Posted on 30 September 2013 with categories: Rozen Maiden 2013

The best ending of the season? I think that was from Gatchaman Crowds, closely followed by Silver Spoon. Rozen Maiden had the potential to top both of them, but no, they had to come with that damn cliff-hanger!

And that is pretty much the only complaint I have about the final two episodes. The character development really was great, for a lot of the cast. Hina Ichigo, beautifully redeemed herself for a season of absence, Jun grew in both his versions and Suigintou… the reason she did not take Souseiseiki’s Rosa Mystica promises great things for the future.

The same goes for Jun: he always looked up to his younger self, and now it becomes apparent that younger Jun was great because he just never challenged his own weaknesses. Putting him in a coma will have a great effect on the rest of the cast, and put them into the roles that he previously occupied. Which brings me back to how this is the end of the season.

So yeah, whoever is producing this: you had better have planned a second season, instead of using this as a stupid sequel hook, putting off the decision for a sequel based upon whether or not the sales are right. Nothng has been announced yet, and that cliff-hanger could have been completely omitted and we would have had a satisfying finale. A bit of anime original aftermath for Jun, and Voila! That would have worked easily, and Tomomi Mochizuki can write that without a doubt to make it leave a good impression.

It’s not like I can hunt you down or something… but yeah. I’m watching out for that sequel…
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 19 September 2013 with categories: Rozen Maiden 2013

Rozen Maiden, I applaud you. This series definitely has the best plot of the Summer Season series. In these three moments, this series really displayed that it was building up to something.

It’s great to see series that actually pay off. There are too many series that seem to be building up to stuff, only to not really do anything and go for a standard climax that just boils down to “defeat that bad guy” while doing drama things. Things like those are boring, and most often just pointless. Yeah, I guess that it’s all about the satisfaction of seeing an all-powerful being break down and all. But we’ve all been there. You need to spice things up.

I usually try to stay away from using other shows as examples, but ah. Screw it. I’m going to list some series that did this wrong (in my humble opinion, of course!). Slight spoilers may follow, but I’ll try to be as vague as possible.

K is a good example of a show that started off with promise, but didn’t do anything with it. And yeah, I know that it has a sequel coming, but that is no argument: I’ve said before that I don’t want to sit through an entire season if it’s just going to be build-up. It had all this build-up about these kinds… yet all of it didn’t really amount to anything: it was all very predictable, the characters took the most predictable turns in order to try and prevent things from going stale… not once did I feel like the creators were being really creative in where the plot was going.

Another area where this series could have gone wrong is in devolving into plain bad storytelling and devolving into plain stupidity. For that Tamako Market is a good example: you build up this nice and interesting family, who live in this interesting neighbourhood, only to completely derail the plot with that stupid prince subplot that never really went anywhere. And in the end, none of the build-up was really used.

Here, however. The first half of the series focused on the world of Jun who didn’t wind the key. It withheld a lot of characters. It put the entire cast of the show on a bus, save for Shinku and Suigintou, and focused on the intimate development between a very small set of characters. In these three episodes the characters went back to the other dimension, and it was glorious. Instead of one group of characters completely dominating the other, everything was balanced! Every character got his or her chance to shine and make impact!

A great example: in the second season of the original Rozen Maiden, Suigintou also made way for a different villain. However, here, her role as an anti-hero is SO MUCH BETTER. I love how she pretty much acknowledged that the reason why she held onto Suiseiseiki’s Rosa Mystica is pointless, and that she’s all doing it for “Father”. She’s neither good nor evil, she just has a huge price and doesn’t care about anything other than herself, and the creators haven’t overdone this by making her derail into either good or evil so far: she stayed true to herself, yet she also developed slightly, in the way that she stopped letting her pride get in the way of things that really don’t matter.

Also, Jun. I love what the creators did with him. For a while it was a bit weird how he created this new body for Kirakishou and all, but his development really put everything into place. The entire series is about people being trapped, trying to get out. In the past three episodes, a lot of characters actually succeeded in that. Jun did so by finally making decisions for himself. Going after his own feelings, rather than going with the flow. And the thing is: episode nine emphasized that his strongest bond is NOT necessarily with Shinku, the main doll of the series. Instead, Souseiseki is the doll HE made for himself. Not a replica or anything, it’s something he put together, outside of Shinku’s knowledge. The end of episode 11 remained vague about the outcome with the much hinted collapse of Shinku that could go either way here.

These episodes had so many things intertwine with each other, Really well done!
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 27 August 2013 with categories: Rozen Maiden 2013

Now that I’ve caught up four episodes of this series, I’m seeing even more what an amazing story this series has. It just took Rozen Maiden, and made something completely different out of it while still staying true to the original. That’s great, rather than just doing the same thing all over again. Of course, going into a different direction from the original when done bad, becomes really, really bad. But these kinds of series: they have their own idea and they just went for it, even though it’s completely against the mainstream.

What I think caused this, is that the original fans of Rozen Maiden have grown up, and therefore the series got to be aimed at older audiences. And it really was cleverly done: the annoying characters are nearly entirely removed: Suiseiseki is just gone, Kanaria has made a few apppearances in which she had a really good role, and Hina Ichigo is practically dead. The characters got older, and the themes got much, much more geared towards mature audienes.

All of the cute girls fighting is gone now, and it has made way for the focus on being trapped. Nearly every single character in this series is trapped, in one way or the other. Old Jun is trapped in his daily life, Shinku and Suigintou are trapped in the old world, a ton of characters are trapped by that seventh doll, who in her turn is trapped with her lack of body.

As a result, a lot of this series is just characters, waiting to be set free. Some take action, others just sit there, unable to do anything, but I really like this theme, and how well this show explores it by showing so many different perspectives. And it’s expecially fascinating to see how everyone deals with it. The small comforts they find, what they use for their hope, or the things they try to escape this emptiness. And also how they relate to the other characters, who are going through the same thing they are. Very touching stuff.

