Posted on 23 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

It’s quite the coincidence that both shows I am covering have decided to use their last episodes to make up for the season’s shortcomings. This will be a short post as while action packed episodes are great to watch, they make it hard to bring up topics to talk about. Guana look to be imitating humans more and more with the appearance of a human shaped Gauna encountered by Izana and another pilot. Kunato remarked about superior organisms while watching Tsumugi and Benizumie fight so it could be possible that they are seeking a new path of evolution through human imitation. Though why is the Hoshijiro inside Benizumie is well made while the monster encountered by Izana malformed. Maybe its that they haven’t figured out Male anatomy yet.

I worried a little when Tsumugi was about to put an end to Benizumie making her to be the monster of the week but Benizumie came right back and destroyed Tsumugi. Also Benizumie using the same words that Tsumugi said to her as she was about to shoot the finishing blow, perfect. Menacing while remaining alien in action. There is also a certain level of cunning in letting Tsumugi see her human form and thus causing her to be put off guard but that could have been unintentional. The fight itself was excellent and I am still loving Benizumies design with the insect like wings and arm blades. I really could sit and watch Benizumie and Tsumugi jet around and clash all day.

One part of the episode that made me sigh was went Tanikaze set down his gun and managed to take out all the Gauna surrounding him. Mainly because this was followed by a number of people saying how amazing that was. This might not bother me so much if I was more invested in Tanikaze’s character but it really does feel as though he has leap frogged up in experience when the audience wasn’t looking. He was always a good pilot but I think I missed the point where he became an amazing one. It’s a minor detail though because after this he’s put in a tight spot so at least he isn’t overpowered. The end of the episode has Tanikaze in the tight fix and from the looks of things his love affairs are about to get a whole lot stranger.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Now this is more like it. Well as they say, better late than never and this was at least the best moment to bring back the quality. All I ask is where this was three episodes ago which it could have made all the difference in the world. Admittedly this episode has made me a lot less bitter about this second season as at least now it has a great finale. At first my expectations were set to low as once again dialogue was giving more presence with Gilgamesh rehashing what Archer was saying to Shirou having a good but unnecessary monologue. But what followed has been everything I have been waiting for in this adaption. It’s true that Shirou was showing a level of power that was beyond a human and that by realistic standards he should have been shredded to bits. (There are some explanations for this like UBW being able to copy the abilities of the owners welder but it’s only feasible at best.) But I honestly don’t care as it was exhilarating, beautiful and exciting being the fight I was long promised but not delivered till now. I am sad that other fights up till now were not given this treatment and I hold a vain hope that maybe Ufotable will add more to them for the blu-ray discs. For a fan it’s a real treat as we have, not one, not two, not three but four new remixes of songs from the visual novel. (There may be others that I missed) Those being Last Strength, Sword of promised victory, New Dawn and Disillusions piano version with Emiya played again at the climax for absolute perfection. Disillusions piano version is as emotionally sombre as ever and I feel that Sword of promised victory was done better here than Yuki’s Fate/Zero version where the choirs drained some of the impact of the song. Nostalgia may be making a fool out of me in how I am getting so excited about these songs but more than anything this show was made for the fans and this is fanservice I can get behind.

Previously I stated that even though Archer used UBW twice that it doesn’t really explain his strange mana levels. This episode shows exactly why that is the case as Archer shows up for one last attack on both Gilgamesh and the grail. Whether it is  in the visual novel or the anime this moment has always been a pretty poor deus ex machina because the only explanation for Archer still being alive is independent action. He faked his death? Can’t be done, servants can sense other servants, except for Assassin who has presence concealment, so even if he tried to fake his death both Gilgamesh and Saber should have noticed he was still around. Independent action? This only allows the servant to stay in the world two days and that estimate is based on avoiding fighting and using the absolute minimum of mana, which Archer was clearly not doing. The best excuse for this that I have gotten was that while he was Castors servant, he stockpiled on mana but this has issues as well. There is also an argument that Archer was brought back as a counter guardian seeing as the world was in peril and while I like this explaination I am afraid it doesn’t work out either as if Archer was summoned as a counter guardian then he wouldn’t remember the events of this holy grail war.  All and all Archer coming back for the final fight should be impossible but while it is cheap, at least it gives Rin a moment to say a last goodbye to him and wrap up his arc. Whether Archer used UBW once or twice doesn’t matter as this moment is still not justified and this is one of the things that shows that the source material wasn’t perfect. Archers final smile at least showed that Shirou wasn’t the only one who gained something from all this, at least now he has regained some of the optimism that put him on this path in the first place despite what awaits him.

