Posted on 28 September 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kakegurui

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members of the student council in a series of gambling games. The setting is absolutely ridiculous with a unnecessary school setting that makes no sense whatever considering what happens in the series. The cast is made up of people whose main trait is being crazy in some form or another and go over the top with facial expressions. Yes to judge this show on these qualities would have it fall low indeed but that is not what makes a show enjoyable. I believe that style over substance is what I am getting at here as Kakegurui works mainly due to it’s presentation.

While gambling is the focus of this anime, the games themselves don’t really amount to much as we never really get a chance to look inside Yumeko’s head and see her work out plans or countermeasures. If you have just finished Kaiji and walk into Kakegurui expecting something similar then you will be undoubtably disappointed. For the common factor here is to see how smug the opponent is in how they rigged the game and having Yumeko eventually unveil that she knows about it and manages to win. Often putting her previous smug opponent down a peg.

Thus the satisfaction is in seeing the over exaggerated fashion at which this all goes down. The music, animation and art are often as over the top as possible with the soundtrack sporting trumpets and jazz like music while the characters faces distort into vile contortions be it in victory or defeat. Every character is crazy and none are crazier than our lead who often elapses into sexual excitement over the idea of risk. This aspect can get admittedly too much as it’s used to push fanservice as characters essentially orgasm over gambling and there are quite a few times where in female characters seem to be visually seducing each other in what would be otherwise a normal conversation. Yuri undertones are apparent here quite blatantly despite none of the character being made clear to be homosexual nor interesting in anything besides gambling and their own ambitions.

As such this is a series that I can’t really provide value through words, instead I say if you show interest then check out the first episode as that acts as an example of what you will receive for the entire series. However I would warn you to not expect something more than that as Kakegurui is only good at one thing and it will not move far from that one thing. This is a series about a crazy gambling girl showing smug assholes their place. That’s all you are going to get. But if you are fine with that then this is the show for you. Personally while i enjoyed it at first, I began to grow tired of it in the final episodes of the shows run so my rating for it’s that it’s a decent distraction but not one I will return to.

Posted on 26 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kakegurui

It’s been awhile since I seen an anime original ending and honestly I was rather dreading it when I started this episode. Anime original endings don’t have a good track record as of course attempting to tack on an abrupt conclusion to an ongoing story is not going to turn out swimmingly. Even if I wasn’t aware this would be anime original, I believe the dialogue at the beginning of the episode would have clued me in. For I always notice a level of artificiality when it comes to anime original endings, like here where the characters are attempting to string together some feeling of conclusion from what is essentially the start of a story. However against all odd this actually worked out for Kakegurui. We have an ending which brings a feeling of closure while leaving open the potential for a second season, a second season which I don’t think this series needs. I will be blunt and say that this series has run it’s course and the only thing that lies ahead is more of the same. There is only so many times you can see the same scenario before it grows tiresome and so it’s better to stop while you are ahead than run yourself ragged. For anyone that wants more there is always the option to start the manga from chapter 27, where the anime leaves off.

So Yumeko bets against the president and in the source it was supposed to be that the president’s secretary challenges her instead. leading to a high stakes bet that involves a giant tower structure that the president built for the sole purpose of a single bet. Here though the president challenges Yumeko to a simple game using Tarot cards. Admittedly anticlimactic considering that if the president was dying to bet against Yumeko then she would set up a much more dramatic gamble but well we got one episode to wrap this show up and when you get down to it the gamble isn’t really the important part. The rules are simple, three people pick up a single tarot card. Each tarot card is worth a certain amount of points and depending on whether it’s upside down or rightside up those points could be plus or minus. The president wins if the points are minus while Yumeko wins if the points are plus. Both pick up one card and the last card is selected by Ryota. The loser of the bet must leave the academy forever and never come back. It is rather funny that out of all the bets Yumeko has been in, this is by far the most fair. In most other games the opponent was cheating but here it really does appear to be a game of luck and nothing more.

