Posted on 25 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

Welcome to the final week of Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu, where the plot is rushed and the art is at its best. Lets jump in.

Ranbu opens this week with the title card, skipping the OP. Looks like they want all the time they can get. Picking up where they left off, Ranbu has Horikawa go and get the young Tetsunoske at Hijikata’s request. Reenacting the flashback we saw in earlier episodes, Hijikata tasks him to take his sword back to his family. During this, Horikawa walks out and meets Kane in an empty part of the fort. The direction here is good, with shots mostly showing them together but with objects such as a cannon between them. The two talk for awhile and we learn that for the past 3 years Horikawa has been fighting the Retrograde while working for Hijikata. During that time, apparently he still has not made a decision about whether or not to save Hijikata. Had their breakup lasted longer than an hour for Kane, it would almost be touching.

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Posted on 18 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

Welcome to the penultimate episode of Ranbu! Unable to end with a small, personal story, Ranbu prepares for the largest battle yet! Lets jump in.

Ranbu opens up right were last week left off. Kane’s sword falling, to strike Horikawa. Instead, it cuts into the dirt at his feet, moved aside at the final moments. I mentioned last week that I would be disappointed if this ended with Horikawa surviving. If some magical power of friendship caused him to return to the Citadel. However, I failed to consider another option, where it was Kane who faltered. Unable to kill his partner, he fails his duty and lets Horikawa walk away, and I can accept that. For Horikawa to survive, one of the two had to fail/betray their beliefs. Horikawa would have had to leave Hijikata to his fate and Kane had to let a clear threat to history leave unchallenged. All in all, a good way to open the episode.

With the arrival of their Master Saniwa however, everything starts to go down hill. Saniwa teleports in right next to them and starts one of the dullest scenes in the series. In this scene, Kane and Mutsunokami explain what has happened and Saniwa simply… accepts it. He says, why not do both? Why not protect the innocents and history, as if it was that simple. Does this mean he just didn’t care before? The only thing I gathered from this conversation is what I suspected weeks ago. That Saniwa has no personality and is purely a springboard for plot/explanation.

As it is, that is exactly what Saniwa does. After their chat he teleports them to the battle of Hakodate, 3 years in the future-past. This isn’t made clear however, as they simply teleport and the battle is suddenly underway, without any indication that time had passed. What this means however is that Horikawa has been here, waiting for time to pass normally, for 3 years. Whether or not this has had an effect on him, I cant wait to see. This also means though that Tonbokiri, Tsurumaru and Yagen were left to watch-over Ryoma, so our 2nd Unit must fight without them.

After a quick explanation of what is going at the Battle of Hakodate, Saniwa deduces that the Retrograde will no doubt be here. As he finishes, supposedly 50 Retrograde solders are teleporting in, causing Mutsunokami to question if they are trying to change the course of the whole battle. I doubt 50 soldiers could accomplish that in a battle of thousands, but we will leave that alone for now. Kane and Mutsunokami quickly cut down some stragglers before meeting the full force. Knowing they cant do it alone however, Saniwa summons in some reinforcements. In a pretty, sakura flower effect, the 1st Unit arrive and they make short work of the group of 50.

During this whole segment, the character moments aren’t worth mentioning, but the combat itself is quite good. We get a number of quick blade exchanges with actual choreography. Clearly they were saving it all for this grand finale, as we soon learn that the Retrograde are sending in a staggering 1000 soldiers. What confuses me about this, is that the Retrograde has never done this before. Do they have limitless soldiers? If so, why not over run any other time period instead of sending groups of 10-20? This inconsistency in tactics and numbers makes this whole event feel like the typical Shounen bump in the stakes of the fight. Like most, Ranbu fails to realize that the best Shounen arcs tend to be those with the more personal stakes. The ones that don’t require ridiculously strong or large number of enemies. But I am getting sidetracked here.

After leaving the First Unit, Kane splits up with Mutsunokami so that he can track down Horikawa. He runs through the fields towards the Shinsengumi encampment and manages to sneak inside. Curious what their guard situation is like for him to do this, but once again we will ignore it. Kane arrives at Hijikata’s personal room, the room we saw in the flashback. He examines the map with the armies laid out, the sword that both sits on the desk and at his waist. While doing so, Kane hears a voice and footsteps approaching. He quickly hides out of sight, seeing Hijikata enter the room. No doubt this is the scene we saw before, where Hijikata gives the sword to the young man, to return to his family.

However, instead of the young entering the room, its Horikawa! During his 3 years stuck in this time, it would appear that Horikawa has taken the young soldiers place. Its  clever reveal, as I had not considered Horikawa taking his place, yet when the flashback was first showed I thought they looked similar. Now the only question is, what is Horikawa’s endgame? Does he plan to return to the battlefield, giving Hijikata the sword, so that Kane can participate in the battle? Will he try to kidnap Hijikata and remove him from the field? Perhaps he spent the last 3 years attempting to talk to him, get him to change his mind. What about the ridiculous, 1000 Retrograde soldiers?

Regardless, it all comes to a head in next weeks final episode of Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu. Talk to you then folks!

Posted on 11 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

This week in Ranbu, we are treated to a pleasant surprise. Not some great, flashy final combat arc but a continuation of the smaller character focused pieces. Lets talk about it.

Ranbu opens up the episode by letting us know the consequences of what has happened last week. It appears that after his argument with Kane, Horikawa has disappeared! Clearly this is in relation to Ryoma, Mutsunokami’s master, and Hijikata, Kane and Horikawa’s master. This is a good choice of final arc, as it makes use of the last few character focused episodes and side-steps the need for a final villain. Its not often in a shounen anime like Ranbu that we get character focused finales. Assuming they stick with it, Ranbu is looking to close strong.

Unable to decide what to do about Horikawa, Kane gathers the team and informs them of his disappearance. Multiple ideas are thrown out, from Horikawa falling to the Retrograde, to maybe an attack on Ryoma to save Hijikata in the future. As it turns out, history has changed with Ryoma leaving the Satsuma residence early for some reason. Lucky stroke for him, as we will learn later. Eventually though the group splits up, 3 guarding Ryoma and 3 heading off to find Horikawa. It removes characters that we didn’t need, focusing in on Kane, Horikawa and Mutsunokami. Its good that we are getting time with the most developed of our leads.

Once away from the others, Mutsunokami decides to have a heart to heart with Kane. He states that Hijikata, even if he survived the battle he died in, wouldn’t have a good life. That Hijikata was a warrior, whose time was ending. That there can be no good life for Kane’s old master and he has a point. During this conversation we are shown a flashback of Hijikata before he died. He sends Kane, as a sword, away to his brother-in-law, turning Kane into a memento. This explains why Horikawa is much more focused on their old master, because he was with Hijikata until his death. Meanwhile Kane’s time with him ended when he got sent away. It does the job of reinforcing the difference in mindset between Kane and Horikawa, no doubt for the upcoming finale.

Their conversation is interrupted however when another fire breaks out, this time at the Satsuma residence, where Ryoma was staying. Its a very pretty sequence, though the sword fights are more flash than substance at this point. The fire, the collapsing buildings, everything is rendered beautifully. While standing amidst this inferno however, Kane is approached by non other than Horikawa, a child in his arms. Didnt think he would appear until next episode, but lets see where this goes.