This final fight does make me recall the fact that I only started liking Gilgamesh once I read Fate/zero as it is true that he and Kirei are fairly one dimensional in this route and the Fate route. But this fight does show the genius of Gilgameshs character. Put frankly, Gilgamesh is unbeatable. He is such a powerful opponent that if he went all out he could win the Holy Grail war within a day or even less. In terms of ability he trumps everyone so it is just so perfectly suitable that his only weakness lies in his personality. Gilgamesh is so egotistical that to go all out against someone who he seems not worty is an insult of the highest caliber. Throughout this fight he was constantly handicapping himself what from the fact that he didn’t wear armour, his limited usage of Gate of Babylon and his reluctance to use Ea. One moment I adore is the point where Shirou is about to land the killing blow and Gilgamesh is preparing to draw Ea but before he grips the handle, he hesitates. It was that moment of hesitation that sealed his doom and what truly made this a win for Shirou. Archer may have stuck the killing blow but Shirou made him take him seriously as a fighter and as the king said so himself, the moment he does that would be the the moment he truly lost. The story is essentially complete now and all that remains is the epilogue but I wonder just what will they put in to fill a episode. At worse it will just be them going to school and time wasting and at best it could elaborate on just what awaits Rin and Shirou in the future. Well let’s just wrap it up and start the long excruciating wait for Heavens Feel.

Posted on 18 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

Unfortunately this wasn’t the time for Izana to become an ace pilot though she did at least show some ingenuity in her escape from gauna. Instead the spotlight falls once again to Tsugumi and Tanikaze. A lot of the fight scenes before the challenger appeared was to shown that Tsugumi and Tanikaze have great teamwork which admittedly isn’t all that strange seeing as they go into battle often. While it is a shame that Izana didn’t get a moment to shine, I am glad that Sidonia has returned to the elements that make it good. Those harem antics went on for far too long and now that it’s back to the plot that matters, I am starting to see that spark that made the first season so good. A bit late into the game but as they say better late than never. The CGI animation really looks its best in the mecha battle scenes. While human characters tend to have levels of uncanny valley syndrome, the robot battles are fast and fluid with little awkward movement. Any stiffness in the animation can be just attributed to the robot’s mechanical movements and easily ignored. The battles are really a symbol of this shows strengths, it’s at it’s best at a fast pace and events are constantly happening. When the show takes the time to slow down it’s flaws become more apparent. In a way, it’s similar to attack on titan in this regard. Attack on titan was also at it’s best when everything was in chaos and the situation was dire. But when things slow down and it moves away from the main threat then that’s when the weaknesses in the characters and story become more visible. So the key to this kind of story is to keep things moving and never dwell too long on a cooling down period.

The big reveal of this episode was the return of Tanikazes ex-girlfriends robot turned psycho killing machine, Benisuzume. This reveal is what makes Gauna an effective threat as just as Sidonia is improving their forces with Gauna technology, Gauna in turn are improving their forces through Sidonia technology. Each side is becoming more and more dangerous thus insuring that nobody has the upper hand for long. With the addition of Tsumgi, it felt like Sidonia had drawn the winning card but with the re-appearance of Benisuzume, she now has worthy opposition. Her existence however has me wondering as to just where is the real hoshijero? Is Benisuzume the real Hoshijero or is she the floating body lying in Kunatos workshop or is she Tsumugi? There seems to be some level of cloning going on as all three clearly have a connection to Hoshijiro. I really like Benizumies design as a melded mecha chimira, especially the 101 left from the robot printed on her right forehead. It’s…cool. For lack of a more professional word. Actually if I can segway into another topic, I must ask a question if manga readers have an answer. What exactly is the role of Tsumugi’s pilot? I mean from what I have seen, it looks like Tsumugi has full control over her functions as Kunato couldn’t stop her from rampaging in an earlier episode. So is the pilot some kind of advisor or a fail safe? I also find it amusing that after Tsumugi nearly killed herself to save Sidonia, Kunato has stopped acting as pilot and left it up to his assistant instead.Too much of a close call for him I guess. As things look now, this could be a pretty good wrap up for what has been a weak season for Sidonia. Assuming of course that this is a twelve episode season like it’s predecessor.