Though thanks to luck the president manages to put Yumeko in a position where the only card she can win with is the fool and Ryota must be the one to pick up that card. I really love the mindgame here however as one of the cards was marked by the president’s nail polish during a small demonstration, making it that all that needs to be done to win is to pick up the marked card. Though the question is whether the president truly marked the fool card or some other card in other to throw off her opponent. This leads to what might be quite frankly, my favorite moment in this series, where Ryota more or less confesses to Yumeko and ends up picking a card at random. The way that Yumeko practically transformed into a demonic entity guiding his hand is an image that’s likely to come to mind whenever I think of this series. Thus the game ends in a draw and neither have to leave the campus. Though whether the president marked the Fool card or not is left up to debate, to which I guess that she probably did. Thus we have a confrontation showdown between the two without compromising the possibility of a second season. I may require some rewriting to make it work but it can be done but much like I said before, I think it’s fine to leave this story like this. Kakegurai isn’t likely to get a second season and an ending like this is fine as she managed to challenge all the student council members and not leave too much hanging. Sure there is a bit of a sequel hook but it is my hope that this will be it as this show came, did it’s thing and now can leave the stage graciously.

Posted on 20 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kakegurui

So…what am i supposed to say here? Yumeko wins, the treasurer loses and now the show looks to be teasing a matchup between the Student council President and Yumeko. I would say it’s a good thing this shows end looms near as my interest in it has just about petered out. I love seeing smug scumbags get just desserts as much as anybody but there is only so many times that the same story beats can be repeated. The games may change and the people playing them but the formula is the same. Yumeko challenges them, forces them to put their life on the line and wins. That’s essentially the admittedly bare bones rundown of this story from start to finish.

In this case the differentiating factor was the inclusion of Itsuki who backs up Yumeko with her cash. The series seems to treat this as some master plan by Yumeko to get the treasurer into putting more into his bet than he can pay off. Who goes as far as to bite off her fingernails because of…dramatic effect? Actually why did she do that? Wait, how did she do that, I mean if she bit down hard she would have just bitten through them and somehow managed to tear off all ten of her fingernails cleanly with her mouth. Honestly that’s very impressive for a ridiculously useless skill. So they managed to trick the Treasurer by doing…something. Honestly i have difficulty in following the logic as it seems to be along the lines of fooling the Treasurer into thinking Yumeko was going for a weak hand and distracting him with the theatrics of Itsuki so that he didn’t take the safer route. A ridiculously risky plan which has me wondering just how the two could be so ridiculously confident in it.

Enter the student council president who seems to display the same level of insanity of Yumeko that no one can quite understand. In fact I say I would be clueless without context as well seeing as the president starts off by talking about supernovas. Overall this talk seems to show that Yumeko and the president are on the same level of crazy and are both addicted to the risk of high stakes gambles. Evidenced by her cornering her own member of the council just to make a gamble more interesting. The way this interest in risky gambles always seems to be displayed is often though high sexual excitement. Which sort of trivialises it as not so much an intellectual thrill and more like a masochistic fetish. In fact, a lot of the interest in this show are visualised in a sexual manner, even the Secretary’s respect for the president is more along the lines of romantic attraction, if evidenced by the heavy blush she had just by the president revealing herself. I swear, what is with this show and yuri undertones? I am pretty certain no one in this show is distinctly homosexual so why? I mean I know the obvious reason why…but why?

Posted on 13 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kakegurui

It seems to be a common theme in Shounen series that as the series goes on, less and less happens in each episode. Which makes my job all the harder. In this week’s episode of Kakegurui Yumeko faces off against the student council treasurer and loses. Now that would be something rather refreshing for Yumeko to lose a high stakes bet but it appears that losing was part of the plan. As Yumeko pushes former antagonist Itsuki to put all her money down for a once in a lifetime chance to get back on a council. With the flashback sequence it tries to spur sympathy for Itsuki was recruited into the council by the treasurer as a pawn and tossed aside when she lost her usefulness.

It is indeed nice to see her back up Yumeko in order to put the smug self satisfied student council president in his place. However unlike Mary, Itsuki’s redemption is harder to get behind. After all while Mary did act as antagonist before, when she did she was just trying to put Yumeko down a bit. Itsuki on the other hand carries around a case full of human fingernails and threatened to rip off Yumeko’s nails if she lost. No matter how you try to justify her actions that still comes across as rather unhinged. Villain turnarounds in a shounen series are nothing new but the turn should be a little more gradual than this if the characters actions at the start where rather horrific.