Horikawa starts with some small talk, how he could only save a single child and how he knew Kane would be here. He uses that though to jump into his main shpeal. That were they really protecting history? All these people dead, the child in his arms barely alive, yet they protected history? Does nothing change, do these people even matter? So begins a long discussion of ideals and what it means to protect. Seeing it going nowhere, Horikawa finally poses the question, asking if Kane will join him in his quest to save Hijikata. Kane, loving his old master but being the loyal man he his, of course refuses, placing them at an impasse.

Its interesting to see the two bring their differing experiences with Hijikata to bear. Each interpreted his actions differently and each was there for moments the other wasn’t. Yet at the end of the day, they are two different people. Now Horikawa must decide, will he fight Kane and escape, or submit and forgo his desire to save Hijikata? Choosing a sort of in between, Horikawa cites how Hijikata used to ‘break’ his soldiers during punishment. Kane knows what he means, and clearly doesn’t like it, but knows something must be done. Horikawa approaches, asking one last time if Kane will join him. In silent response, as Mutsunokami runs to try and stop him, the blade falls and we cut to the ED.

All in all, a pretty good episode. For those that like action they got some quick Retrograde fights and burning buildings. For those that prefer story and character writing, they got an interesting final arc, and everyone got to enjoy the art. So long as the final episode doesn’t negate everything that happened this week, Ranbu can finish the season strong. However if Horikawa comes out of this unscathed and with no repercussions, there will be a reckoning.

See you next week for the exciting conclusion of Ranbu!

Posted on 4 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

This week Ranbu treats us to another character focused episode, with quiet moments but little lasting material. Lets jump in.

Ranbu starts the episode off right where the last episode ended. The sun is rising and our party has just said goodbye to Ryoma. Very quickly we see who the focus this week is, as Horikawa begins to question some of their orders. Turns out, meeting Mutsunokami’s old master has raised some flags for him. He tries to work this out by talking to Mutsunokami, but he doesnt have any good answers for Horikawa. It looks like he might have to talk to the Commander about this, but as it turns out they cant leave just yet. They must stay in this time, for an as of yet undisclosed reason. As a fire that never occurred in history breaks out, we cut to the OP.

Returning from the OP, it looks like quite alot is happening. People are dieing and fires are starting that never should have. History is off. Apparently, some Retrograde are laying low after the last mission, still intent on capturing Ryoma. Kane quickly decides that watching over Ryoma should be their first priority. During this time, Horikawa continues to ask questions. If Ryoma is successful, will that not harm their old master Hijikata, of the Shinsengumi? Are they working against their old master? Kane, as the captain, is alot more stoic about this, but I would wager hes simply trying not to think about it.

As it turns out, Kane and Horikawa’s old master Hijikata is also in this city. All this does is rile Horikawa up, as he argues against why he cant meet Hijikata. Its rather ham fisted at times, but its a contast to last episode with Mutsunokami. During this, Ryoma slipped out of the Satsuma residence to go look at plum trees. Can you guess whats going to happen? Hijikata also happens to be in that area, and this turns into a game of keep away, even if neither side really knows it. While watching over Ryoma however, Horikawa begins to have some pretty dark thoughts. If he killed Ryoma, would it not make his old masters life better? Does he still have a duty to Hijikata?

Its an interesting line to go down, but simply knowing Horikawa’s character weakened it. Ranbu hasn’t done anything daring yet. Its played everything safe. That’s fine, shows can do that and still be good. It just makes them predictable. Which is why Horikawa doing nothing here came as no surprise. Continuing on, after this internal debate, the Retrograde attack! Everyone in the park hears the tree fall setting everyone into motion. Ryoma is sent away and once again Tonbokiri decides it’s smart to stand alone. The man needs to learn to work with a team.

While Tonbokiri is off fighting Retrograde, Kane and Horikawa are running after Ryoma. In the best scene of the episode though, Hijikata passes right in from of Kane, running towards the sound of combat. It happened fast, and to Kane who had been fighting against seeing Hijikata this entire time. For a moment he shuts down, before we see Kane is crying. He was afraid of what his reaction would be seeing Hijikata again, yet this short glimpse was enough for him. He steels himself to preserve the future that he knows will lead to a horrible life for his former master. Because that is his duty.

After this moment of resolution, another Ootachi appears. As if to demonstrate their growth, internal and external, Mutsunokami and Kane manage to dispatch it quickly. Still weaker than the 1st Unit, but better than their last attempt. There’s a quick ending scene with Kane and Horikawa, talking about their former master afterwords. This scene, along with the ‘non-interference’ speeches earlier, would all have hit harder had they not already been undercut by the first episode. Remember back when Kane saved that girl from a fire in Episode 1, completely ignoring the non-interference rule? As I said it would, it’s undercut all of their future scenes on the topic. We have already been shown its a non-issue. But I digress.

Ranbu only has 2 episodes left. In this remaining time, they must establish a final arc and some sort of satisfying conclusion. I don’t see how they can do it. There’s no main villain, there is nothing really at stake and the Retrograde are faceless antagonists. As it is, I am expecting a flashy final fight with a hollow plot behind it. I would love to be proven wrong but I don’t think I will be.

As always though, we will find out next week. See you then!

Posted on 28 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

This week Ranbu gives us a character-focused episode, in a self contained little story. Good, but with its problems. Lets jump in!

Ranbu starts off with the 2nd Unit teleporting in to Kyoto in style, falling from the sky as swords. The mission this time? To protect Sakamoto Ryoma during the Taradaya Incident, where he was almost caught. No doubt, the Retrograde Army plan for him to be captured, ruining his plan to bring down the Tokugawa Shogunate. As it turns out, Ryoma was Mutsunokami’s former master! Clearly, Mutsunokami is the focus of Ranbu this week.

Because of his association with Ryoma, Mutsunokami knows all about the incident and how to plan around it. This puts our 2nd Unit on even ground with the Retrograde Army, as now they know that path to defend. Strangely however, Mutsunokami wants little to do with Ryoma. He wants to avoid meeting him again, perhaps because he fears how he would act? Or maybe what he would say, affecting the future? Regardless its an interesting character point. Soon after they lay out their plan, night comes and everything starts.

Police surround the inn where Ryoma is staying, setting off the Taraday Incident. Ryoma and his guard flee, with the 2nd Unit taking out the Retrograde Army as they appear. Shockingly competent, the 2nd Unit takes care of everything quickly and quietly. However it wouldn’t be an episode with the 2nd Unit if nothing went wrong. A Retrograde slips past and attacks Ryoma, doing who knows what. We next cut to Mutsunokami fighting some simply Retrograde, before turning a corner and seeing a terrible sight.

In a very nice scene, we see Ryoma fleeing from a horde of police, alone and unable to fight. Lights behind him, as he trips and falls to the dirt, Mutsunokami debating whether or not to jump in. After a short speech from Ryoma, he does just that. Running into the fray, defeating the police and saving Ryoma. They flee together, slowly opening up, Mutsunokami fixing his hands and protecting him. During some of their scenes together you can see how alike they are and how Ryoma influenced Mutsunokami. When Mutsunokami finally talks, Ryoma even remarks on their similar accents. After these bonding scenes, Ryoma is lead back to the Satsuma Clan house, only to run into one final group of Retrograde.

In this final segment, we get some pretty scenes and a quick fight. Little occurs here story wise, but Mutsunokami has quick but well done fight in an alley way. With the fight over, Ryoma is turned over to the Satsuma clan, and the mission is over. All in all, an above average episode, but with the lack of a final arc I am concerned how Ranbu is planning to end the season. I am not sure what sort of final mission would be satisfying to end Ranbu when it had little overarching story.