Posted on 16 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Sometimes it’s hard being a veteran anime fan and a huge Fate Franchise fan. I sit down to watch the latest episode of this series and I want to shut up the cynical critic in the back of my brain pointing out everything that is wrong with this episode. But as events I adored from the visual novel come up and feel lesser than what I recall, a question surfaces in my mind. I like this second half of Fate/stay night, but why don’t I love it? This is an adaption of my favourite route, from one of my very first and  favourite visual novels. I should love this. I should be gushing from the heavens about how amazing this is and that none shall reach the heights of its glorious magnificence. But I don’t love it, no matter how many times I try to shut out that critical voice, I can’t help but feel that this isn’t as good as it should be. I know that to others this anime is perfectly fine, great even. I could say that my memories of the visual novel are seen from rose tinted glasses but honestly my issue with this anime isn’t that it’s not a one to one recreation of the visual novel. I don’t want monologues or excess exposition, if I did then I would just read the visual novel again. I didn’t walk into this anime adaption thinking that I couldn’t wait till I saw Archer monologue about counter guardians. I walked into this because I wanted to see those exciting fights I read about in true Ufotable animated glory. For what is the point of a full animated recreation of all spoken exposition scenes in the visual novel? Something like that is no better than a audio book.

A number of times in this episode I noticed a character make a declaration of “The real fight starts here!” only to cut away to another fight where both combatants stop fighting and start talking. What is this, a Shounen battle anime? The real victim of this cut down of action scenes is Assassin. His fight in this route is his main glory to the series, his time in the limelight and the poor guy was taken down in less than two minutes. There was supposed to be a decent fight scene between the two where Saber bends Assassins sword with her blows which in turn creates a gap in Assassin’s Tsubame Gaeshi technique. Saber then exploits that gap to strike the finishing blow, but here Saber just dodges Tsubame Gashi and cuts him down, an anticlimactic end to what should have been a exciting fight. Assassins last words were done well at least, with him sitting down on the steps in his last moments. It’s unbelievable that I say this, but Studio Deen’s 2006 Fate/stay night did this scene better. I shouldn’t be saying that, but I pin the blame on Ufotable placing more emphasis on the dialogue than the conflicts themselves.

For the positives of this episode, what little fighting there was, was good. Gilgamesh pulling out Ea to hit the grail was more or less original content but it makes a good deal more sense than him using Ea on Shirou for no reason and Shirou surviving by means unspecified. The grail growing an arm was a bit weird but at least it shows its desire to use Gilgamesh as a substitute core. Still on the fence about why Gilgamesh would use Ea to destroy the very thing he intends to use to destroy the world but well it’s Gilgamesh. Chances are that he just got annoyed by it. Speaking of his intentions, I was rather surprised when Rin asked Gilgamesh what he intents for the grail when he made it abundantly clear when he encountered them in Illya’s castle. Gilgamesh essentially repeats himself and I wonder as to why we couldn’t cut out his speech from two episodes previous and add that runtime to Archer and Shirou fight. So ladies and gents, this is it. The next episode is the conclusion to the last fight of the series and will ultimately determine my feelings for the series as a whole. So I ask, nay I plea. Ufotable, I know you can give this fight justice, you have shown me before that you have the capability. All I ask is that you display the excellence shown at the berserker fight of the first season once more to give this show the finale it deserves. This is the last adaption this route is going to get and likely the best we can hope for, I just don’t want to walk away from it disappointed.

Posted on 11 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

Though the majority of the episode was of the same antics I have been complaining about in previous episodes, it’s nice to see Sidonia get back to what it does best. Dire situations and sci-fi mecha action. Izana being pushed into the role of scouting with a new weapon has to be the best path for her character right now. At the moment her existence is mainly to derail the plot with her crush on Tanikaze but now we finally see her being put to use. Her new mental controls are giving her more value on the battlefield and now has the potential to become more than just Tanikazes Harem member. The scene was tense and while we all knew something was going to go wrong, its still exciting just waiting to see exactly what will. With each fight Gauna are growing more and more dangerous. With Tanikaze and Tsumugi out of the battlefield, this could be Izana’s moment to shine and I am all for it.

