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!

 

Posted on 17 July 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

The farther into the season we go, the clearer it becomes that Ranbu is a video-game adaptation, as this week Ranbu takes two steps forward and one step back.

We start this week off immediately where we left off, with the Dutch steamship mid explosion, and wow was it a beautiful explosion. If nothing else happened this episode, we would still get a number of good wallpapers out of this opening segment. The digital effects team of Ufotable are clearly working hard as the smoke curls around the screen and water floods in through a hole in the wall. Truly, this is 5-minutes of animation eye-candy, ending with Mutsunokami looking over a gorgeous sunset sea.

Its a good image, as it shows early on who this episode is all about, Mutsunokami. He is the main focus of this episode, as we see his ideals clash with that of our lead Kane. Kane explains that though some died here, it didn’t have a large enough effect to change the course of history and so all is well that ends well. Of course Mutsunokami disagrees, saying that while the whole future is the same, what about the individuals future? He even goes for the low blow when he brings the Shinsingumi into the argument, striking at Kane’s own original owner. Needless to say this heats up the argument and Mutsunokami goes storming off into the night, with Kunihiro following to cool him down.

This leads us to a nice transition to our next plot point, the Roushi who attacked the ship. At first I was confused as to why there was no Revisionists zombies at the ship, but it would seem our villains actually know what they are doing. In history a group of Roushi, masterless samurai, attempted to kill foreigners and no doubt blow up the ship but got caught. Rather than blowing it up themselves, the Revisionists simply helped the Roushi avoid getting caught. Its a very indirect way of effecting history, allowing them to avoid the superior combat force of our main group. This is the sign of an intelligent opponent, who I hope will stay intelligent, who I hope will continue to attack where our main group is week. If the Revisionists stay smart, there is a good shot at a genuine feeling of threat from our villains when our main cast reaches them.

Getting back to Mutsunokami and Kunihiro, the two have a quick heart to heart that really says nothing at all. What this segment is really meant to do is give the Roushi some character. To show us that the Roushi aren’t the bad guys, that would be the Revisionists, the Roushi are simply people trying to survive in their era. Had we more time with them this may have worked, but for the quick 5 minutes we were given it comes across more than a little hamfisted. It does end up turning into a good example of the moral quandaries of preserving history though, as the Roushi are caught and killed by the Police later on. Had Kane not saved a little girl in episode one, completely negating any real consequence for changing history and saving people, this would have been a much stronger scene.

It is with this scene however, plus the little girl and the final ending dialogue, that the real issue of Ranbu comes out. Nothing is lasting. There were no consequences for saving the little girl in episode one, the conflict of ideals between Mutsunokami and Kane are introduced and resolved in the same episode and finally Mutsunokami comes to terms with having to let the Roushi die far to easily. There’s no cost to their ideals. In Rurouni Kenshin, a samurai piece set in a similar era, the main protagonist Kenshin had ideals and there were real consequences to him sticking to them. He swore not to kill again, and so over and over again specters from his past arrived whom he could not definitively get rid of. It got to the point where he left his friends so that they would not get dragged into the conflict he created. Ranbu handles its characters ideals in such a way that if Kenshin were here, he would kill and get over breaking his vow in the same episode. Its disappointing, as they could do so much more with this premise had their writing been better.

While their writing is lacking however, the animation is not. We end the episode on a flashy fight scene with a 3D camera rotation through the battlefield, and each of our cast cutting down some zombie samurai. Its all very pretty, even if the choreography is a bit bland. With the Revisionists dealt with, it seems our cast is due some down time, as the little talking fox comes in and informs them of their next job. In three days we get a hop skip and a jump to another time period, with more Revisionists and hopefully more plot. Depending on when they go and how the Revisionists use the small changes in time that have occurred, things could get interesting. Lets just hope next episode isn’t a beach episode eh?