Still, we have 3 episodes left, so the only thing to do is wait. See you next week for another episode of Ranbu!

 

Posted on 22 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

This was perhaps the best week yet for Ranbu. There are no flashy fights or new enemies, but there is a lot of characterization and quiet moments. Lets jump in.

Ranbu starts this week right after the 1st Units victory of the unnamed Retrograde soldier. Honebami does some fawning over the units strength, before being told there is one more job left to do. Surprisingly they don’t mean more combat, but rather a humanitarian effort. Having completed their mission, the 1st Unit wants to help those affected by it. So they go around and buy some food, to hold a little soup kitchen sort of event. This was very unexpected, but very welcome. Our first unit, even the large scary one, has a heart. Unhappy with simply protecting the future, they decided to also protect the people. It’s purely character focused and I love it. Continuing this trend, the 2nd Unit has some character scenes as well, but none as good I fear.

We cut back to the Citadel, where Saniwa and our resident fox discuss the previous mission of the 2nd Unit. Apparently, they protected history by the thinnest of margins. Saniwa, being the terrible employer he is however, states they did more than he expected. Truly? Then why give them this job? Though this is all ok, as Kane has some ‘quality’ that makes up for all this. Once again, Saniwa is a terrible employer. During this conversation another emergency occurs, meaning our 2nd Unit is going to get another arc. Kane better get ready, because he has a job to do!

Speaking of Kane, he is having some confidence issues. We transition to him sitting by a river, contemplating their last mission. Apparently he has the same doubts I did, which is good to know. He has his doubts as to how history could possibly be saved with that fire, with all those dead. Its good that this is a reoccurring issue, rather than one off with him. As he considers this, Horikawa approaches, and the two set off. One by one they gather the members of the 2nd Unit, Kane asking them if they will fight once more with him. One by one we see the effects this loss had on the 2nd Unit, eventually reaching Tonbokiri.

There is a small scene with Mutsunokami losing his mind about being asked last, which went on for too long, but that is a minor gripe. It broke up the solemn, quiet moment, with some poor comedy, but it ends on a sweet note. Mutsunokami leaves a gift of Daifuku for Tonbokiri, his favorite food. In a much more subtle scene of sweet comedy, Tonbokiri reveals the mountain of Daifuku everyone else had left for him. It’s a good welcome back to the best character of the squad.

With the sunshine and lollipops of the gang getting back together though, the warning from Saniwa’s scene comes out. The 2nd Unit is summoned, once more into the breach! They are being sent out on another mission, running into the 1st Unit on their way out. By the 1st Units estimation, they are now prepared, but we will have to see.

All in all, a good episode. Quiet, lots of character moments, and the opening of a new arc. Disappointed we still don’t have an antagonist but I doubt we will be getting one at this point. Ranbu appears to like its villain of the week story, so let’s roll with it. So long as these character scenes continue, between the pretty combat scenes, Ranbu can end on a high note. I’m looking forward to see if that is the case.

See you next week!

Posted on 15 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

Welcome back to another week of Ranbu. This week we have mystery, intrigue and a stupid amount of new characters. Lets jump into it.

Ranbu opens up the episode on a burning castle under siege, troops inside and a battle raging. We see a figure cut down in the smoke, only for his spirit to flow into an Oni mask on the wall. Cut to the OP. A good start, with the mask becoming our villain for the week and giving us some hints as to how the Retrograde army comes to be. Sadly this air of mystery quickly gives way to another action focused episode as the OP ends and we see our new group of heroes in action.

The first squad, who I will not name simply because I can only keep track of so many characters, are fighting the Retrograde army as they zap in. Already we see they are a step up from our old unit. They quickly tracked down the Retrograde Army to their point of entrance and are cutting them down with ease. Even an Ootachi goes down with one swing, even though our old unit had trouble with one. Its a good display of the power difference between the units. Next up we have some expository scenes, setting up the conflict and giving us some backstory to our characters.

As it turns out, most of them are from the same clan, Ashikaga. The first unit is, in some form or another, made up of great weapons from a renowned clan. Interspersed among the backstory and exposition, Ranbu shows us some scenes around town. Even though a war just ended, people are hiding in the town. We quickly learn a street slasher is going around, murdering people at night, and that many think it to be the deceased Shogun. The mystery element comes back in here for a bit, more so when we learn Mikazuki was wielded by the Shogun.

After our group eats their fill, they head out once more to the town. Scouting around town they find little, until Honebami is confronted by the Slasher. Turns out, the Oni mask turned into a spear wielding Retrograde Soldier. The Oni is made immediately threatening by being able to summon more Retrograde. We already know that a single Retrograde is no threat to the first unit, but what about a horde? After summoning more soldiers, the Oni quickly flees, motioning for Honebami to follow it. The Oni leads Honebami to a ruined site, the castle from Ranbu‘s opening scene.

Smarter than previous Retrograde, the Oni was leading our group into a trap! It summons a horde of Ootachis to deal with the first unit, oh what shall they do? Sadly, this isn’t even a challenge. Our new leads cut through this horde like butter, setting up the strength of the first unit. This fight goes on for a bit, with lots of individual flashes of style but little extended choreography. In particular I enjoyed Mikazuki’s attack displaying his crest. Its disappointing however, as the air of mystery has been completely dropped by this point. Ranbu has made it clear that flash is all it has at this point. Its pretty but the characters are shallow. It has lots of effects and paint, but no substance.

We never find out why the Shogun became a Retrograde soldier. There is no setup for a future arc. Every character aside from Mikazuki and Mitsunokami seem to have a single note. I want there to be more to Ranbu than just a pretty face, but the harder I look the more disappointed I am when I find nothing.

See you next folks, and lets be thankful we at least got the future fox food club.

Posted on 7 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

Snap, crackle, pop, Ranbu opens this week on a bolt of lightning! We ended last episode on a low point, our heroes defeated and being teleported out at the last second. They reappear on a platform, surrounded by smoldering coals, in what we later learn is the Citadel. The base of operations for our party. Lots going on here, and we will get to it, but lets focus in on our heroes.

The damage from their respective fights appears to have carried over, as both Kane and Tonbokiri are rushed into medical treatment. Its a strange medical treatment, as they magically pad paper on a wound and heal a sword, but its pretty to look at. An explanation would be nice, as we still have no idea as to how our heroes exist as both weapon and time-cop. I understand time is an issue in anime, it has to be used effectively, but I do think it would help flesh out the narrative and characters abit. The rest of the party not in critical condition however, have a much easier and light hearted time.

The comedy this episode really works, as we get some TSA style inspections, witty banter and a time traveling fox food club. It does a good job of filling space between scenes that, even if they don’t succeed, attempt to be dramatic. For example we learn that Tonbokiri is in a comatose state from his wounds, good consequences for their loss. This is undercut when he recovers consciousness later on in the episode. We hear that, as of 2205, the time our characters are based out of, history has not changed. Edo gets a full broadside during an important meeting, goes up in flames, and there are no changes? Didn’t our heroes fail? They completed their mission, history is preserved, so all things considered they won with minimal casualties! Its a disappointing resolution after a well done end of an arc, leaving Ranbu in an akward place.