One thing that bugged me however was the girl that Izana likely replaced. While Tanikaze was checking out the new weapon, a woman started mocking him. Saying how disposable they were compared to the hero of Sidonia. I had no problem with what the girl said to him as there is truth to it and considering that she was getting sent out on a mission with a high chance of death it’s perfectly understandable for her to lash out to golden boy Tanikaze. My issue with it was her walking away laughing like a witch. I wonder why they felt they needed to add that last detail to make her seem more in the wrong. What she said to Tanikaze wasn’t wrong, it’s true that he wasn’t being sent out to scout because he’s more valuable as a poster boy for the war effort and that they were being sent out because they are more disposable. All things considered, her anger was fairly justified. So why is she laughing like a saturday morning cartoon villain? If that laugh was removed she would be a more realistic and morally grey character. But it’s almost as if they went out of there way to make her obnoxious.

Other than that, it’s very much the same story. The show teases a pairing up of Izana and Tanikaze but honestly I see her chances to be slim. Have all the romantic getaways and fake confessions you like, it will not improve your chances. But Izana is not quite as hopeless as Yuhata. Honestly just for unpredictability I would like it if Tanikaze went for such an unconventional choice as Yuhata. The one who has the highest chances, despite my problems with it on many levels, is Tsumugi. Its crystal clear that she has feelings for him, what with taking a mecha pilot for a hellish joyride after him making fun of her missing her “boyfriend” and Tanikaze seems to harbor a certain fondness for her. Not to mention her connection to his first crush. But unless she gains a more human body I can’t help but look at their relationship with a raised eyebrow. I mean how would you even…I think I do not want to continue that trail of thought. My interest in Tsumugi’s future plot involvement has dissipated just as the conflicts I thought would have higher focus have. But Kunato looks to be creating a new Chimera and that could prove interesting. Next week I hope that Izana can have her moment of badass and finally become something more than Tanikaze’s secondary wife.

Posted on 7 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

A fairly uneventful episode this week.In some ways for me that’s good as it allows me to go into detail about the nature of the ever so popular CGI dolpins. But first let’s speak about what happened. Our three heroes had a strategy meeting discussing how to deal with Gilgamesh and the grail while all coming to the agreement that the grail should now be destroyed. Upon figuring out that Shirou is likely the best opponent for Gilgamesh, Rin then creates a link between her and Shirou so that he can make use of her reserves of mana. Saber comes to terms with the answer she gained from Shirou’s battle. And Shinji has turned into a berserker Eva unit. The strategy meeting was pretty much as expected. What I feel was the best part of the episode, though in truth it is a little tacked on to give Saber some closure to her arc, was Sabers conversation. It really was a conversation for the viewers than Shirou as even Saber knows he wouldn’t understand exactly what she is talking about. But seeing her walk around and talking with Shirou with a serene smile really showed that she had come to terms with her past. It was a pretty powerful scene when you think of just what she has been though and should benefit the events to come. The holy grails form has a small change from its visual novel counterpart. Now the mass of flesh has a large human like effigy on top of it that houses shinji who’s not looking his best. Overall I like the change though the Shinji shot was a little unnecessary. But I rather wish it kept the metal design it had before the mass of flesh emerged. I rather liked the look.

Now to the meat of the episode. For a long time now one of the greatest criticisms of Studio Deens Fate/stay night was the decision to replace a scene that was originally a sex scene with this magic circuit transplant that happened to show it using one of the worst examples of CGI in anime, a CGI dragon. The tradition was kept with the movie of this route, where they used terrible CGI dolphins to show Rin linking her mana with Shirou’s. These scenes are mocked to high heaven and when I see someone bashing them I can’t help but find it most amusing. It is to me a perfect example of just how blind a fanboy can be to the flaws of the work. So lets just get this straight, in this scene of the visual novel, Rin and Shirou have sex as it is the condition to set up this magic link. This is something that a lot of visual novels have in common, forced in sex scenes. For some odd reason there is some unwritten rule that visual novels must have sex scenes, even if it’s not suitable. Because of this visual novels tend to have contrived situations to push the characters towards sex near the end of a route. Here’s the important thing. Fate/stay Nights sex scenes are not known to be good. As a matter of fact, sex scenes in any Type Moon visual novel have an infamous reputation for being hilariously awful. There is some explanation saying that Nasu left the sex scenes to a different writer but regardless they have lines that would rival Fifty Shades of Grey in terrible writing. Type Moon even had a competition where they got fans to write the most purposefully terrible and funny sex scenes and featured some of the highlights in the fan-disc of Tsukihime. So I just find it amusing that there are people mocking Dolphins and Dragons of Deen when the Visual novel sports such standout sex dialogue as “It makes me feel so good that I want to vomit.” and “My grotesque meat stabs into her” Of course even taking out that it isn’t really logical for there to be a easy way to share mana and have Mages not be making use of it. Shouldn’t there be mage wives who are made to be mana batteries in this case? It makes more sense that this link would require such a huge sacrifice or else there is the question of why other mages don’t make use of the method.