That concludes the episode review, but this does lead me into a personal theory. Based on Mutsunokami’s attitude for most of this episode, I have hope that there is actually a member of their organization that left and joined the Revisionists. It would explain why the mindless zombie samurai we see so often are acting so intelligently with their plans. It would also mean that our main casts opponent knows how they work, and would give us some much needed conflict. I have hopes that this is the case as Ranbu is in desperate need of some sort of clear antagonist. A former comrade would supply the show with some required character drama. We shall have to wait and see however, as next episode might end up being a relaxation episode.

See you next time!

Posted on 10 July 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

Our story resumes immediately from where we left off, our six leads battling their way across the rooftops to some undisclosed location. Just like last week, we are greeted with some beautiful visuals ranging from a halo in the clouds to the best bullet casings I have ever seen in anime. Truly Ranbu is a feast for the eyes. Sadly, that is all the series seems to have.

This episode can be easily split up into three distinct sections. The opening fights, a boardroom meet’n’greet and the buildup. For the opening fights section, we get brief glimpses of what each of our leads can do and just how strong they are compared to their opponents. There are a lot of issues with this section, such as where did the fire from last episode go, how does no one from this era notice the red bolts of lightning summoning zombie swordsman and the fact that these time police are using swords and spears when they could easily use guns and bullets. This is explained later on, but that explanation only opens more questions.

Next after our team dispatches the remaining Revisionist forces, the leader of our motley band must leave, as cannot stay in the same period for to long, assigning Kane to be the team leader. Our party heads out, finds an inn and rests up, waking up to the aforementioned meet’n’greet. This section has the most meat of the episode, but the dialogue and how it is presented is agonizingly slow and boring. They essentially do “State your name, home city and one interesting fact”, as if they were freshman university students. Contrived, but we do get a lot of information from this.

Our main cast, and supposedly everyone else in their task force, are apparently weapons once wielded by historical figures. This explains each characters predilection for the weapon they once were, it explains their personalities since they are similar to their old wielders and it explains some of their dynamics. For example, Mutsunokami (Gunman) and Kanesada (Our Mentor MC) were wielded by Sakamoto Ryoma and Hijikata Toshizo, two commanders on different sides of a war, explaining their hostility towards each other. Sakamoto Ryoma also had an interest in military technology, such as guns and ships, explaining some of Mutsunokami’s reverence in regards to such technology. It helps a good bit with fleshing out the characters, but it opens up the question, how did these ancient weapons become time police? Hopefully that will get answered in the future.

Finally, we have our buildup to next episodes inciting incident. It appears the Revisionists plans are to spark a war between the Dutch and Japan. For a bit of background, the Dutch were the only Europeans allowed to trade in Japan after the Christian Rebellion, so a break in their relations could cause serious harm to Japans economy and technology at the time. Not a bad plan all things considered, and the Revisionists don’t seem to be stupid as they ignore our Leads and instead attack the Dutch steam ship scheduled to sail home. Had the meet’n’greet been half as long, this episode might have gone somewhere. Instead we are faced with one of Ufotables greatest weaknesses, writing.

Ufotable is fantastic when it comes to things like animation, sound and visual effects, but so far nothing they themselves have written has been good. Tales of Zestria, while beautiful, lacked substance, just as Ranbu does. All of our characters seem like cardboard cutouts, and the story itself feels hollow. I am sure those who played the game will get a lot more out of it than people like myself, but from where I am standing the only redeeming factor is the art. Its a shame, because we know from anime such as Fate/Zero that Ufotable is capable of making an episode with 90% dialogue engaging. Just go watch the Feast of Kings episode as proof! Yet here we are treated to a 10 minute info dump, which while necessary, could have been done in a number of different ways.

So it’s clear Ranbu has issues, but we are only two episodes in. With time and patience, its not to late to recover, as a large cast takes time to flesh out. Assuming some quiet character moments and less info dumps, it could work. I am not expecting it to, but it could. At the very least, we will be getting some gorgeous wall papers and action scenes from this season.