Speaking of arcs, lets talk about the next one. Much of this episode was focused on Mikazuki, the man in blue and usual captain of the First Squad. Everything this episode, from the music to the lighting and camera angles, leads us to think this is not a good man. Found in the Commanders office alone, ominous music and shadows cast over his face, Mikazuki might be the villain we so desperatly need. Ranbu reinforced this feeling when the Commander states that the Retrograde army usually arnt this subtle, meaning these smart tactics are new. Its laid on so thick, I could almost believe Ranbu is throwing us a red herring. I dont think Ranbu is that clever however as even Mikazuki’s laugh sounds evil.

Continuing on, theres a nice bit of video-game fan service. There is a cafeteria scene with a crazy amount of unique character designs milling about in the background. No doubt they all appear in the game series, so I am sure fans appreciated that. Some of these characters even get names and speaking lines as we are introduced to Yagens brother. A mild mannered white haired boy, he resembles Yagen alot. Curious how a weapon has a brother, but ill roll with it. Numerous scenes occur, some quite frankly pointless scenes that scream “CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT” like an air horn. Its all rather ham fisted, but I suppose its better than nothing. There does have to be consequences for how last episode ended, with defeat and a sweeping orchestra. This week atleast ends on a much less dramatic note.

This week closes out on a flash of the First Squad, which Yagens brother has just been assigned to. Apparently there is a new crisis and they have been sent out! Most likely we will follow the First Squad on this mission for a few episodes as the Second squad recovers. With this squad mostly being comrpised of villainous looking people such as Mikazuki though, I am hoping Ranbu will treat us to some First vs Second squad conflict in the future.

Its not surprising we got a breather episode to setup the next arc, but for the most part Ranbu was empty this week. Scenes could have been shorter with the same content and Tonbokiri could have spent more time out of comission. All in all a little disappointing.

Heres hoping the First Squad makes it interesting again. See you next week!

 

Posted on 1 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

A rather shallow episode of Ranbu this week, but not without its twists, both pleasant and disappointing.

Ranbu opens up the week on Tonbokiri and Horikawa on the bridge, most likely immediately after Kane and Mutsunokami left. Little happens here, some one sided conversation with posing, before we cut back to the boat. Here is where most of the meat is going to happen for this episode. We quickly learn the name of the white cloaked swordsman, Tsurumaru, and get to see him in action. Making full use of the 3D environments, we get some ambitious soaring camera angles around the ship. This lets us get a good view of Tsurumaru’s love for the fight, as we even see him egging the Retrograde troops on. This with his facial expressions make him seem like the unhinged member of the party. Its all rather well done.

During one of his taunts, Kane and Mutsunokami finally arrive on the boat, quickly putting an end to the fight. There’s some quick, meaningless, dialogue while the crew and the boat are dealt with. Then Mutsunokami gets to live his dream and pilot a boat! Alone. I am pretty sure this is more than a one person job, but hey, rule of cool right? During all this Tsurumaru finally lets Kane, and by extension us, know that the Retrograde army doesnt have to stop the meeting. Instead, they can just burn Edo to the ground! With a ghost ship full of Retrograde army zombies! Where did they get the 2nd ship? Doesn’t matter apparently, cause back we go to the bridge.

Here at the bridge we get the continuation of the fight against the Ootachi. There are some nice cuts with Tonbokiri, before the fight is interrupted by the palanquin of Katsu, one of the men from the oh so important meeting. One could almost think this was the plan, to intercept the pallanquine, but instead the Ootach goes berserk and flees into the night! A bit ridiculous since the Ootachi will attack the palanquin later on, but we will get to that. No instead the Ootachi jumps onto a tower and lights its sword on fire, Gondor calls for aid! Curious why he didn’t light it up in the fight, but it makes for a pretty reveal. Sadly there is little foreshadowing or build up to this little twist. Makes me think the Retrograde army are less, intelligent foes, and more convenient plot generators.

One interesting thing about the Retrograde army though, they actually win this round! The cannons go off, cannons not from this era supposedly, and Edo goes up in flames. History gets a full broadside! Some beautiful fire on the ship and in the town gives us a nice scene cut into the Ootachi attacking the palanquin it avoided earlier. Here we get another interesting twist where, presumably, one of our heroes goes down for the count. After a short fight Tonbokiri, one of the least developed but most likable characters, gets a slash across the chest and a sword through the gut. Its a nice scene, the weapon which represents Tonbokiri breaking as he goes down. Tonbokiri isn’t the only one with a serious wound though, as we transition to Kane on the ship. In a rage, he kills some Retrograde, and gets a sword through the stomach. Bad day.

With Kane and Tonbokiri down, it looks like we are hitting the nadir of our heroes journey. With a howl everyone gets teleported back to home base and we get a somber credits scene. Its thematic but we know so little about these characters and what they are fighting for that the episode hit like a lightweight. The only novel thing about it is that our heroes lost, which was unexpected for this series. I hope we get to see how history changed because of all this, so we get a sense of whats at stake. Instead, we get an after credits scene.

Its a scene that dismisses everything that has happened so far and introduces another new character! Well done Ranbu, well done. Mikazuchi, leader of the first unit, who will apparently replace or join our old party. We really didn’t need new characters. What Ranbu needed was an actual villain. Someone with charisma, someone who could carry this show. Instead we get more and more of the video-game roster and a video-games shallow story. At-least we get a new arc next week.

See you next time everyone!

Posted on 24 July 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

This is a good week for Ranbu, as it starts to hit its stride. A new mission begins, some quiet character moments occur and finally a whole new cast member is introduced!

We open in a rather unexpected manner, our party fleeing from a group of police. I was expecting a relaxing, beach like episode, with how we left off last time. However it appears we are jumping right into the next mission, as they arrive in Edo. This time our cast is tasked with protecting a 2-day meeting between Katsu Kaishu and Saigou Takamori. This meeting, if left alone, will end in a bloodless surrender of Edo. Should this meeting be attacked, no doubt war will break out, and history will take a massive swing. It wouldn’t take much to set that off, so our casts job is a difficult one it seems.

During this opening segment in Edo, the music does a good job of building suspense. Everything is very calm in the beginning, but the music gives even daylight scenes a sense of foreboding. That this mission wont go our heroes way, at least not easily. This is broken up by moments of comedy, with our cast trying to do their job while dodging the Shogunate Police. This is good, it shows that our heroes are a part of this world. Their clothing actually gets them into trouble and people see them and know they exist. They are a part of this world.

As night comes, the light hearted comedy gives way to some one-on-one character moments for some of our cast. Specifically Kane and Yagen, as they discuss their duty and their previous masters. Yagen gives a short speech which is made better by the fact that he hasn’t talked much up till now. We see through Kane’s imitation of Hijikata, his old wielder, that he still holds onto his time as a weapon. Its a nice, short scene. It fleshes out these characters during their downtime while we wait for the Retrograde army to make their move.

This time, they have managed to place a samurai in Katsu Kaishu’s party who was not originally there in history, who has slipped away between days of the meeting. As this realization hits our party, we transition to night and another fog rolls in. Soon after a new type of opponent is introduced, the Ootachi, a large sword wielder, who raises a question in my mind. Our main cast are weapons given personalities, and these Retrograde samurai are named after their type of weapon. Are they weapons history has forgotten? Why are they mindless, yet our main cast are not, even though both are weapons? These our questions I hope get answered as we progress, but for now lets head back to the fight with the Ootachi.