Ufotables treatment of the scene is at least decent. I liked the inclusion of the scene with Shirou trying to do a high jump in the school yard. It is the scene that sparked both Sakura’s and Rin’s interest in Shirou. Makes sense that she wouldn’t want him to know about it. But Rin really did go into tsundere overdrive when for the majority of the series she was keeping it pretty under control. Admitly the heavily sex implied talk they had before the act was rather entertaining and fairly humorous. I do pity the English dub voice actor whose going to have to lip sync and pronounce all that mangled German. That will be a hard task to pull off. However, though they were only on screen of about a few seconds, those CGI fish/tadpoles/whatever looked terrible. Would have been best just to keep it to the CGI mana circuits lighting up and left it at that Ufotable. Next week is a decisive moment and where the series enters its climax. My final opinion on this will depend heavily on how these last episodes pan out but I am hoping they live up to expectation. They can’t rush it, that’s for sure as this is where the budget should really be going. I noticed in images for the next episode that looks like a part from near the end of the fight and it worries me. This is the big moment, do not mess this up.

Posted on 2 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

I think something is wrong when I consider a protagonist from a movie these characters are watching a more compelling lead than our current one. I was surprised when starting the episode to see a sudden rise in visual quality only for it to turn out to be a movie within an anime. Actually I am rather curious as to what happened later in that movie, as I am sure it’s bound to be more interesting than the episode itself. This isn’t a sci-fi show with harem elements anymore. This is a harem show with sci-fi elements. Only one thing related to the main plot happened in this episode and that was Izana’s mother letting the female engineer in on what’s going on. Seems that she’s had a hit of conscience and has decided to turn against Kobayashi. While that’s interesting, the show thinks of it as not that important as she then goes and sets up a romantic vacation for Izana and Tanikanze. It is true that this could just be a means of keeping her daughter out of harm’s way so that she can pull off a plan but I am sceptical. I do find it amusing though that the only way she could get Tanikanze to agree was to threaten him with a lie about a bomb in his neck. Dense as the plot demands him to be, Tanikanze still thinks this is a genuine mission. Can we for once have a protagonist who is aware of these girls affection? I have heard the line “What is she so mad about” so many times from so many protagonists that I could spend over a year chronicling every single one of them. I can understand that there are people who enjoy these segments of the show and that’s fine. I too don’t mind them as long as the main story continues. But when these aspects of the show begin to overshadow or even hinder the main plot that’s when I have a problem with them.

What’s even scarier is that Tsumugi has become a member of Tanikanze’s harem. Tsumugi being that nonhuman chimera. I find that immensely disturbing. Tsumugi may act and sound like a standard moe girl but she is not human and having her be a potential harem candidate is unsettling. What’s also odd is that no one seems to find something wrong with this, as a man watches them blast off together with a “Ahh young love” and Izana getting jealous at the two. Humans were pretty anti-chimera not too long ago but even taking away that I think we should be concerned about how messed up this relationship would be. Well the show doesn’t seem concerned with that and I watch Tanikaze sweet talk a blushing weaponized Chimera, all the while wondering why Kunato would outfit her weapon form with a blush function. I did like seeing Izana make use of a ten fingered controller for her mechanical hand as it at least promises that her character might have some use besides being a harem candidate. But then we have her going out in revealing clothing to make her mother happy because why not. Izana is now the harbinger of harem, with her every appearance being a signal of incoming harem hijinks. Should I consider it sexist that now that she is a woman, she is now being sexualized at every opportunity? Actually lets not go down that road, it never leads to anything good on the internet. This shift to slice of life ecchi antics is not reflected in the next episode previews which still have foreboding music to what looks to be more of the same. Guess that is a sign that this show is moving far away from what it was originally about.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