Then we have the Treasurer and boy do I dislike these types of characters. The genius planner type that somehow makes out every situation as if it is some grand master plan calculated to the most minor of details. I don’t mind characters like the cast of Death Note as at least their reasoning is within a realistic context but this guy throws around probability like it’s ironclad law. No matter how smart you are and no matter how much you may calculate the odds, there is no certainty in it. It’s just guesswork and while you can be successful in gambling by being able to calculate probability, it is far from being foolproof. Having a character be so ridiculously self assured in actions which have plenty of room for failure just has me rather aggravated as all it really takes to knock them off their high horse is one small thing not going to plan. So yes, right now the Treasurer is self assured in his victory but knowing Yumeko it’s likely she wishes to put him in a position of real risk. Losing this match wouldn’t really cost the Treasurer that much and Yumeko’s usual code of play is to get her opponent into a position where they really have a lot to lose.

Posted on 5 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kakegurui

It’s an episode like this that really shows that the appeal of this series isn’t so much on the gambling games themselves but rather on the individuals playing them. In this case the gamble was barely present in the episode at all as it was a varity of 9 games in which the winner is decided by the audience. We don’t actually see the games being played, instead the show decides to skip over and montage the games. The cuts to the first game were rather jarring but understandable. They didn’t want to waste time animating three song and dance routines. But really the only game that mattered was the final one as it was revealed that Yumemi purposefully gave Yumeko a lead in the game so she could stage a miraculous comeback to make the show more entertaining. However she was taken completely off guard when the game she engineered to work in her favor was turned on her. The last game being for the two to guess the birthday of an audience member and because Mary was chosen instead of one of her fan club members, her plan was decimated.

I have to say that for all the confidence Yumemi and the treasurer had this has to be a massive oversight. Then again Yumeko’s level of predictive skill so far exceeds any logical level that she more or less has access to this show’s script at this point. This may be why I lost interest in reading the manga as there is only so long a game can remain interesting with a protagonist so overpowered as this. I enjoy seeing smug self confident horrible people get their just deserts as much as anyone but there is only so many times before I get bored of the situation. I want to see Yumeko actually work for a victory, not just smile and recite deductions likely only gained through precognition. As Yumeko puts it herself, there isn’t any fun unless both participants have an even level of risk. While Yumeko does stop her opponents cheating, everything tends to go exactly as she planned. Even if she leaves part of it up to luck. It’s much like the power creep of Isekai’s wherein the main character becomes so strong that only an act of god could defeat him. Otherwise it’s just a long line of the main character showing people how amazing they are.

Despite her true feelings being revealed to public, Yumemi manages to get away with her career intact as her fans decide to love her even if she finds them disgusting. I still think that she would be better off starting in acting rather than idol work for her end goal but well all’s well that ends well I guess. So Yumiko has managed to use this gamble to set up another gamble with the treasurer by accusing him of sabotaging Yumemi’s gamble. Despite the fact that it was actually the girl in the orange hood who send that letter to Yumeko. Already Yumeko has moved to challenge the next rung on her road to challenge the president to a gamble.

Posted on 29 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kakegurui

I only just noticed it now but I see the opening of this series actually spoils the order which Yumeko takes on the student council. Likely because I skip the opening after seeing it once.(Unless it’s really good.) So this time we have an idol girl and if there are those who read my posts then you might know that I don’t have a particularly high opinion of idol culture. I have see many an anime which attempted to glamorise the nature of it as giving hopes and dreams or promoting advertisement for a good cause. Though that’s fiction and no matter how I try to think of the positives of idols, I really cannot see it other than the exploitation of young girls in order to strip lonely individuals of their money. For the music is frankly terrible and the underlying implications are rather sinister. Of course I am no idol expert so my opinion isn’t worth much as I have only experienced it through the lens of anime. Still I do wonder just what those girls think as they shake their fans hands and jump on stage to sing songs. For I wouldn’t be surprised if it was close to what Yumemi thinks here.