As a final aside, all future reviews for Ranbu will be posted the Sunday after that episode airs. With being brought on as a writer, the transition and all that, episode one was a bit late. From here on out we are on a schedule!

Posted on 6 July 2017 with categories: Katsugeki Touken Ranbu

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first post on the blog! Today we begin our series on Katsugeki Touken Ranbu (Ranbu henceforth), by Ufotable and directed by Toshiyuki Shirai. Now lets hop into it!

To start, lets quickly talk about two of Ufotables most notable qualities that are also present in Ranbu, those being the art/effects and the music. Right off the bat we get hit full force by the digital effects team with some beautiful rain shots, both up close and with some 3D tracking. The 3D used on the enemies is well placed, especially compared to Berserk 2017, it gives them an otherworldly style compared to the rest of the characters we see. In regards to the lighting, throughout this episode we get both flashes in the darkness and fire on the horizon. None of it stands out or catches the eye, which is typically the sign of good lighting, that it seems natural. Finally, for music we get some sweeping orchestra tracks, moments of silence, and decent fight music. Nothing stands out, but it also manages not to overstay its welcome, knowing when silence is better than loud instruments.

Now lets get into the story and characters. We are introduced to our main duo, Kane and Kunihiro, and their pet future cat-dog thing. I can’t help but draw a parallel between Kamina and Simon from Gurren Lagann between these two in regards to their relationship and color pallet. I would not at all be surprised if our resident Mentor Kane died in the future to give Kunihiro the motivation he needs to step out of his shell. For our story, it looks to be a sort of Time Police gig. Its a time-travel premise I have not seen before in anime, and by its nature directly addresses the issues most time travel stories have with things like the Butterfly Effect. Our main duo is introduced en medias res fighting against the forces of the “Time Retrograde Army” or “Historical Revisionists” as they are later called, who appear to be the main antagonists for this story. They have been sent to this time to prevent these Revisionists from changing the past, for what purpose we do not yet no, but it is no doubt nefarious!

Next Ranbu takes some time to explain some of its rules, such as how their as of yet unnamed organization can only send 2 people but the Revisionists can send dozens. Our resident mentor Kane also explains to his student, and by effect us, some of the moral quandaries of their job. As a fire breaks out in the middle of the night, Kane explains that their job is not to save people but to preserve history, which means we may run into a scenario in the future where the Revisionists are trying to save someone and our heroic duo actually has to commit murder to preserve the future. It would be a great character moment… if Ranbu didn’t immediately go and break its own rules by having Kane save a young girl and then joke about coming back to kill her. Imagine how hard hitting the moment would have been, how ironclad that rule would have seemed, if we simply got a shot of the beam falling and then silence. We would be left with a beautiful character moment in the future as a result, where Kane breaks this one rule. But now we already know it means nothing to him.

This is one of the main issues I have with Ranbu right now, even though it just began. They setup their rules, their moral quandaries, their main conflict, and then break their own rules. Cant save people? Unless its a little girl. Cant have more than 2 people in an area/period because of limited resources? Well lets just beam in 5 more people to help with a fight our duo can’t seem to win. In the end the only rule that matters in Ranbu is the titular “Rule of Cool”, which I am sure everyone is familiar with. Finally at the end, we are introduced to 5 more character (Wow that is a lot of characters for episode one), names Tonbokiri the large spear man, Unnamed Male Ninja #1, Musunokami the Gunman, and Saniwa the boss-man. At this point I care for none of them, but they have 11 episodes left.

There is more I could get into, for example we could disect the Ending Song, but with how long this post is already I will save that little bit for a slow week and do the Opening Song with it as well. I give this opening episode a 6/10. Beautiful to look at, engaging at the start, but breaks rules as soon as they are established and ruined what little tension was left for the end of the episode. They still have time to fix it though, so lets just sit back, enjoy the visual roller coaster and hope it works out.