I am not happy. To say I was disappointed in this episode would be an understatement. I am, to be frank, angry. So much so that I have to admit something that I really don’t want to admit. For you see from what has been shown of the second cour so far I would deem it weak. Not bad per say but not what I have come to expect after the quality of the first cour. The story has been padded and the events that should have large impact have been lesser than they should. More importantly there is a lack of action in the second cour when the first cour at least let loose every now and then. I have begun to fear that the fan titled “Unlimited Budget works” may in fact be running low on the budget. I notice more that they are avoiding showing action and in this episode there is points where art is sacrificed for movement in the action sequences causing It to look off. I hope this is just them saving for the finale because if the budget really is running short then this is the worst possible time for it. We are reaching the finale of UBW which is pretty action packed. This really is the time to bring out all the stops and make this mind blowing, otherwise it will be a disappointing finale. Though admittedly on a rewatch my mind has changed. I am still disappointed that there’s more exposition than action, that the song Emiya only played for 30 seconds(There better be a full version) and that the end of the fight didn’t bring me the joy it would but it isn’t bad. I think this is a matter were my expectations prevented me from enjoying what I got. But here’s the odd thing, I believe that Studio Deen did this scene better in the Unlimited Bladeworks movie.

Yes, in that movie the meaning behind what they were saying was lost but the exhilaration of the fight from the visual novel was there. More importantly, they were fighting while talking which is likely how this would go down. In terms of presentation, Ufotables version is a debate whereas Studio Deens was a brawl. Ufotables version may get across the meaning behind the scene(Though fans say otherwise. But honestly I don’t think everything needs to be spelled out to get the point across. Actually considering what has been shown, I think anyone would get the point seeing as it’s been hammered down to into them to the level where it cannot be ignored) but arguable Deen got the impact which I would deem more important. I couldn’t care less if the fight was less accurate to the visual novel or not, it was fun to watch and damn satisfying. More so than the anti-climatic Ufotable version.

The second half of the episode was all about Gilgamesh cluing in Saber and the rest about the contents of the grail and what he plans for it. It was long, rather tedious and pretty much the worst way to present this information. Infodumping on characters should be a last resort for shows and can only really work if you can work it like the exposition master, Gen. This really shows that Gilgamesh for all his character in Fate/Zero will not get much in Fate/Stay Night. The Fate route is likely the best end for him but here he’s just the last endboss. Kirei is treated in a similar manner but at least gets his much needed development from Heavens Feel. UBW is mostly Gilgamesh’s most active role in Fate/Stay Night as his role in Heavens Feel is minor so sadly this is really all he gets. Many claim that despite him saying he was not affected by the grail that it still managed to corrupt him a little as the Gilgamesh in Fate/Stay Night seems like a different man from how he was in Fate/Zero. His goal of destroying mankind is rather by the numbers and him putting up with Shinji trying to pathetically lord over him without destroying him is a mystery in itself. Speaking of which, congratulations Shinji! You are finally useful for once in your life. Now that Gilgamesh has shoved the grail core inside of you and it’s turned you into something more fitting of your nature. His Akira-like transformation was both disgusting and strangely pleasing. A Shinji in agony is a Shinji that can be loved. We have three episodes left I think(I could be wrong on that, but I hope not. There isn’t enough materiel for more than that.) and the stage for the finale is set. The next looks to be the cooldown period and the return of the CG dolphins that are joked about at every chance. Well it’s not as if the real version from the visual novel is any less stupid. Lets see next time as, in the words of the next episode preview, Rin gives up her most precious thing.(Wink wink, nudge nudge)

Posted on 28 May 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

Moral of the story, if you build a death star planet destroying ray then you better make sure that it’s not sentient. Though it seems that the dangers of using such weaponry are lost on Kobayashi as even one wiping out the testing facility and a hefty number of people isn’t enough of a red flag for her. I do wonder just what is pushing her to these extremes. Before in the series she seemed like a fairly reasonable person but recent events look to be pushing her to megalomania. Which is a bad thing considering that the Gauna has got the same idea as her and are going for the home world of the enemy. One thing I do find off putting is how nobody seems to take notice of the changes in the people controlled by parasites. Despite the glasses girl broadcasting it with every monotone word she speaks with dead eyes not one person has commented on how fast her personality changed. Kunato has outright manically laughed in the presence of other people and not one person gave him a funny look. Well who knows, maybe they wrote it off as him laughing that no one noticed that he modeled the laser cannon after his member. Which actually makes sense seeing as he started laughing after Kobayashi called his cannon “Magnificent”