I don’t blame Yumemi for hating her fans, if anything she has good reason to. The level of obsession they have is quite creepy and much like she said, they aren’t even listening to her music. These are the kind of fans that would burn her albums at her mentioning a boyfriend. (That even happened with an anime when one of the characters revealed that she had a previous relationship. The demand for idolised girls to remain “Pure” sounds much like a contradiction to me. For the only reason they want her “pure” is so they can imagine dirtying her themselves) Still I find her plan to reach stardom through the idol industry to be rather fascinating yet highly unlikely. From the 5 minutes I spent searching google I can’t find any Japanese idol that broke into Hollywood Cinema. Nor would I think one would be looked upon favorably as that would be more the Justin beiber or Miley Cyrus path to fame. I mean sure you would be well known but not very respected. Looking at her goals, her idol career would be more a blight than a blessing and she would fare far better if she just learned English and started Acting.

Anyway Yumeko does her usual thing of removing any safety nets from the bet which appears to been helped along by another member of the student council whose attempting to shake things up now that the student council president…has taken a helicopter…to engage in important business…(Alright Aidan, you know it’s dumb but let’s just roll with it.) Though honest question, what does student council work actually entail? I have seen plenty of series where they apparently do paperwork and it’s supposed to be a rather busy job but I am having a hard time thinking of what they actually do besides allocating club budgets and organising school Festivals. I fear I may have gotten rather sidetracked in this episode post but well it could be summarized as just introducing the new Council member and her challenging Yumeko to a bet. We don’t know what the bet entails but we do know that if Yumeko loses then she will be forced to become an Idol duo with Yumemi under the name of “Dreaming Creaming Girls”. As a side note, while I didn’t find evidence of Japanese idols becoming Hollywood stars I did find a few articles detailing Japanese idols who became Adult Video stars. That name might be rather prophetic of your future profession Yumemi. Of course the big thing here is that can Yumeko sing and dance, or maybe that doesn’t matter?

Posted on 22 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kakegurui

Today on Kakegurui, we see the end of the bet and well…that’s it. This post may have the same problem as my Attack on Titan posts in that I just don’t have a lot to say here because not a lot actually happened. Mary refused the student council president’s offer to join the student council and Yumeko got away from Midari’s bet unscathed. So this more or less has gone as usual besides Yumeko ending the bet in a draw instead of a win. All in order to deprive Midari of the satisfaction of losing the bet. yes unlike the other bets Midari rigged the game to lose rather than win. For she is batshit insane and only really gets a thrill out of life when in pain or agony. A masochist if you will and one insane enough to gouge her own eye out for losing a bet with the student council president. I guess we did learn a little about the president in that she doesn’t really see people as people and more as things to entertain or interest her. When inquiring to Midari about what the other side of an eyeball looks like she sort of reminded me of a messed up version Chitanda from Hyouka.

Though I don’t really find this to be fascinating as those that tend to treat themselves as some higher master race are often more ignorant than intelligent. It works as a way to get Yumeko to be the one to bring her down from her pedestal and knock this high handed attitude out of her but sadly I sincerely doubt this series will ever get to that point. As for Midari she has certainly stepped up from repulsive to absolutely vulgar. Looking over her character I can’t say she’s all that great and if she’s going to hang around then she’s going to have to need something more than her desperate masochism. Otherwise she will just be a one trick pony begging Yumeko for bets for the sake of comedy. She did accomplish one thing however and that was proving that Yumeko desires a fair bet. Yumeko doesn’t get off on a one sided bet, instead she always breaks down any cheats in order to turn a bet into an equal match. Both sides must have something to risk and seeing Midari hog all the risk for herself made her disgusted. Midari was the first antagonist to truly get Yumeko to hate her with a passion. Somewhat funny as now Midari is absolutely obsessed with her.