 

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Nioh is something I am going to get to playing soon. Though first I will be getting through Horizon.
Lenlo
Nioh was phenomenal. Was different from Dark Souls in all the right ways.
Anonymous1335452
Your right, there have been so many great games: Zelda, Nier, Horizon, Nioh, as well as the upcoming Mario are all instant classics, and besides that there have been a bunch of other solid fun games like Sonic, Splatoon, Pyre etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Really just sit down and watch it kind of film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I just got back from Ancien and magic tablet/napping princess/hirune hime/whatever its title. In brief, the fantasy scenes are the highlight and its cute, charming family adventure anime film with alot of heart/endearment, runs on kind of too long and could have had more of a story though.
Vonter
It says something in a year of great videogames when I can really recommend a Sonic game. Sonic Mania is a good platformer, with great control, charming visuals, great music and level design that feels more readable than the last games I've played in this series.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Pres and delinquent girl is my favourite but I still hope the Kuudere couple shows up. This week was hilarious with the little sister trying to get back at her brother's girlfriend only for the girlfriend to know it was her immediately and start screwing around.
SuperMario
Mine is Takurou - Chizuru (the red hair boy and orange hair girl in this week's last segment. Maybe because I have a penchant for weird girl :/
SuperMario
Tsurezure Children... makes my heart melted again. Those who still watch it, who are your favorite couples?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: and I will give you a review on... new spiderman movie or whatever. My friend drags me to watch it with her tonight, and I haven't watched any spiderman installment since the one in 2007. Well, whatever...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will review Hirune-hime tomorrow night hopefully. Also I have seen all his ghost in the shell work, Moribito and Eden of the east but never Cyborg 009 .
Kaiser-Eoghan
This was a long time ago however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember my dads car got its window smashed then stolen, twice =<
K-Off
@Kaiser Insurance by itself won't hold you back at all, but getting a new car certainly will. The down payment alone will set you back a couple grand and you likely won't pay off the car for about 2-4 years.
K-Off
@Aidan Jeez, my condolences. @Kaiser Auto insurance covers most accidents and the rates won't go up so long as it's not your fault and you have evidence to prove it (like a dashcam).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Financially will it particularly hold you back on things like rent, etcetera?
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, that is one of the big reasons I haven't learned to drive, fear of that kind of thing happening, actually I think that might put me off driving if it happened to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The car incident is an obvious assassination attempt and conspiracy . Easily avoidable by investing in transport by Dragon .
AidanAK47
@K-Off, Lightly hit the side of a Van coming out of T junction. Left light smashed,front bumper and bonnet damaged. Gotta pay for that and the vans side door.
K-Off
@Aidan Ouch. What happened to it?
AidanAK47
Yep. Crimson red. Maybe I was tempting fate.
SuperMario
@Aidan: you should blame your car because it's new and shiny it's more accident prone than others. Did you mention your car is red??
AidanAK47
Man isn't it great having a new car. It's also great when you crash your new car and now have to pay hefty repair fees. Fantastic. No injuries or anything but it's going to be a pain to repair.
SuperMario
Princess Principal write-up will have to wait this time tomorrow guys. Sorry for those who wait but nothing can stand a chance against my madness for Monogatari now
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have a bunch of old anime vhs tapes in my attic yes, would take forever to list though.
movies4life
What to say about "one punch man" ?
movies4life
You have still VHS tapes as well in your anime collection ? (me 40)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hard to believe I've been at this anime/manga thing since I was 11 and am now in my 30s.
SuperMario
@Boukensha: for this site specifically most of us are like you. On and off with anime; burnt out, move on with life and back again... this why I believe the readers who read this site are slightly older than your average anime audience there.
OldManBoukensha
I think I'll call myself OldManBoukensha. Hope the name sticks (this is the anonyperson)
OldManBoukensha
Thanks for the recommendations @SuperMario and @Kaiser-Eoghan san! Sometimes feels surreal how time has flown, started watching anime and discovered psgels in uni... fast forward 12 years and I hit 30 this year. lots of great memories, eagerly waiting for blog posts for favourite animes like mushishi, seirei no moribito, FMA. ah good times. Thank you for taking the baton and keeping it lively :)
SuperMario
... and it's never too late to set up your permanent username now :)
SuperMario
@Anon1329673: if you had to pick up 1 show this season, then yes Made in Abyss. I'd also recommend Princess Principal as well. For slice of life office, Shirobako? There's a show running this season from the creators of Shirobako, not neccessary set in an office place but they are about adult working as well; the name is Sakura Quest
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Hataraki man perhaps?
Anonymous1329673
whenever I visit here I wish I had picked a permanent username. been reading psgels since 2005 :)
Anonymous1329673
and do you know of any slice of life office life anime to recommend? I loved fune wo amu from last season. melancholic yet intimate, bittersweet anime
Anonymous1329673
Hey guys, what's the best show running this season? Seems to me Made in Abyss ? If I had to pick up one show, which one would you recommend?
K-Off
@Mario That's the most common method of getting compromised nowadays, even a lot of youtubers got their channels hacked because of vulnerabilities with the phone carriers.
Lenlo
So naturally, Reflection and Ranbu will be delayed tomorrow because of a move. Last for abit. I promise. Hectic time :P
