second season got announced. Now it suddenly is a solid show that devotes a bit too much time to building up.

The thing with K at first sight was that even though it seemed really ambitious at first sight, the story delved into some very simple murder mystery, alongside a war between two different clans. It never really went beyond that and it also did not try to spice things up much, aside from some gorgeous visuals and action scenes. It had some talk about seven different kings that for a long time didn’t really go anywhere other than explaining why some people in the world are ridiculously powerful. It just did not make sense with the mindset that this would be just a 13-episode series.

But yeah, it all turned out to be just build-up. With the way this series is, I would not recommend it on its own, but it set a solid base for its second season. A big problem with a lot of this series was that there also was hardly any character development. The final few episodes finally also brought that in. Doable for a series with 26 episodes, but not for one with 13.

Oh about the animation by the way: K wins the award of the best animation of the season, or at least the biggest production values can be found here with tons of smooth animation, realistic character movements and well coordinated fight scenes. It’s also got a pretty good soundtrack. My only complaint is that the creators like to abuse lighting effects, to the point where every short has some sort of obnoxious filter over it.

So yeah, I’ll be checking out the second season. Then we’ll know whether the build-up in this series was actually worth it.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Good build-up, just forgets to deliver through most of its airtime…
Characters: 7.5/10 – The characters stay rather bland through most the airtime. Emphasis on “Most”, because they do come together in the finale.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Gorgeous animation, nice soundtrack.
Setting: 7/10 – Doesn’t really do much with its setting and the seven kings backstory feels a bit empty.

Suggestions:
Durarara
Heat Guy J
Karas

Posted on 12 November 2012 with categories: K

We’re nearly at the halfway point of this show and it’s time to bring in the background episode: the episode that shows who it was that Yashiro supposedly killed. It was a strange guy who liked to try out a lot of different things, hung around with thugs, even though he wasn’t one himself and who was also very charismatic to boot. This episode seemed to hint that at one point he split in two, with Yashiro being his other half, who afterwards just lost his memory. What the cat has to do with this… I have no idea.

Again, this episode was neat, but again I feel like the creators could have done more with this. It’s all very straight forward, and none of the characters really stands out or sets himself apart. What I liked best was Yashiro this episode as he realized that his memory was fake, but even that was a bit monotone.

Oh, and I still quite like the detail that the creators put in their environment. The backgrounds in this series are probably rendered photos, but they still look gorgeous. Plus, you can see that the creators of this show like food quite a bit, with all of the details they put into the different kinds of food that the characters eat. Whether this will be enough for this series though… I’m not sure.
Rating: 4/8 (Nice)

Posted on 6 November 2012 with categories: K

This was one of those annoying episodes of which you won’t know whether it was good or not until the series ends. Annoying to review, I mean, not to watch, mind you.

But yeah, in terms of plot, nothing concrete really happens: people search for someone, they don’t find him. People fight, they retreat. People prepare for something, but that is left for the next episode. A cliff-hanger promises a lot of intrigue… yet not in this episode.

No, this was all about character building. Fleshing out the cast and making the audience more familiar with them, in particular the skateboard guy and his companion, along with Saruhiko (who is not Reishi by the way, a mistake I made at first). Highlight was the gorgeously animated fight scene between these guys.

But yeah, this build-up is nice and all, but it’s pointless if you ain’t gonna use it, and shows like this tend to forget that, getting so much caught up in their build-up that they forget to deliver. this show has the luxury of being anime original, so not bound on any kind of original source material whatsoever, so in theory it can really do as it pleases. Now make use of that!
Rating: 4/8 (Nice)

Posted on 29 October 2012 with categories: K

This was a build-up episode. It was fun, and I get its purpose, but something tells me that the creators could have been a bit more ambitious with it. Every single subplot was dropped aside from the one between Shiro and Kuro save for two small scenes, even though the chaos of having so many subplots is part of the charms of this series.