Posted on 16 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kakegurui

Here’s where these betting games get really out of control as we have an elaborate setup which likely cost quite a lot of money to make and only serves to make this bet possible. Before I made the choice of ignoring the general nonsensical rules of the school however now I think that I should consider it that the entire world outside this school doesn’t actually exist. I mean we now introduce a member of the student council whom has her own torture complex under the school complete with a dangerous betting game in which people can get actually shot with a real gun. I just have to wonder what hospital takes in these students with mysterious gunshot wounds and how parents don’t hear of their children getting sent to hospital. Likely the explanation is that when money talks, everyone shuts up. But there really is so far before something this ludicrous is revealed to the world. This place is one reporter away from becoming headline world news so my only real option is just to assume that the world doesn’t exist and this school is center of the universe.

We have the introduction to our new opponent, Leader of the beautification committee, Midari Ikishima. Midari is somewhat unhinged which would be an understatement because she’s completely goddamn insane. In honesty I wonder how these kinds of characters function in mundane scenarios because I can’t imagine this girl sitting in a classroom for a full day without pulling a gun on the teacher. It’s also puzzling how someone so spontaneously prone to mood swings can somehow collect loyal followers.In a show that is already over the top, this girl is chewing the scenery to the absolute extremes. One thing about her that I find myself pondering over is the nature of the absurd level of raw sexuality from her. Normally I would sigh at such things as a girl straddling the male protagonist while begging to let her play a game but in the case of Midari I don’t find these actions titillating. I am sure someone is getting off on this but to me it feels the story is portraying her in a manner that these lustful mood swings are more disturbing than erotic. Her bloodshot eyes, practically drooling thirst and desperation show her off as more revolting in her naked unrefined desire. In the spectrum of Seduction and ravenous lust then Midari would be a full on rapist who would likely kill you afterwards. Strange that all this lust is directed at having a bet with Yumeko and while the story does draw parallels between their desire for risky bets, Midari’s seem more rooted in physical satisfaction.

Fanservice that I can’t quite reason away however is how the Student council president attempts to recruit Mary into their ranks and then the conversation gets as bit odd. Now the context of the scene is clearly that the president is trying to threaten her into the position but how the anime frames the scene is more like a seduction. Remove the sound and you could very well assume that she was coming on to her and I wonder if this is the director’s influence. I wonder just how much is intentional catering to this demographic and what is simply the result of him amping story developments up to eleven. Moving on the game is afoot and someone is obviously cheating because they always are. It’s difficult to see what plan Yumeko has at this point and knowing her, it’s bound to have her taking a big leap of faith. However it is a rather weak cliffhanger to end on a gunshot and have the after credits sequence ruin the surprise. Not that Yumeko was going to die but we could have been in suspense over her getting injured.

Posted on 2 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kakegurui

When gambling in this show:
Rule number one: Always cheat.
Rule number two: If using another person for your cheating then don’t use someone with a clear grudge against you or treat them like dirt.
Rule number three: Never ever bet against Yumeko Jabami.
There is a certain satisfaction in seeing someone like this thug get so brutally destroyed by our main duo even though he’s a relatively one dimensional nobody. I tend to favor villains with a bit more moral nuance and more well written but nonetheless cannot deny a certain level of glee in seeing someone so utterly morally bankrupt get his life ruined. Sure you could argue that his crimes were no huge enough to have the remainder of his life detected by a notebook and be treated as trash for the rest of his days but considering the arrogant mentality of this guy there is no better medicine than a good reality check and a ass kicking. But again this does not mean that he’s well written as it’s not a difficult task to make someone hateable, All you really need to do is have them in a position of power and have them do clearly evil deeds while convinced that it’s totally alright for them to do these things because they are special in some way. If you want a well written villain then work on making a character with a unique worldview, sympathetic or logical motivations, a personality and a backstory to accommodate these aspects.

If you want to make a hateable villain them just have them do something clearly morally repugnant and then refuse they did anything wrong. “Oh it’s perfectly ok for me to bully this kid because I am better than him and he should just go die.” “Oh I killed that bitch but she was clearly in the wrong when she tried to pretend she wasn’t my woman.” “Oh I burned down that orphanage but it was full of gutter trash that wouldn’t be of any use anyway, society should thank me honestly.” It’s funny in that it’s not so much the act itself that makes it so despicable but rather the contradiction and flawed reasoning these characters use to justify their actions as not wrong. Indeed there is no better way to rile up the internet into a fury than to have someone do something wrong and them do everything in their power to refuse to admit it. So to see a character get a shift kick in the nuts is a rather cathartic experience and I fully admit that I fully read the source of the upcoming “Rising of the Shield Hero” anime adaption purely for the satisfaction of seeing the villain get taken down a peg.