The first half of the episode was strong but the second half was not good. I said before that the harem fanservice aspects of this show clash with its more serious aspects but there is another problem. It’s quite simple really. Tanikaze is not a good character. His personality is bland, is history of very little interest(besides his strange convenient healing ability), he’s become the best Sidonia fighter just because and there’s nothing that makes him stand out from other mecha protagonists. This is especially seen when he’s interacting with girls and they somehow find some charming quality underneath all that dull personality. His harem is only growing and unless he gains some sort of dynamic appeal then I can classify him as a standard harem protagonist. The first season worked because events kept happening to keep our mind off it but now that things have slowed down its really evident. Another annoyance is that Izana is now a confirmed girl. A confirmed girl with big breasts. I love women as much as the next guy but I don’t think I will understand anime’s deep fascination with massive boobs. All I know is that I have heard the dialogue between Izana and Yuhata in the bath so many times before in many different animes. And for good measure with got the old “girls clothes are blown apart” because as logic dictates the best way to prevent someone’s suit from being worn by the wrong person is to self destruct it. Rather than stop her from putting it on in the first place. With her gender confirmed, Izana’s last interesting trait disappears so I can only see her presence as a negative at this point. So the way to make this good again is simple. Less harem hijinks, more gauna battles.

Posted on 24 May 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

This episode wasn’t quite what I expected. It is true that I didn’t get the big fight I was looking for, though there were clashes going on. However this still was a very good episode. So on the matters of Kirei, Rin, Lancer and Shinji it was all done perfectly. Well there was this weird moment of Kirei slowly moving his hand down Rin’s chest but considering that it’s Kirei we are talking about he was likely just positioning his hand to rip her heart out. But thank god for Ufotable treating that unsavory scene with some dignity. You see in the visual novel Shinji attempted to rape Rin after Lancer put Kirei down. It’s a pretty bad part of the visual novel and I honestly was dreading it being adapted. However Ufotable instead changed it to Shinji choking Rin. I approve this change on so many levels. It makes more sense, it’s easier to watch and it at least doesn’t make Shinji even more of a unsalvageable mess than he already is. Though it does give this series a strange trend of woman getting strangled. Both in Zero and somewhat here as well. Actually…a Tosaka being strangled by a Mato desperate for her affection? Now I wonder if that’s intentional nod. Afterwards it’s greatly satisfying to see someone put Shinji down a peg. Lancer just was brilliant in this moment. The show really doesn’t give him enough credit. After taking a fatal wound he kills Kirei, chases off Shinji, cuts Rin’s bonds and sets the place on fire. All while dying, that battle continuation skill isn’t there for nothing. It’s also amusing to see him remark that he wished he could have had a master like Rin. In the game Fate/extra he is actually Rin’s servant but sadly they don’t make the most of it there. But Lancer what are you talking about saying you had no luck finding good woman? Fate/Grand order just put out the design for your master, Scáthach and that’s most definitely a fine woman. Amazed you could keep your mind on training. This is the last we will see of Lancer here but at least he went out with a bang.

One of the biggest complaints of this episode is Archer using Unlimited Bladeworks again. Admittedly yes, this is a huge waste of mana when he is already nearly out of it and yes, instead of making use of the reality marble he seems to just be using it to make a point. The big question that I really need to ask is….do I really care? The answer to that is no. No, I do not. Because A) even without this huge expense of mana, Archers mana problem don’t make any sense to begin with and B) this means that Archer actually uses UBW for more that just some weak one off attack on Saber. And finally C) Shirou and Archer get to fight in unlimited bladeworks, which is a perfect place for them to fight and is badass. Thankfully the CGI for unlimited bladeworks is much, much better. I wonder why it was they couldn’t do this for it’s previous appearance. So far it’s less of a fight and more Archer hammering in the points that anyone annoyed with his hero complex has wanted to say to him for a long time. I can’t really fault Archer for this. If I met myself from ten or fifteen years ago I would likely beat him bloody myself. But it is interesting to see Saber react to what he is saying as a lot of it applies to her as well. Archer isn’t speaking to her but you can tell his words are cutting her to the core. Even Shirou is getting dispirited.