What I liked most about this episode was how Shiro and Kuro were retracing Shiro’s steps during the night of the crime, trying to find an alibi. The abovementioned chaos. thankfully was present in that night when a lot of crazy things happened that night. They were all played for laughs, and it definitely got some nice chuckles out of me, but with such an idea I wonder whether the creators could have taken it a bit further by toying with that flashback even more. Right now they’ve got gold in their hands with that if they use it right.

Just forget what I said if this was just a build-up, and the creators used this episode to set up things for later when things really get crazy. There were a lot of hints in this episode that more happened than what was just shown in this episode. It’s tricky to do that though. And in the case of this series, I have no idea whether the creators will actually be able to pull it off. I mean, this series has shown that it has a knack for animation and character chemistry. Build-up is an entirely different matter, though.
Rating: 4/8 (Nice)

Posted on 20 October 2012 with categories: K

K has a lot of characters. I like that, and in fact I’m a big fan of those kinds of series. They are however, a double edged sword: try getting some good development out of all of them, especially with only 13 episodes. The trick will be balancing the development for all of them: focus on a bunch of them and flesh them out really well, and give the guys who aren’t in the foreground presence, rather than making them into characters for the sake of having more characters.

K is trying to achieve that balance, definitely. There are a few key characters here in this story: Suoh and Reishi with his powers on one side and Kurou and Yashiro on the other side. Suoh and Reishi are fleshed out by all the people around them, their subordinates et cetera, while Kurou and Yashiro are fleshed out through their own actions and their chemistry.

Beyond that we have the side characters, most of them are pretty one-dimensional at this point. Think of the cat girl who is always cheerful, or the punk who is always snarky and stuff. For these guys it’s going to be impossible to make all of them three-dimensional, so the trick will be to give all of them presence and make all of them different, and still create impact with all of them. Ideally, at the end of this series I want to have one stand-out moment for all of them. Episode 1 already had that moment for the skating punk guy with its animation. This episode instead made Shirou stand out. I quite liked the climax of this series. Instead of ending with a cliff-hanger or a tense battle, they just end with a silly joke that shows more about his character. Very nice.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 15 October 2012 with categories: K

… as for the reason why I picked this series over Code Breaker… ehehehe. It was to avoid a certain… problem. Allow me to elaborate:
– Sword Art Online: 25 episodes. Will end next December.
– Kamisama Hajimemashita: 7 DVDs, so will probably have 13 episodes.
– Hunter X Hunter: with the ratings it’s getting there is no way that Madhouse will cancel it after the Yorkshin arc
– Space Brothers: everything looks like this will be 50 episodes long.
– From the New World: 25 episodes.
– Zetsuen no Tempest: episode count not yet known, but there is no way Bones will make this just one season long.
– Magi: is on the prime time slot. There’s no way that this will be 1 cour.
– Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: 8 DVDs, so longer than 1 cour.
– Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo: 8 DVDs, so longer than 1 cour.
– Psycho Pass: 22 episodes.
– Robotics;Notes: 22 episodes.
– K: 13 episodes.

Are you starting to see the problem here? I mean, it’s awesome to have all these long series and all, but I’m going to have a huge problem in about three months from now. Especially considering that Chihayafuru’s second season will debut next season. If I ended up swapping SAO with Little Busters, then without K I would be unable to blog any new show for the upcoming winter season! Especially considering how many of them are set to deliver in their second halves! And even without this: the people saying that this season is too big: prepare youselves, because unless the upcoming winter is completely terrible, it will be completely crazy with all the continuing shows!

So, K. Granted, it lacks a bit of depth to some of the other shows this season, but it is the series with the best animation of the series, and it’s just very fun to watch. Compared to the other show with amazing graphics this season, Shin Sekai Yori, the animation may be less varied, but it’s also more consistently gorgeous. Shin Sekai Yori has parts that look just simple. In this show, every scene looks great. Gohands are a studio that tend to abuse CG lighting a bit too much, but it’s great to see how much movement the creators managed to put into this series considering that it’s just a TV-series. Also, when characters move in this series, they move with their entire bodies, rather than just turning or looking up in simple ways.