SuperMario
alright, 18if down. Now's the time that I've been looking for this season. Go watch Owari nowwww
AidanAK47
Yep, the author laid out how he wanted it to end before he died. Can't say how the new guy did as the English translation of the novels has not caught up that far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: These were presumably written from notes left behind by the author? Is there a disconnect in quality between the non-original author novels and the ones he wrote?
AidanAK47
Also the Familiar of Zero novels are better than the anime. Now, not shakespeare but the anime did not really adapt them well. The novels took the plot a little more seriously while the anime went full slapstick with it.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, I was talking about the novels, not the anime. Someone jumped in to write the last two novels.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course things have changed, its been so many years since I saw the initial seasons, I couldn't tell if I'd still care.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Didn't really work in familiar of zeros case though , third and fourth seasons were a decline.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A famous example was Itazura na kiss, author died from having stuff collapse on her , anime finished the story.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Likely not now that the author is dead. There are some occasions where people jump in to complete the work like Familer of Zero but in most cases it is just left unfinished.
AidanAK47
@Movies, Watched about ten episodes and then just never got back to it. I thought it was alright.
@Amagi, Indeed. Hopefully they won't be around that much.
Amagi
Apocrypha is pretty good when the MCs aren't around
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Movies: Yes, stopped after he got the powerup and then the manga went on a long hiatus, I liked the art though, the anime was tedious though, filler-y and censored.
movies4life
You guys remember d.Gray-man ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
...I think one of the two working on highschool of the deads manga died/
SuperMario
@anon1327403: funny that you mentioned Highschool of the Dead because I'm planning to watch that one real soon. But to answer your question, as far as I am aware of, no, there isn't any announcement regarding the new adaptation.
Anonymous1327403
Does anyone know if High School of the Dead will ever be picked up by another person
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm still watching stuff though, just finished the Cobra ovas last night, fun camp in the flash gordon/Barbarella vein, though it misses the soundtrack from the old 80s version.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love a good Bond type spy thingnow and then but I'd LOVE to see a more serious anime take on the genre.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If kakegurui is enjoyable in the same way a trash-exploitation film is I could see myself watching .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Count me in for those who weren't happy with the progress of abyss' manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again my gaming days are long long in the past for the most part. The humour in gamers would just turn me off now, I've lost interested in most anime comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was aware of ANN being down, for the most part I really only skimmed their articles. I wish sega would just put Sonic down, its been on decline for so long.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: have fun with whatever you doing in the next 10 days mates. And if you have time, sample Princess Principal as well
KTravlos
I will be off the net the next 10 days, so sorry if I do not answer any replies etc. Have a good time all! See you later.
KTravlos
took the hiatus of my shows as a chance to sample the current season. Saw first episodes of Kakeguiri, Abyss, and Altair. Kakeguiri and Abyss really did have great first episodes, that grab you. Altair was a bit too old-fashioned, but I will probably continue watching it. Kakeguiri had excellent OP and ED, while Abyss had in general great music. And yeah, you guys were not kidding about beauty
SuperMario
And I still enjoy Gamers thoroughly. Not sure if it can keep up with the misunderstanding mess about relationships from the main cast but so far the show is hilarious
KTravlos
so now I know about why ANN did not work. @Holystockings yes, again I should detest it for many things it has, but they pulled it off and I like it.
Holystockings
I'll be honest here. I would have never guessed that Kakegurui would have been this good.
Vonter
@AidanAK47 This year there have been a lot of good games. Too many to play seriously. I do wonder how deliberations would be since more than scores or genres I don't feel a all out winner, more than different games excelling at different things.
Lenlo
So finally finished Kado, and I have to say I am not a fan of the shark jump.
Lenlo
Really? Had no idea about the news network site
AidanAK47
Also too many games coming this month. SubaHibi, Sonic Mania and Ys Seven. Not to mention cold steel now out. I still need to get blood orange complete and in comes a small, medium and two extra large time sinks.
AidanAK47
And in other news Voltorn season three is out but only seven episodes long. With another fourth season coming in October which is 6 episodes long. I wonder why Netflix are spilting up seasons like this?
AidanAK47
So, not sure if anyone has heard this or not but the Anime News Network site has been hacked. Hence why you can no longer access it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: blancanieves was modern silent take on snow white, a different spin on the story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Fun fact, Mitchum appears in a cameo in the cape fear remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
ha, I wouldn't mind seeing a gag in a comedy manga series where they did a silent throwback episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The expressionist visuals of some of those silent films appeal to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My only issue with maddin is that he is hard to marathon, that style as unique and funny as it is only works in small doses.
Kaiser-Eoghan