Then there was the Shirou monologue and realization. Where in the battle Shirou is knocked down and the show basically shows a mental landscape and memories to represent what he is thinking. And damn, this was done magnificently. The imagery of Shirou pulling out the sword from the ground, mirroring Saber pulling the sword from the stone. Shirou walking into the hell he experienced ten years ago to show him taking the path that will lead him to his ruin. Pulling scenes from Fate/zero and showing Kiritsugu giving him Avalon. Just, perfect. Truly. I always worried how they would handle representing the monologues in this route but this made use of the visuals and dialogue to get the point across for more poignantly that the source even did. My one criticism is the song used. The song itself isn’t bad but when the chorus comes into it, it clashes a bit with the mood. It’s a little too cheesy. I see they tried to explain Avalon healing Shirou’s wounds here but this is another reason why it may be best to watch Fate/zero before this. As this really does seem like it comes out of nowhere if you don’t know about Avalon. That is something that has become strange with this series. The original way to experience it was Fate, Unlimited Bladeworks, Heavens feel and then Fate/zero. However due to the Deen version of Fate being subpar and Fate/zero being more accommodating to newcomers, the “proper” to view this story is a little skewed. Diehard fans still claim that UBW must be watched before Zero but in all honestly that may not be the best method to experience it. UBW is dependant of knowledge gathered from the Fate route. You are not supposed to dive into it first. Fate/zero gives the knowledge that is needed for UBW and as a whole may be a better introduction to the series than the Fate route is. Sure Fate/Zero spoils elements of Heavens Feel but Heavens Feel also spoils elements of Fate/zero, so really no matter what you start with, you are getting spoiled on something. Finally if we are to recommend that anime only watchers view UBW first then we might as well tell them to wait about five years or so for the Heavens Feel movie/movies before checking out Fate/Zero seeing as that is the intended order. But that’s just downright unreasonable. Hoping for more action next week but Ufotable, good job.

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  • Masky
    (Monday, Aug 3. 2015 11:47 AM)
    @;(: Nah, I meant in general, I didn’t read your posts beyond “You shouldn’t read manga like One Piece from the beginning”
  • Bam
    (Monday, Aug 3. 2015 03:32 AM)
    Man Witcher 3 is one dense game. I’ve put 110 hours in and I’m just over halfway thru. The amount of detail is staggering. I catch myself listening to NPCs for 10 minutes sometimes lol
  • ;(
    (Sunday, Aug 2. 2015 09:47 PM)
    @Masky: Are you talking about me?
    Because if you are, you completely misread all I wrote…
    But if that’s the case I don’t feel like explaining myself considering you probably don’t want to listen anyway…
  • Masky
    (Sunday, Aug 2. 2015 02:09 PM)
    Geez, people really make odd excuses when defending stuff they like ._.
    …I feel like thats probably hypocritical comment coming from me since I’ve probably done that too, but I think I usually go with attitude of “Hey, you’d probably not like it anyway, but I think you are wrong about that thing” xD
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 09:47 PM)
    @Aidan: I would recommend downloading it rather than browser-playing it as my browser kept crashing when I tried to.
    Its quite short but it gives a great teaser and introduction to the game, that gets me excited for it.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 09:45 PM)
    @Aidan: Mangagamer have released the demo for kara no shoujo 2, they’ve also confirmed a release for Autumn. Its probably better to call this demo more of a prologue/compliment to the game with content exclusive to it.
    Demo/prologue here: http://mangagamer.org/kns2/
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 02:14 PM)
    @invicableGod, Yep that comment was spam. Should have got rid of it first time I saw it.
  • Wicked
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:10 AM)
    well, this place changed a lot. Gotta say, I’m not a fan of how they adapted GATE into an anime. It feels too decompressed. Manga did a better job at keeping the tension taut
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:08 AM)
    Also I am not the blog, I’m just a poster… I really hope you have enough sense to tell the difference…
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:07 AM)
    @Emo: you’re saying all that like that doesn’t fit your description to a T. Kinda sad actually…
    Well I guess now at least I gave you one more thing to get angry about so your day seems just a bit more active than your last.

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