This episode had much fewer characters than the first episode, but the cat and mouse game (pun half intended) between the sword guy and the white-haired guy and the cat who suddenly turned into a naked girl was a lot of fun to watch. That kind of snarkiness is by the way something that Jormungand can learn a lot from: The characters are having fun, and there are definitely a few snarkers here, but there is much more to their charcters than that and there are many characters who are completely different. The question for this show will be: will this just remain a fun show to watch, or will there be more?

Most of the details in this show go to its settings. I mostly mean with how well it’s drawn and animated. The moving backgrounds of last episode were a treat, but also the detail it puts in the houses and building. This episode also animated some delicious looking food; I especially like that scene of the spring onions being cut. That looks so hard to do right.

Also, props to the music department! This episode also showed some insert songs, which I tend to appreciate provided that they’re not used for crappy montage scenes. I mean really: Psycho Pass, From the New World, Jojo, Zetsuen no Tempest, K: all shows with awesome soundtracks this season. Talk about a treat!
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 5 October 2012 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, K, Some Quick First Impressions

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a rich noble’s son.
Well, there you have it. The fourth awesome opening episode of the season. I mean heck: this was absolutely delightful. It just screamed retro cheese, but it was so incredibly over the top that it became stunning. I mean, Dio Brando is such a great villain that every time he appeared on the screen I just sat there with a giant grin, but just about everything in this episode was done with incredible passion. Normally I’d complain about overacting, but the way in which this episode just took it over 9000 made it so enjoyable to watch. The show also has this reallly interesting visual style: like expected the animators didn’t attempt to make everything look clean and the characters often look off-model (not to mention the inclusion of some manga-style sound effects – really!), but the direction was so good. It knew what to animate properly, and the use of colours and poses was just delightful to watch. Why did it take so long to make a proper anime of this thing?
ED: Great song there, with great vocals and a very good use of a guitar.
Potential: 90%

K

Short Synopsis: Our lead character has this evil side that murders people.
Whoa, now this is a feast for the senses! The graphical style really shows that this comes from the same people as Mardock Scranble, but even then I was surprised by what a visual orgasm this was. And they made it look so easy. Every frame of this episode looked utterly gorgeous, but what’s even more impressive is that at times they actually bothered to animate the background art. Keep a look-out for the skating scenes, because those were particularly gorgeous. On top of that, this show has a very creative soundtrack: it’s diverse, has very catchy songs and comes with a ton of different styles. The voice acting though… not so good: Lotsa Engrish! Beyond that though, this is a show that was clearly inspired by Durarara, and that’s a very good thing: there were lots of different characters, lots of stuff going on at the same time. It very much was an introduction episode, and this can still go anywhere, but I’m glad to see that this show tries so hard: so many characters are difficult to balance well, but they can get some very good stuff out of this when they manage to pull it off. Some minor complaints: this show has bad hacking going on, and for some reason they did manage to include a school in this series. There are a few cliches in this show that just seem to be there in order to look cool. I know that that’s exactly what this show is trying to do, but there is such a thing as taking things too far.
OP: Utterly gorgeous OP, plus a nice song from Angela.
Potential: 85%

Btooom!

Short Synopsis: Our lead character wakes up in a video game.
One of Madhouse’s specialties is adrenaline: creating those series that focus on building up this stuff. In that way, Btooom is the perfect series for them. It focuses on this teenager who ends up in a game world, but usually with these kinds of stories, the game is an RPG. This time, we’re talking about a full blown action game in which people kill each other with bombs. This is really what I’m looking for for a weekly dose of adrenaline: it got the emotions of the lead male right, combining bewilderment with this sense to survive. This episode already gave a bit of a taste of what the battles will be like, and they’re tense, but also completely unrealistic. It’s a missed opportunity that this series should have put some thought into its explosions, but right now they’re mostly plot devices. The soundtrack and animation are pretty solid though. I mean this isn’t going to win any awards, but if it can keep up this atmosphere then it’ll be pretty damn entertaining. Just handle the lead female with a bit of tact, okay?
OP: Quite stylish, but degenerates into a bit too much of a copy of other OPs as it goes along.
ED: Is that Chiaki Ishikawa? One of my favorite singers for these OPs and EDs. Not her best work, but still a great voice.
Potential: 75%