La Antenna was another good example of modern silent filmaking. Annnnd, this one is SUPER obscure/rare: http://hawkmenblues.blogspot.ie/2013/11/yumemiru-yoni-nemuritai-kaizo-hayashi.html
SuperMario
It's like this: The Artist gets the "look" of silent film, but Guy Maddin's works get the "feel" of it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember Mitchum was in an underated remake of the big sleep...
...though you could really tell even just from listening to him speak he was a pothead.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree with you that Guy Maddin's works are more of a representative of neo-silent than the Artist (the Artist is just so... wide-appealing for my taste. It tries to please everyone). I always feel that Maddin is born in a wrong era. Had he born in the silent era he'd definately be a legend.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I don't blame the audience from the 50s who didn't get the film. I didn't quite get it the first time either but the film just keep growing on me. I remembet Robert Mitchum in his noir detective role as well, most notably his role in Out of the Past. The lead girl in that movie has a very typical femme fatale look as well, which mean she's gorgeous
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've been looking into Guy Maddin's work, its occasionally funny in an absurdist way and alot of the appeal comes from how strange his films are, while I think that film the artist was a good take on silent films, Maddins tributes to silent film are far more successful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: People weren't ready for night of the hunter in the 50s, one of those baffling situations that it flopped when originally released, frustratingly that director never got to work again. For me I think that was one of Robert Mitchum's best roles, along with his one in Cape fear.
SuperMario
Ahhh, clumsy finger. Whatever...
SuperMario
*Diary kf the Country Priest of course
SuperMario
Should get into Diry of the Countey Priest soon, but consider it's Bresson's movie I have no doubt it'll be hard to swallow. Also the priest in The Night of the Hunter
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: =) All priest films quiver before the might of Diary of the country priest, Nazerin and Winter light.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: in the same vein with Spotlight, right? 2016 wasn't a good year for priest in movies it seems
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, that guy also directed El Club, I liked that one, seriously grim story about exiled priests.
SuperMario
@movies4life: Gin no Guardian is a bif meh for me.
SuperMario
I watched No at the time of its release. Good watch although I don't remember much of it now. Not only they have the same actors as Neruda, those films are directed from the same director. This fude also directed Jackie last year that star Nayalie Portman as the First Lady
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Movies: The other Chinese anime attempts aren't any better I hear.
movies4life
Watch in a day the whole season of Gin no Guardian. Is have so much potential in story and animation but somehow something missing. maybe is just for growing up Kids
AidanAK47
@Anon, Like SAO season 2 then. Myself and a friend tried to watch that for the sole reason of taking the piss out of it. Ended up not finishing it because there wasn't anything to take the piss out of because barely anything happened each episode and it was so boring that we couldn't take it anymore.
KTravlos
I have seen "The Secret in their Eyes". A good film. I do recommend "Neruda", and the film "No" which as some of the same actors.
Anonymous1324414
People thought they were 'ironically' watching a bad movie until they realized the movie's so bad it can't even be enjoyed on an ironic level.
AidanAK47
I am not surprised that the Emoji movie is bad. But I am quite astonished that people seem to be surprised that it's bad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gah, I would hate that, having to put up with a kid in cinemas, having to see , having to financially benefit some anti-art film like that.
movies4life
and i watch Emoji with my daughter....I fall asleep
Kaiser-Eoghan
Secret in the eyes remake was pretty much pointless.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anon-The virgin witch
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am entirely too old to place any care or importance on whether I sleep with someone or not/ever.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am entirely too far behind to catch up on monogatari.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy the surrealism that is present in some Latin filmaking. As for secret in their eyes, its got that great stadium scene and twist later on, though some of the exchanges between actors/characters seemed awkward, overall while I liked it, it felt like an extended tv episode.
SuperMario
I'm also looking forwards to listen to their new OPs. Mnogatari's soundtrack is the only anime soundtrack that I bought a physical CD. Still listen to all those songs quite frequently
SuperMario
Since it is confirmed that there'll be 7 episodes, I think it'll be: Mayoi Hell (2 episodes), Hitagi Rendezvous (2), Ougi Dark (3)
SuperMario
So Owarimonogatari will air in 2 days. I honestly don''t know how I should review it (by episode? by each arc? by day? Rating or not?) but dang I'm gonna review it.
SuperMario
You can try another Latin American film, The Secret in Their Eyes (not the REMAKE one). There was a 10 minutes unbroken (CGI) shot that follow the leads in the football stadium to look for their suspect. Quite impressive
SuperMario
@KTravlos: I missed my chance to watch Neruda when it was screening in my local cinema; but I've heard good things about the film. People said it's an unconventional but effective biopic film. The more I watch Latin American cinema, the more I feel the unique charm from the area that I don't feel anywhere else.
Masky
Still, weird manga because its kind of increasingly obvious that the people behind Nana are the bad guys .-. They are just overly sinister.
Masky
So skipped third chapter and just read fourth chapter of Talentless Nana. Ok, seems like it might have more of hook now? Villain protagonist vs hero antagonist?(who also can't be killed off first because they are immortal, so she would need to figure out how to deal with him first)
KTravlos
@Anon. Nobody cares mate.