I couldn’t quite follow how exactly Mary and Yumeko managed to trick the delinquent but I believe it had something to do with Mary and Yumeko lying about the amount they owed before the game and then switching her board with Yumeko to confuse the delinquent into miscalculating the end game totals. So these two had the game in the bag right from the start as the delinquent didn’t have the scoreboard right from the beginning. Though the thing this episode is named after is Yumeko’s last little gambit to encourage the pet girl to go against the delinquents orders. Throughout the game she had been helping the delinquent cheat out of fear and her own institutionalisation to her status of pet. I rather like the metaphor that Yumeko puts to it, being a pig in a open cage. This girl could fight back, could rebel but instead settles for small freedoms granted to her within the cage. In truth the very name of pet is apt for that is what these people are conditioned to become.

Thus Yumeko managed to break her out of that mentality through her provocation. Though um…why was it…so suggestive? I generally don’t tend to look too far into these kinds of things but when you have two girls with faces intimately close to kissing distance while reserved girl has a heavy blush that really does seem to be fuel for hime-danshi(This appears to be the opposite of the Fujoshi term being for males(Hime-joshi for females) who ship lesbian couples though doesn’t quite hold the same level of infamy as the fujoshi term) Yuri baiting did come up in the manga but it really is much more pandering when seen in animated format. Look if you are going to start insinuating lesbinism or bisexualism then go all in, don’t just shove it in halfheartedly for Blu-ray sales. Still while i have neglected to mention her before but next episode appears to feature a girl who is going to really amp up these Yuri undertones so I at least hope we keep things somewhat classy.

Posted on 26 July 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kakegurui

I could make it point to go on about how ridiculous it is for a school to allow a student to carry a firearm or putting forward a life plan which I am fairly certain is a clear violation of human rights but honestly that dead horse has been beaten enough. In Kakegurui this is just how things work and that’s that. So with the major loss last episode Yumeko has now been reduced to pet status and it’s shown that being a female pet is significantly more dangerous than a male pet. All things considered it would be pretty obvious for male students to take advantage of such a position so we have the usual rapists come on scene to try and assault Yumeko. This is a common trope in anime, these random dudes who jump at the opportunity to grab a woman the minute she’s left alone. It appears in anime so often than I am genuinely curious as to how true to life it is. Are there really random guys who wander around Japan just trying to rape every girl alone on the street? Considering Japan has a declining birth rate and some reputation of men being Herbivores I find it rather dubious. Either way when it comes to these kinds of scenes at least this was the more tasteful of the sort. I got worried when Yumeko started taking off her underwear but the show at least knew when to stop. Truthfully though what did Yumeko expect from this situation as oddly she seemed disappointed when these guys said they were not going to violate her. Taking her personality into account however this does make a degree of sense.. Yumeko is someone who gets a thrill of gambling her life so this to her could have just been another gamble. Can she escape them unscathed or would she be caught and violated? That certainly sounds like a bet she would take on.

We have the return of Mary from the first episode and it looks like were are getting the old shounen trope of first time villains turning into allies. Based on the first episode alone you would think that there would be no way to redeem her but these past episodes have shown Mary to be the lesser evil in this school. Mary more or less aimed to embarrass her where as our other villains here are aiming to rip off her fingernails or ruin her. With a taste of Humble pie Mary has actually become one of the most reasonable people in the cast with her selfish intentions being less malevolent and more petty. Even in context it felt that she only targeted Yumeko in the first episode out of Jealousy over the male lead if I am reading this right. She has show a level of attachment to him and she’s has blond twin tailed hairstyle which is often chosen hairstyle for your typical tsundere. Yumeko doesn’t seem to hold hard feelings towards her either and they two do make a good duo of easygoing madness and level headed crook. Seeing the two work together is fun and I can tell the voice actor had a whole lot of fun with the last line of the episode.