The Ootachi is very clearly overpowering and out fighting our cast, as we can see small, subtle movements as he reacts to our main characters attacks. Yes, with its raw strength and endurance it simply takes some blows, but for many others it seems to be acting with thought. Because of this, the Ootachi is putting up quite the fight. This combat also takes place on a bridge, which gives us a rather pretty combat scene. I have criticized Ranbu’s combat choreography before, but this episode does it well.

While all this is going on, Yagen is off trailing the Samurai who snuck off from the meeting, who apparently plans to fire on the meeting from the sea. Yagen gets some quick scenes to shine, to show what he can do, and handily defeats the ship crew. Once the Retrograde army appears though, it becomes clear that front line combat isn’t his specialty as he is pushed into a corner. Disappointingly he is saved by a new character teleporting in at the last moment, but it does make for an amazing entrance. Art has always been Ranbu’s strong point, but these scenes looked good even when compared to the previous episodes. The white against the blues and blacks of the ship at night, the red on the sword and the petals, all frame a beautiful shot to end the episode on.

Overall, this episode is a step in the right direction for Ranbu. It has improved its comedy, and the character moments are focused and the combat is stylish. The story can still improve, but it has become clear that Ranbu is more concerned with Rule of Cool scenarios. So for this season sit back, relax, and enjoy the eye candy.

See you next week!

 

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
A question: Do we need to watch Mahoutsukai no Yome OVAs before watching its first episode?
SuperMario
@Amagi: they better have a second season. The way it ends now I don't even have any motivation to write a full review. I'm not really optimistic over it having a second cour because if the producers were confident about its chance, they would've greenlit it already.
Amagi
@SuperMario: Seems like the official radio confirmed PriPri might get a second season if the BD and/or game sales are good enough. - BD sales seem to be around 7k at the moment, but it looks like many only ordered them now, after the last episode, so it might be more.
KTravlos
@Aidan. Oh I did. Thank you for reminding me. I will write the review.
AidanAK47
@Travlos, Just in case you missed it, there is a reply to you earlier in the chatbox.
KTravlos
Kakeguiri also ended. In the end the anime original ending was not really an ending, but just a fan pleasing excursion. The integrity of the manga story remains. It was a good adaption, and I liked it as it brought to life the parts of the manga that make it interesting to me. Also a great Opening and Ending. Good show.
KTravlos
And to sum it up. I think this was a great series. All its episodes were good.
KTravlos
I actually am ok with the PP ending. The 12 episode series is self contained. Sure there are many future potential stories to pursue, but I felt there was enough closure to make the series a good series. This is because the next step of the narrative is really so long term as being more LOGH material than PP (the story of the ascension of Princesss to the throne, and then the story of her reforms)
Lenlo
Alright, I found the read more tag. Now my tendency to write more than I should will be contained.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Got to play catch-up but I am guessing it was very much a non ending?
SuperMario
Gosh, is that how Princess Principal end?
SuperMario
@KAiser: I really have a mixed feeling watching Assayas's films. I always find his works toe touch into pretentious area. Still have much more films from him I want to watch though so that opinion might change
SuperMario
@Kaiser: As Tears go By surprised me a little considering how straightforward it is. It's Wong's most by the book HK romance but it was one of his most commercial success. After this, the studio allowed him to do things he like and that was when he gone banana with his styles
SuperMario
not a fan. Can't even tell the difference between turtle and tortoise
Anonymous1420257
i like turtles
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I hadn't expected some of the dry/dark humour in sils Maria, I liked the themes/aging angst and its comments on hollywood in parts even if it needed to go a bit deeper. Stewart is a revelation in it. That X-men parody scene was fucking funny lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I actually kind of liked As tears go by. Mostly because of my experiences with hong-kong action flicks, much as I like John Woos films, the melodrama he tries to sell between the action never worked for me and left me just waiting around for the action to come round again. Wong was able to put genuine emotion into the hong-kong action film with this one.
Amagi
@Aidan: Somehow. The problem is rather Haruki anyway and it's canonically part of her character. Kei becomes more likeable IMO and the events get much more complicated and/or serious plus there are a bunch of characters getting added to the protag team which makes the whole thing more dynamic. The best comes when some other character joins around the middle though.
Anonymous1416115
Personally, I can digest the emotionless dialogue in the first place since I watch the series with the mindset that the main characters are innately "broken" in some ways.
Anonymous1416115
@Aidan Hmm...one might consider the emotion level increases in main characters' dialogues for Sakurada Reset as baby steps depending on how dramatic one expects a character to act in other animes. (The emotions increase do exist though) There are certainly emotional scenes and characters do develop in ways where one can't just say they're 100% robots.
AidanAK47
@Travlos, If you so wish then you can write a review for Bahamut virgin soul. Just let me know if you are up for it. If so I recommend writing it up on google docs, then when you have it done I can give your account contributer status and you can paste it into a post for us to look over and publish on the site. For screenshots our standard size is H240 X W138.
AidanAK47
Did they ever fix that emotionless dialgoue issue they had going on?
Anonymous1415748
You are not alone. The second half of Sakurada Reset made me so glad that I stuck with the series.
Amagi
Oh and I totally forogt Reset ended now too. Not sure if I am the only fan of that but the whole second half was one of the better things I've seen this year.
Amagi
Okay now thinking three others came into my mind, but that's still not much. A lot of series started interesting and turned out mediocre or cheap after a while.
Amagi
Considering that I love Made in Abyss, PrinPrin, Fate/Apo (so far) and 18if too guess this season was better than I've expected. 2016 was kind of a let down imo, animewise. Off the top of my head I only remember Rakugo, Fune wo Amu and Bokudake I think.
Amagi
I didn't expect to like Virgin Soul as much as I do. Especially the last ~5 episodes got me. The weird thing is that I was disappointed by S1 actually.
SuperMario
@Travlos: I don't mind if you do a guess review on Virgin Soul, but let's me check with other admins first.

On Virgin Soul, I'm not sure if I like the bew development. It suddenly does a 180 degree turn on King Charriot, which I don't feel rewarding.
KTravlos
Kakegurui will have an anime original ending. It might be better than the ongoing manga. We shall see. An enjoyable foray.