@SuperMario. Hey I watched Neruda last week. It was interesting. Have you seen it?
AidanAK47
@Anon, Well we can all make up imaginary sexploits, it's not really something worth bragging about. Perhaps fanfiction would be a better outlet?
Anonymous1323777
I enjoy posting on obscure anime blog chat boxes about my sexploits. ᕕ( ⏒ ロ ⏒ )ᕗ
movies4life
Just watch Ajin both seasons and not sure ...good or just ok
Anonymous1323481
Just watch Ajin both seasons and not sure ...good or just ok
Vonter
I'm also as of now noticing this Isekai trend. And to be honest the most disappointing aspect for me, is how formulaic the worlds are. This is also a complain in RPGs. But I don't get how like 7 or more of this, feels like the setting could be the same world. I don't know, I just think there should be ways to make each feel more unique.
Vonter
I went to Chicago and bought a Switch and lots of manga. I was happy with my choices. Murcielago is a violent buddy cop. Delicious Dungeon is a creative take on a dungeon crawler setting and funny. The 7th garden is a well composed manga, if anything a good example for sequential art reference. I also read several chapters of Mushoku Tensei, which is Isekai but heck it did made me care.
AidanAK47
It's like the difference between reading Konosuba and watching Konosuba. I read the novels up to date and while it's fine it's like reading the script to a comedy skit. It's not nearly as entertaining as seeing it in action. The animation and actors just added so much more to it.
AidanAK47
@Puran, I actually agree with you on that. I read the manga before watching the anime and couldn't really get into it. However I felt that things would change when seeing it animated and indeed it did. Currently I would place the anime adaption above it's source material.
Anonymous1321546
3000 Leagues in Search of Mother
Puran
@Anon, thank you for the update on your sex life.