So to get Yumeko back on top we have entered a high stakes game of two card Blind man’s Bluff, aka Indian Poker. Rules of the game is that you can see one card from everyone’s hand but your own and know one of your cards. A win is decided by getting a pair of matching numbers(Pair) or a pair of matching suits(Mark) with no match being a Pig. Upon two people getting a mark or a pair the winner is decided by who has the highest number. So if you are going to cheat at this game the best bet is to have a partner who can signal what card you had to show the group. Yumeko and Mary are clearly working together somehow as Mary talked to her before the match but it does seem to be something less obvious. As the villain of this gamble saw such a play and was bluffed instead. It’s pretty clear the villain is cheating somehow as well as in this show the villain is always cheating. Thus it becomes a game of who can out cheat the cheater and knowing Yumeko I doubt this delinquent is getting off easy.

CHANGE USERNAME
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Watching Happy End, you can immediately realize many of Haneke's favorite themes: the voyeur/camera in Benny's Video, Cache; the latent racism like you mentioned, the idea that killing someone you love is better than watching them suffering, the underlying violence in a normal middle class life in most of his works
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Like with code unknown, its approach to latent rascism is far better handled than for example a terrible hollywood oscar bait drama would handle it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt though had the film been a bit longer, Huppert and Jones could have gotten more scenes, same with Franz Rogowski's character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did however think that the disjointed nature of the earlier parts were both to the advantage and disadvantage of the film. But it delivers a killer of a last act that I loved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to seeing happy end, I liked the Cache and amour references and how Haneke cheekily managed to insert quirkier moments and even wry ones so seemlessly into the narrative. Fontaine ,Kassovitz and Tringnent had the best scenes, particularly the ones between Fontaine and Tringnent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Physical, non-verbal communication is a far more valuable way of conveying information I believe and more effective in fiction.
SuperMario
Report on Just Because so far: they took on the three-way romance direction, which I initally ain't fond of. But last episode actually was great with the focus on body gestures and natural dialogues, delivering one of the brst exchange the show has this season. A good watch overall
Lenlo
Sadly, the only anime youll probably get like that will be made outside japan, like Castlevania was, and wouldnt be considered "anime" by most of the community. A shame, cause Castlevania was great.
Lenlo
A classic western would be cool. Like Red Dead the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I am just coming up with fantasizing now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even a Raymond Chandler style of story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd also love to see a non-scifi western anime get made now or even an east meets west thing with cowboys AND samurai in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats a good example Vonter I guess but I probably should have been more clear/clarified that what I meant is that I wanted to see more noir anime being made NOW , I want netflix to back one . I mean the kind of thing where everyone is wearing fedoras and trench coats and its 1930/40/50, shadows everywhere or it looks impressionistic.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Monster is a very grounded detective like story. The villain is good and intimidating, some moral dilemmas are poignant and despite being animated I remember it having good direction of photography since the story takes place Germany, Prague, and some other places.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've only seen bits of wolf rain many years ago, never bothered with it further after hearing the pacing is terrible and it makes an unsatisfactory ending even less worth waiting for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, but I mean without science fiction elements.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser"I'd love to see an anime take of film noir."
What do you call Cowboy bebop?
AidanAK47
I remember someone recomending me wolfs Rain and then right after goes and tells me the ending to wolfs rain. Thanks asshole.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Yep. People just can't bloody keep things to themselves. No matter what you do, people will spoil. Like those assholes who read the manga and then go to the anime threads to post their "Theory" in an effort to gain internet cred for their amazing prediction skills.
Amagi
@Aidan: completey agree with everything you said
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see an anime take of film noir.
Amagi
My only problem is the schedule, AidanAK47 mentioned it. They should know that anime fans watch weekly anime timely. Waiting half a year will get you killed by spoilers and you can't discuss it "live" or speculate after each weekly episode, kinda killing the hype.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Peepo choo was a very good example of how to do a western manga, done by some Argentinian guy , even ran in the same magazine Monster did, dealt with an American otaku kid finding out a dose of reality after going to Japan.
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