Virgin Soul is going for a nice explosive ending. If no one writes a review, I would be willing to write one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*kind of
Kaiser-Eoghan
While its very much in the shadow of the first and the protaganist started out kind annoying, I kind of got caught up in the spectacle and sentimentality of gunbuster 2.
KTravlos
Urasawa is preparing a new manga
KTravlos
yes the episode where Julian watched the documentary was fun. The Caligula like character comes from one of the lesser episodes of the series, when Kircheis beats up some rebelling third rate noble in the Empire.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Goddammit, fail, it just changed the colour of the login name...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I declare in the red truth that the next anime I shall watch is Diebuster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From what little I saw, I remember a Caligula like character in one episode.
Anonymous1409409
I remember there's an episode where Julian just goes on Space Netflix and just watches a documentary. I actually liked that lol
KTravlos
yup, a LOGH that run like the Altair anime would be bad. It needs to show the sweep of history
AidanAK47
@Anon, I actually liked that aspect. It made the history of the world feel real.
Anonymous1409027
It's compressible, as there are many episodes of buildup, but that's where so many of the interesting details and depth of planning become evident. Some of those episodes read like a history textbook though, so we'll see how the new adaptation handles them,
Anonymous1409027
*pleasantly
KTravlos
Tytania was ok.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the Amakusa Shiro reference in the fate review, I've seen a film about him from the 50s , theres also an old josei manga where the protagonist ends up becoming essentially regarded as him.
KTravlos
Hi Kaiser. Supposedly this is a re-imagining of the original story. Thus independent of the OVAs (old serieis). What exactly re-imagining means is something I and you do not know. We shall see. But it does mean that you do not need to watch the old series to enjoy this one. The OVA was definetly more expansive than the novels. So my guess is they will stick to the novels.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's another anime, called Tytania based on his novels but I haven't seen that series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As in condensable in the way nothing much is lost? I assume there are fillers in the original?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm indifferent to the aesthetics of the new version. What I'm hoping for is that it will be accessible to newcomers and that I'll be able to jump on to the old series where the new one leaves off. I've seen very little of the original and it was a long time ago, is there any way the story is condensable?
KTravlos
The fact that they stayed away from the disgusting new manga is great. I am not too keen on the CGI ships, but they also did not rankle. It looks like it will honor the spirit of the old series, and I cannot ask for more. I am a massive LOGH fan. And the new video out gives me hope of revisiting one of the greatest sci-fi/historical settings out there. I am happy.
AidanAK47
I hope they are using the old anime as a base and not the new Manga adaption. As that Manga adaption is seriously lacking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I like that they blinged up the space battles which is good because those things could get tiresome. But I really hate the design of Yang Wenli. They made him look so much younger and bishi. I don't think i could take this guy seriously if he started one of Wenli's signature hypothesis.
Anonymous1408919
Thoughts on that new LOGH PV? My expectations were low, so I'm presently surprised. Obviously they made everybody pretty boys, and Mamoro Miyano is voicing Reinhard I believe. But art and animation actually looks pretty decent overall. It's a PV, and LOGH's best quality is it's story and characters, so we'll have to see if they remain faithful or not. But it's nice to see it get a visual overhaul.
AidanAK47
By the way this site has the first chapters but check the other versions to find them.
http://mangapark.me/manga/tsurezure-children-wakabayashi-toshiya
AidanAK47
@Mario, Indeed. It's also a pity that over half the couples in the manga were not featured. We only got a small taste of Patricia.
SuperMario
Or maybe I'll try to read the manga. The last time I checked it online, the site doesn't have its first few chapters
SuperMario
@Aidan: man, Tsurezure Children sure is sweet. Really sad to see it ends
AidanAK47
So that's the end of Tsurezure Children.
....I'm gonna need a second season. Now.
....NOW GODDAMNIT! NOW!
KTravlos
As I said I understand the criticisms to RE:Creator, but ultimately I enjoyed most of the show. It could had been better, and it is a missed chance. But I have seen worse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I gave up halfway through, there weren't even enough action scenes and those that were didn't justify waiting around for.
AidanAK47
Could have at least delivered on the action but that was rendered pointless due to the majority of the cast turning good and Altair being a complete cheat character.
AidanAK47
It would have been really fun to see characters discuss their stories with their creators or indulge in what our world has to offer but they really glossed over that part.
AidanAK47
It really should have gone deeper into the whole meta aspect introducing anime characters to the real world. Like they did with Mamika's powers being ridiculously destructive when outside a kid friendly setting.
AidanAK47
@Puran, I at least like the message of the final episode. But as for the show itself it was just missed potential on a lot of levels. I wanted Anime Genre battle royale and instead got a secondhand Shirobako with a crap shounen anime attached.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have been forgiving of Anno as I've gotten older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also just re-watched gunbuster, I'd previously dismissed the ova after a few episodes when I was a teenager, I'd found it too slow, didn't have that issue with the 90 minute version I just finished. I've never see the sequels.
Lenlo
Ill have to finish Creators... at some point
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been dipping back into the Lupin franchise, Gold of babylon was particularly screwball, kind of ridiculous comedy caper/adventure thing you just have to run with....turns out it was directed by a live action filmaker I especially like who made bizzare noir films in the 60s.
Puran
So that explains why Meteora had so much air time in Re:Creators. It's her story....