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • mamamoo
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    I’ve decided to get into manga on whim today after exclusively only watch anime for 6 years. I’m thinking of getting Monster, Berserk, Cardcaptor Sakura and 1 more. I think I want another shoujo manga in there to just keep the balance. Any recommendations? I like complicated\\pyschological dark stuff which sounds a bit contradictory to the shoujo genre but I’m just putting it out there for a recc
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 04:11 PM)
    @K-Off, I do have the option to update WordPress but to do so I need psgels FTP password. I could try sending him a message to see if I can get that or if he can do it himself.
  • K-Off
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:52 AM)
    @Aidan If the “recent comments” is failing to show up this often, it may be a problem with the plugin or maybe even the theme itself, the site is outdated. If you can do anything on your end you can try.
  • K-Off
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:39 AM)
    Okay for now, the Featured Posts box will have only 6 thumbnails in it until the next few reviews, since for some reason I can tag helghast’s OST review but not any of the previous episodes.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:33 AM)
    Or not. WordPress make up your mind.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:33 AM)
    Looks like recent comments disappears when we have more than six.
  • K-Off
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:30 AM)
    @Aidan I’ll try tagging 6 more to see if it’ll do a similar thing at 9 posts.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:29 AM)
    Ah crap. Almost forgot.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:28 AM)
    If you set it to three then the featured Posts category only shows two for some reason.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:26 AM)
    Weird…

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Bungou Stray Dogs – 08

I have to say more than anything this is Bungou Stray Dogs’ special episode, in a sense that in one hand, the show produces one of its most brilliance ever, but on the other hand, there are still many shortcomings along with the greatness, producing an episode that mostly entertainment but uneven. The introduction of […]

Joker Game - 08 1

Joker Game – 08

Well Joker Game managed to pull a twist I didn’t see coming and what makes it rather amusing is that it did it unintentionally. For you see it took the entire episode for me to figure out that I wasn’t watching the antics of another spy of the D-agency only to figure out that this […]

Flying witch 07b

Flying witch – 07

One of the thing that Flying witch always does it right is how it establish the chemistry between any characters, while at the same time maintain the consistency in their personalities. It feels like if you give them any random characters in any random situation, pretty much the show can hit it off. Last week […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 08 1

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 08

I feel bad for the artists and animators who made the opening and ending for this show as they don’t seem to be getting much use. Not that I am complaining of course as if the choice is between a catchy theme song and more content then content wins every time. Though it is a […]

Kiznaiver - 07 4

Kiznaiver – 07

To some this may be the strongest episode of Kiznaiver to date. However to someone like myself I find myself mixed on what I just witnessed. I have said before that what I like about this series are the aspects which are distinctly Trigger which would be it’s sense of wacky humor and character chemistry. […]

Mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga – 08

Again this week Mayoiga succeed at bringing a big screw-you to us audience. The cliffhanger last week is quickly revealed, and we come to learn that Masaki is not a ghost, nor is she a witch, but simply that… she had visited the Lost Village before. Big surprise! It really is a ridiculous anti-climax, but […]

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 06

If you haven’t heard by now, the second season of Attack on Titan has been delayed till 2017 because Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is far too awesome for Studio Wit to handle in a single year. I really couldn’t care less about the delay since I already know what’s going to happen in season […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 07d

Bungou Stray Dogs – 07

This week the plot revolving the Azure King was resolved and it raises the conflict of sense of justice between Dazai and Kunikida. Like what I suspected last week, all the new characters are in play in this episode and now I get the hang of Bungou Stray Dogs storytelling now. The new characters will […]