In other news, I read the manga for Made in Abyss and I didn't really like it...? Felt kinda boring and soulless? While the anime seemed to have some sort of magic and wonder. It kinda spoiled my enjoyment of the Anime. I think I'll drop it for a while and marathon it later to let the bad taste from my mouth subside.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's virgin talk.
Anonymous1320940
my girlfriend is coming back home and I am so looking forward to getting my cock sucked again. Sex starved since Wednesday
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Genuinely missed Tsugumi when her character got the axe.
AidanAK47
Getting the made in abyss post up tonight but it looks like the other two are going to have to wait. Kakegurui's sixth episode will be airing this week and Fate's episode won't be subbed until friday. I will see if I can get secondhand subs to do a writeup but I would prefer to watch it with UTW subs.
K-Off
The spin-offs are actually a good read because it's essentially similar to the opening few chapters of the main story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah seoul station, that director (or at least the animator) has done some other animated films that I've yet to get round to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Maybe a sequel or more spinoffs planned? I've not read any of the spinoff come to think of it.
K-Off
The film was interesting, but I remember I watched it after Train to Busan and its animated prequel so I found it lacking in comparison.
K-Off
I'll just say that the manga does not end climatically nor in any interesting way. It ends up focusing on a new set of characters near the end (what kind of writer thinks that's a good idea?) and rushes the MC's story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The film adaptation of I am a hero is better than it has any right to be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*sci-fi
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Everything after the sci-twist started going downhill. I haven't read the final chapter yet.
K-Off
@Kaiser Did you catch up on I am a Hero? Just finished it and...I feel like the series seriously fizzled out halfway through. I'd like to talk about the ending if you have.
Anonymous1318603
That is the best Anime site I can find.it let me not register.
Lenlo
Apologies, The Reflection for this week should be up tomorrow. Rather busy is all because I have a 4 month long project presentation tomorrow.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I think there may be about three of them in my county. I tried a Hybrid but it just didn't do anything for me. If it was out yet and if I was rich I would buy a Faraday FFzero1.
K-Off
@Aidan Right, forgot about that. I guess it really would be a problem out in the sticks, that's what hybrids are for I suppose. I don't know about urban areas in Ireland, but in NYC and LA electric charging stations are everywhere.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I'm having fun with it now; don't spoil it man :)
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I wanted to buy an electric car originally but was talked out of it because we don't have gas stations with chargers for one.
@Supermario, Ho boy. I often joke about fan-service series being porn but that show quite literally is porn. The story isn't deep either as it's omnibus format so the story resets every four episodes or so.
SuperMario
I am in the mood today so I finally checking out that controversial Yosuga no Sora - to see if it has any deeper, more intimate message or it's just a harem setting for soft-incest-porn that despise everyone. Wish me luck guys
K-Off
Yeah, that's a shame. But I think it's bound to happen, now that shot put got one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I would find it quite difficult to find a storyline that made mathematics enjoyable. Not a numbers guy, more on the arty side.
Anonymous1312485
I don't think I know anything Japanese young people hate more than math.
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