I hated the ending and I disliked the anime overall.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was a genuine surprise to see that Assayas decided to make a film framed around hentai =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I loved how incoherent demonlover was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The criticisms I'll give wind river, is a slight inconsistent performance from Renner and that very awkwardly inserted flashback scene.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: on Wind River, I agree it's a well-executed case of the week drama, although there are some plot pregressions that I don't get (how did they find out about the man's corspe again?). About Demonlover, man, the film gives me a chill down my spine. Heartless. And a bit misogynist.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: as much as I loved Wong (yeah I too prefer him over Malick), sometimes I do think Western cinema give him too much praise that sadly overshadow other Asian directors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wong is important to me as a hong-kong filmaker, he offers something entirely different from the whole Woo/Lam Hong komg movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On a more positive note Maggie Cheung did mention that she felt her early work with Wong was when she first truly became a proper actress.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I had no idea he had such a sad background.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*investigation drama
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that film also marked/ signified a rather sad period of Hongkong showbiz. Leslie Cheung badically lived the live of the protagonist and commited suicide in 1997. His girlfriend on screen, during the filming, was kidnaped, raped and taken topless picture. The damnest thing is that everyone knowed the culprit but did nothing, and in the press it was just deemed as "kipnapped and assaulted"
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wind river was a big surprise for me, just goes to show that with the right execution an ordinary police drama movie can be elevated higher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thats the interesting thing, tracking a directors career.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just binge watched the new dominion tank police ovas , admittedly these are kind of reptitive and extremely silly but its hard to hate on something so shamelessly fun that made me feel like a child again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you said it there. DoBW is rather raw and unpolished but that's one of the reason why I am drawn to it more compare to his other works.
AidanAK47
In all honesty, it would be nice to finally see a continuation after fusion as all games after that have just been adding chapters in-between.
Vonter
Finally I wonder, if Metroid Prime 4 will definitely branch out of the main Metroid's continuity. It's curious how an interquel subseries is still going to add things in between the first and the second entries in the main franchise.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - I think is nice we can see both takes. Especially since neither one despite a few qualms are still very solid entries for this franchise. I just hope Metroid moves forward, as IMO this is the only game that really needed a facelift do to the heavy limitations of the gameboy. And I hope the secret gallery at the end is teasing how the producer plans to move the plot forward.
AidanAK47
I thought it might be like that but it's good to know they are at least on a close level. I didn't really want Samus Returns to replace AM2R as the "Definitive" version of Metroid 2. Mostly because a lot of love was put into AM2R andit came at a point when it felt Nintendo didn't give a crap about Metroid.
Vonter
Like Zero Mission there's something added to Samus Returns but I'll just leave it at that.
Vonter
I think both have strong points. Samus Returns have better boss battles, gameplay mechanics and more intense action pieces. AM2R IMO has more atmosphere, takes advantage of elements Nintendo don't even try like the Federation subplot, and the ending portion narratively has more heart in AM2R, while in Samus Returns it feels mostly like "the final level".
Vonter
I also did got lost a couple of times in Samus Returns and aside from the big water section in AM2R, the latter is more linear game.
Vonter
I think the controls in Samus Returns bring more to the table though. The 360 aiming makes for better ways to shoot enemies and some of the bosses take advantage of that. If it weren't for the 3DS giving hand cramps because you're holding L and R at several points it'll be completely the most ideal way to play.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - AM2R is very good, I think it has the advantage that because it uses sprites IMO backgrounds and enemies are more vibrant and easier to appreciate. The Federation soldiers are better executed in AM2R and that secret section with the ship is very eery.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, How does it stack up to AM2R? I bought it and am still waiting on it to be delivered but I have the feeling that AM2R would be the better game when comparing.
Vonter
I took me 12 hours to 100% and I've heard the best ending is beating it in less than 4 hours. I think unlike Zero Mission item percentage don't matter, it's mainly to unlock an art gallery.
Vonter
My main criticism is this being a 3DS game. Small enemies can be hard to see or appreciate. And I think the 3DS wasn't made for heavy action packed games like this or Smash Bros. I got the rubber from the circle pad come off in two occasions. Also unless there was something big in the background, several areas felt lacking in detail. Still Samus and the bosses look good.
Vonter
In terms of difficulty, the game has the enemies packing more damage than in other 2D Metroids. Is difficult in the sense than you can't tank damage as in other iterations, you have to be aware of enemy behavior and bosses mainly get easier do to familiarizing with their patterns, since I did die a lot each time I faced a new boss. And got used to kill them faster as I went along.
Vonter
Ok, so I beat Samus Returns. It's quite good. Unlike Fusion that had dialogue at midst the gameplay. Samus Returns only has a prologue of exposition and any cutscenes mainly accentuate the reactions of Samus confronting a new enemy. The level design is dense, despite having isolated areas like in Fusion and the original Samus Returns, each area is very mazelike.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: =< Awww I kind of like demonlover actually despite all its flaws, it had great sound design and had this cold, clinical, un-nerving mood to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Days of being wild does feel a bit un-realized/un-polished/rough compared to his other work definitely but its probably the rawest I've seen from him and that has its appeal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Haven't seen farewell my concubine come to think of it. Regarding the scifi element I felt I embraced it more further into the film when it started to intermingle more.
While I am more forgiving toward Malick's recent films than most, that decline in quality means I have to pick Wong.
KTravlos
by the way in RE:Creators we probably will be getting a future series focusing on the hunt for Magane :p Meteora probably playing the role of detective. I also bet her novel will be wordy and heavy in exposition :p
KTravlos
i.e his end game might had been a cross-species revolution against him anyway. We will see
KTravlos
In Bahamut Chris proves to not be totally evil, but he is totally crazy. That said I am seeing one of my hunches getting supported, the hunch was that his cruelty towards daemons was with the purpose of bringing them down enough that they would be willing to work with humans as euals (As they are in Jean's army) and thus via that create a more unified world. I
KTravlos
RE: Creators has come to its end. I know the problems everyone has with it, and while it failed to raise to the level of exceptional show, I loved it. As I said, it had been years since a show kept me so excited episode after episode. They blew it at some point, but ultimately for me this is an en-joyful show, and one I would happily binge watch in the future again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: question for you though, between these two directors, which one do you prefer: Wong Kar-Wai or Terrance Malick?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you enjoyed both 2046 and In the Mood for Love, by all mean check out Days of Being Wild. The trio forms a loose trilogy and Days of Being Wild was the first film that Wong began his unique unconventional style. It's one of my personal favorite of Wong and it's a chance for you to watch the late Leslie Cheung acted (you might watch him already in Farewell My Concubine)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: 2046 is indeed a passionate film, and one of his best looking film. He tried something different in 2046 too, experimented with scifi (one of the best part in the film for me)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's stritcly Wong Kar Wai's romance we're talking about, since I don't find the rest of Chinese take on romance that interesting. Romance or melodrama is one of his main theme throughout his career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was slightly overly long however.
I've also seen chungking express, in the mood for love and fallen angels. I think this Chinese take on romance is really clicking with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also thought it was a very passionette film and I love how Kar-wong-wai uses the music in it. I also think its one of his best looking films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I had a look at that Chinese film 2046, very effectively melancholic take on fleeting relationships while also successfully being quite sensual while staying classy and without ever showing too much. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung are two beautiful people =P
SuperMario
for those who still want to catch up with 18if, episode 11 has a huge recap, while wrapping up the show with a new overarching plot. Hopefully they don't pull another Matrix here
SuperWooper
It's shounen-y for sure. The competitions have been my least favorite parts of the show so far. If you're still watching, you might appreciate it more once the Tenpei Cup is over.
Anonymous1399692
Damn Ballroom looks so good. But I really can't enjoy it despite that I want to. It has too many of these typical shounen moments and plot points I can't stand.
Anonymous1399684
Omae wa mou shindeiru
Lenlo
Mononoke is actually what made me find Ayakashi. Also a good show.
SuperMario
Regarding Ayakashi, I only watched the Mononoke segment
SuperMario
"It was a long, long trip, and we're coming finally to the end of the journey. Thank you, Manoyama and Chupacabra. And thank you, 5 EURO" - Sandal-san.
Lenlo
Ayakashi was great for me Kaiser. I enjoyed my time with it
Vonter212
@AidanAK47 - The hard aspect has been commented in several reviews with bosses being able to easily kill you. (Although in my experience it might be just getting a pattern). In terms of length most 2D games can be beaten under 3 hours. This one seems to clock at at least 6 to 15 if you want to collect everything. Then again, we'll see in subsequent playthroughs.
AidanAK47
`@Vonter. It's out now but I don't remember seeing anyone claim it's the longest hardest entry 2D wise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Going to watch new dominion tank police next and read violence action and Oddman 11.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It took me years to get round to it, but I finally watched Ayakashi and as expected like most anthologies, again its mixed, the first is a solid ghost story that improves after a weak start, but that third one with the cat spirit was great, really liked how experimental that looked.
Vonter
Soo a new Metroid comes out this week. It is said, it's the longest, hardest entry in regards to the 2D iterations. Still not as great as Super, and depending on your fanaticism it might or not be as good as Zero Mission.
SuperMario
But they didn't pull that scene off too well. It's just... unmemorable. In fact the whole show is very unremarkable. Now only 1 episode left I might as well finish it but I won't give it a full review
SuperMario
Koi to Uso has been disappointing so far. Episode 10 featured the sequence that i was looking forward the most in the manga: the former classmate tells the one sided crush of the main girl from her POV. For a romance that contrived and manipulated like this one, hearing this from the third person's perspective prove to be more powerful
Vonter
@HelghastKillzone - Good luck with that. I almost had my car's engine damaged since it has been raining heavily where I live. Had to ask for help the next day to pull it out of mud. Still not as bad as the other three cars that did get stuck in the water.
HelghastKillzone
Dealing with work and the total loss of my car really sucks at the moment so I'm quite tied up for this week.
KTravlos
I do agree to a point, but to be frank all the episodes of Princess Principal to date have been so solid I have a hard time deciding. Episode 5 though was still the best from a holistic point (action, direction, music etc) was the one introducing Chise
SuperMario
Agree. Dorothy has the biggest heart out of all the spy girls. Also "help" that her episodes are all melodramatic.
Amagi
This episode of PrinPrin showed again that Dorothy is the best character by far. Not just herself but her episodes as well are better written than the rest if you ask me.
KTravlos
It just hit me. The characters in Princess Principal may be very well working for IngSoc :p
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, in the seven chapters it's only really two of them that contain dark shocking content. Chapter three being the biggest one in that regard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read a comment where someone said subahibi shocked them more than saya no uta. While I haven't played it yet, I have seen some of a letsplay...it lleft me thinking....how many hours until this actually gets good/truly unhinged .
AidanAK47
After Reading SubaHibi, Made in Abyss's dark turn didn't shock me too much. Maybe I just got desensitised. I will have a review of SubaHibi hopefully up in a week though to clarify my feelings on it after just finishing it, It was interesting but disappointing.
KTravlos
well, well. Both Made in the Abyss and Virgin Soul do not hold back. Grim! RE:Creators is warping up. Comparing with these other shows I can fully appreciate the problems people have with it. But still I am glad I am sticking to the end. Altair's voice actor by the way did great.
AidanAK47
@Helghast, And Kings Field was the Demon Souls before Demon Souls came out.
KTravlos
having binge watched several of this season's shows I would say Princess Principal is the most rounded. Made in Abyss is good. Kakegurui and The Reflection as SuperMario said will depend on your tastes. There is also Shouko no Altair. You will like it if you liked Tanya Saga of Evil, or Legend of Galactic Heroes, or Arslan Senki or manga like Vinland Saga, Gunka no Baltzar, and especially Historie
Anonymous1385641
Jesus...me watching this weeks Made in Abyss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ogzsWhZcmM
HelghastKillzone
So... Demon Souls was the Dark Souls before Dark Souls came out.
SuperMario
@anon1385426: the safest bets aside from Made in Abyss are Welcome to the Ballroom and Princess Principal. Kakegurui and the Refection are for more acqurired taste
Anonymous1385426
Aside from Made in Abyss, what's the best anime this season?
Lenlo
@KT, the pacing and the framerate early on are my two biggest issues. Later on the story starts to get abit more engaging, and they start doin things I didnt expect, but the pacing is still there. Some akward pauses.
Lenlo
Look, Berserk and Dark Souls are both amazing. But I only have 3 Dark Souls games, and 38 Berserk volumes. Im clearly biased
KTravlos
I sat down and watched the first 4 episodes of The Reflection. It is an interesting attempt, and I can see the people making it having fun doing so. But I did notice a pacing issue. For some reason the episodes felt like they dragged a bit too long.
AidanAK47
Dark Souls is the Berserk of Video Games.
Amagi
Dark Souls really went all Berserk if you ask me
AidanAK47
I am not one for putting down law but can we never ever compare anything to Dark Souls ever again? Cause it's actually become really tiresome how everything is the dark souls of something.
Total users: 25