Joker Game - 07 3

Joker Game – 07

You know, I am beginning to wonder just how do those lessons go at the D-Agency. Is it something like “Ok, class. Today I will teach you how to summon dolphins with a whistle. After that we will go over the magic rituals of Aleister Crowley and finally have a refresher on the finer points […]

Latest Reviews

20160513001913_1

Lucid9: Inciting Incident Video Game Review – 85/100

It’s not often I pick a game up without prior knowledge. I abhor the act of pre-ordering and at least do a google search on the title to get a general idea of it’s overall quality. Gone are the day you walk into a game store and buy something purely on a whim or the […]

The Totem Warrior

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 3: Haoliners inputs

This part we explore one Chinese animation studio’s works. I choose Haoliners partly because they are independent studio, and their works are not hard to find. Just established in 2013, Haoliners is an indie studio but gathered more reputation in the last few years in their homeland. My experience with them through those titles below […]

Cover

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress OST Review

This will be the first time in my anime blogging career that I have ever done one of these anime OST review. It should be known that I have a complete bias for Hiroyuki Sawano as he has become one of the biggest composer for anime in recent years in some of my favorite anime […]

Nüwa’s Growth Diary

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 2: Chinese Anime shows

As much as I hated the term Chinese Anime (Anime stands for Japanese animation, strictly speaking), this is the exact term for those shows. Their influence from the Anime was so heavy that apart from the voice cast and some scene settings, you can’t tell those apart from the original anime. With that said, judge from […]

If anyone have been followed animation closely for the last few years, they will notice a recent rise of Chinese animation (call it a wave if you like), both in feature and in series. While it does not have much of an impact in any English speaking world like anime has been, they are really popular in their mainland and some parts of Asian countries. With the success of Kung Fu Panda (half-produced by China) and its power on movies industry (China IS the main market for feature films now), it is worth it to take a look on this current trend and see how they are different from anime.
While my fellow bloggers are the ones who more specialize in Games and Manga, I will be the one who cover World Animation (by that I mean anything animated other than anime and American big studio animation – they got way too much coverage already). Like majority of you guys I am not from China, my Chinese is as good as my Japanese (which is to say NONE), so this is actually goddamn difficult to look for titles, and the information I could find are sacred here on top of that find a suitable sub for it, most of them does not even have an English name, thus the title and the synopsis that I give you here are just a rough translation. So behold. This is our very first attempt to cover the animation of china.

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 1: Computer Animated Wuxia shows

If anyone have been followed animation closely for the last few years, they will notice a recent rise of Chinese animation (call it a wave if you like), both in feature and in series. While it does not have much of an impact in any English speaking world like anime has been, they are really popular […]

asagao to kase-san

K-Off’s Ongoing Manga Recommendations (embedded links)

If you frequent the frontpage of Imgur or r/manga often, you may have seen some of my past manga recommendation lists before, but here’s some ongoing manga that I’ll recommend for now. This is in no particular order of best-worst, I’ve also embedded the links to the scanlations into the images for your convenience. 1. […]

New Manga Spotlight – Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne, Shoujo Fujuubun and Shimanami Tasogare

New Manga Spotlight – Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne, Shoujo Fujuubun and Shimanami Tasogare

Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne Two chapters so far. Ah love, that sweet nectar which all seek to experience. And truly there is nothing more romantic than gathering up your courage, inviting the girl you love up to the roof, taking her by the shoulders and proclaiming with all your […]

kQtrlYU

Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei video game review- 35/100 (avoid it like the plague)

To preface, I’d call this the poor man’s Fire Emblem if it wasn’t so damn expensive for its quality, not to mention so difficult to find. Here in New York City outside of lower Manhattan, there’s game stores in Brooklyn, Queens, Flatiron, and Newport, to a total count of 12 game stores in a 20 […]

413420_20160420220647_1

DanganRonpa 2: Goodbye Despair Video Game Review – 90/100

There may be those of you who know this series more by its anime adaption instead of it’s video games and if you haven’t watched the anime of this I highly recommend that you don’t watch it. Instead play the games which have been recently ported to Steam. The reason I say this is that […]