Featured Posts

Kakegurui – 12[Gambling Woman]

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 […]

Made in Abyss – 12[The True Nature of the Curse]

Today’s topic is the curse of the abyss alongside much needed revenge against the creature that put Riko in a bad spot. We get a rare glimpse of the topside village where one of the orphan kids we saw previously is deathly sick on his birthday. This caught me off guard as I believe I […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu – 13 [Katsugeki]

Welcome to the final week of Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu, where the plot is rushed and the art is at its best. Lets jump in. Ranbu opens this week with the title card, skipping the OP. Looks like they want all the time they can get. Picking up where they left off, Ranbu has Horikawa go and […]

Princess Principal – 12 [Case 24 Fall of the Wall]

Is that seriously how they end Princess Principal? Nothing is resolved at all except Ange breaks down the wall around her heart to welcome her team to the Casablanca’s paradise. Everything screams “second season” and with the sales aren’t that impressive from what I gathered, will they ever get one? It comes hard for me […]

18if – 12 [The Witch Wars]

Let me just say, I’m all in favor for 18if having a proper closure, but I’m wholly disappointed with what happening right now. This episode is just all over the place. For instance, I’m just as glad as the next person to see all the Witches gathering back in real life to help Haruto, but […]

Classroom of the Elite – 11 [What People Commonly call Fate is Mostly their Own Stupidity]

So suddenly, without mentioned at any point before, Horikita can suddenly kicks ass? Or that Horikita has been sick ALL THIS TIME? Or that Horikita still can kick some ass while being sick all this time? Since when the Class-D boys shrink into only Ayanokouji, Hirata and the 3 idiots? On that note, where is […]

Ballroom e Youkoso – 11 [Evaluation]

And so the Tenpei Cup comes to a close at last. It took five episodes to get from the first round to the awards ceremony, and not all parts of the competition were created equal, but I’m happy that my girl Mako managed to claim the Ballroom Queen award. After she received the trophy, there […]

Kakegurui – 11[The woman who bets her life]

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 […]

Made in Abyss – 11[Nanachi]

It’s been an issue I have wanted to bring up before but the previous episode recaps of this series are rather long. Today’s was the biggest offender as the first three and a half minutes was just footage from the previous episode. While these kinds of recaps are handy for those watching weekly to catch […]

Latest Reviews

Sakura Quest (Summer 2017) Review – 79/100

Conceived as a third installment in a loose P.A Works trilogy about young adult girls in working environment, Sakura Quest both knows its target audience well, and has some big shoes to fill. After all, many have considered Shirobako an install classic for good reasons. As it turns out, Sakura Quest is more on the […]

Castlevania Season 1 Review – 70/100

Upon hearing that Castlevania would be getting an animated TV series my first reaction was that of unpleasant surprise. Part of the reason was because of the video games infamous history with adapting their stories to other mediums but my main reason was that being familiar with the Castlevania games, I knew the story was […]

Tsuki ga Kirei (Spring 2017) Review – 88/100

It’s hard for me not to go overboard on Tsuki ga Kirei: out of all the show I’ve followed this season, I resonated the most to this one; but even when I’m judging this show objectively, Tsuki ga Kirei is one of the most perfect one, in a way that it achieved exactly what it […]

Seikaisuru Kado Review 51/100

Seikaisuru Kado was a title which caught my attention for a number of reasons. For one it’s visuals showed not a single teenager in sight and a cast mainly consisting of working adults. Another is that it deals with a premise not often tackled in anime, Philosophical Science Fiction. The story features an alien being […]

ID-0 (Spring 2017) Review – 81/100

Here comes one of the most under-appreciated anime of this Spring season. ID-0 has many hassles that keeps viewers away from watching it: Netflix exclusive, full CG animation and a plot that just plain weird and a bit incomprehensive at first view. I originally took it as nothing more than fun spooky little-seen show until […]

Grimoire of Zero (Spring 2017) Review – 77/100

I remember, back in our first impression of this series, Aidan remarked that Grimoire of Zero isn’t your typical LN-adaptations, but he didn’t know what to make of it. To be honest, after watching an entire cour, I’m still unsure what to make of it myself. This show has some serious flaws, yet despite all […]

Uchoten Kazoku Review – 94/100

(Note: Since psgels didn’t give his final review to the first season, this review is for the entirety of Eccentric Family. If I had to grade the second season alone, it’s 90/100). Doesn’t matter how you look at it, the Eccentric Family is a unique show, in a way it feels and tastes like no […]

Little Witch Academia TV Review – 80/100

The Little Witch Academia series has been something that’s a long time coming. Ever since Studio Trigger made the original Anime OVA back in 2013 I have been hotly anticipating the time when it would be fleshed out into it’s own anime series. I love both the original OVA and the enchanted Parade so this […]

Window Horses (2016) Movie Review – 87/100

In Window Horses, or its full name Window Horses – The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming, many characters keep asking the main protagonist, a Stick Girl in an otherwise fully formed character designs, why is she wearing a chador, in which she’s unable to reply. It’s her first trip to go overseas, so she […]