Oh, and the comic relief is still there, it’s only much more subtle. It actually juxtaposes the dolls against real life quite well. My favorite joke was how Shinku and Suigintou made this big mess of Jun’s room, and how after getting told off they actually kept the place clean, despite their huge egos.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 31 July 2013 with categories: Rozen Maiden 2013

I love how different this series turned out to be from the original Rozen Maiden! It still has the same characters, but the atmosphere, the execution, and the themes are completely different here. That’s what a good sequel should be: avoid the tried and true and go into its own direction! It also really helps that this direction is much more mature now.

These past two episodes: they’re really well detailed! Heck, over the span of three episodes we’ve just seen one doll, and even she appeared at just the end of the third episode. In the meantime we get a full look into the life of the grown-up Jun, and into his mind. Because of this we can really see how meeting with Shinu is subtly changing him. There’s enough tension between his job, and taking care of Shinku as well, not to mention how Shinku said at the end of episode four that this can only last for seven days. The whole interplay between young and old Jun is also very good.

What’s also different: there is quite a bit of symbolism added in the narration, ranging from that kid’s story that always pops up in the middle, to various visual symbols when characters are explaining things. The question now is what will happen next: they’re obviously building up to something. Will they be able to use this build-up?
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 14 July 2013 with categories: Rozen Maiden 2013

Rozen Maiden’s new series is weird. Really weird. The first episode was this vague recap that wasn’t a recap. And now the second episode pretty much contained the best transition into an alternative retelling that I’ve ever seen. Seriously, as a Rozen Maiden fan, this just blew me away.

I just expected something that started similar with the original Rozen Maiden story that then diverged a different way. I totally did not expect this episode to show what would have happened if Jun didn’t order Shinku’s suitase. They skipped like eight years or something! He’s an adult now! We just got to see how he grew up!

I love this, he actually managed to escape being a hikkikomori, and now he’s in this state in which he needs to deal with the fact that he basically threw a very important part of his life away. You can really see that on one hand, he’s bright, but on the other hand he just stopped learning for so long. I love how he struggles in his life like that, showing some of the conseuqneces of his actions in the first seasons that didn’t involve the dolls. The biting reality of that one manager also really help. Yeah, he’s a jerk, but damn that guy raised some good points.

The thing is also: I totally have no clue whatsoever what to expect from this series. In every other series, I can at least suspect the directio they’re going in. Here, I’m blank and my best guess is that they need to get rid of that seventh doll. But beyond that, I have no bloody clue. This episode really surprised me many times here!
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 12:29 PM)
    I just read the book. Never saw the films.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 11:18 AM)
    Lolita is one of my favourite films of all time.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 11:17 AM)
    It is easy to see however how people would wander to seeing lolita herself as a victim as people traditionally see the child as the victim in that situation.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 11:15 AM)
    @Aidan: My opinion of lolita matches yours. However I would like to ask of the film adaptations which one worked better for you, the one with James mason or the one with Jeremy Irons?
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 10:47 AM)
    I didn’t like how people tended to degrade the characters just to match their view and forcefully paint black and white over it. It ain’t that simple.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 10:47 AM)
    For example I read Lolita recently. In my opinion it was about two remarkable flawed indivuals. Horrible in there own ways. However when I looked at reviews of it I couldn’t help but notice that people tended to take sides. Either Humbert was the naive man taken in by a succubus or Lolita was the poor stupid girl abused by a monster.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 10:40 AM)
    One of the reason I feel we hear about world war 2 far more than world war 1 is that it can be so easily be portrayed as good vs evil. Hitler was a perfect supervillain. Maybe even birthed the supervillain in fiction. It wasn’t like world war 1 which was not just one countries fault and was mainly boring trench fights. Moral complexity isn’t really what the masses like. They have a tendency to paint things black and white.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 10:27 AM)
    @Friend, heard of it. No real interest in playing it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 10:27 AM)
    @Mikey, I know apocalypse now was based on heart of darkness. It’s just that the man who made spec ops said it was based on Heart of darkness but he took way more from apocalypse now than he did from Heart of darkness.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 10:25 AM)
    @Ninjarealist, I had a peak at the congo free state. Damn. You gotta wonder how someone pulls shit like this off and look in the mirrior and not think “Man, I am such an asshole.” Surprising that you hear bitching about 9/11 all the time and yet barely anything about this.
    It’s surprising the kind of unbelievable stuff that went down in history. For one I never knew Columbus was such a monster.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Clipboard04

Space Dandy – 11 – 13

The end of episode 13 showed us the standard “Tsudzuku”, or “to be continued”. You’d better keep your words, Space Dandy! But still, what a ride, what a ride. Space Dandy is a series that was totally worth it, and even the final three episodes pushed all of the right buttons with me. Again, vastly […]

Clipboard04

Space Dandy – 07 – 10

THIS. This, this is everything I’m looking for. This is the mentality that I have been waiting for for so long! This is what more series need to be like. Every single one of these past four episodes was amazing, but not only that: they were all completely different from each other and they all […]

Clipboard02

Kill la Kill – Up to 21

So, the past week I put my effort into catching up with Kill la Kill, hoping that it at least would show how to tell a story correctly. And yeah, as much as I’d like to stay positive here, it turned out to be yet another hit on the list of the disappointments of the […]

Clipboard05

Space Dandy – 04 – 06

Okay. So you might wonder what I’ve been doing. I’m indeed on kindof a break. The reason for that is due to some weird reason, I can’t sit down and watch an episode anymore. It’s bizarre, but what used to be so normal in the past now is incredibly diffcult for some reason. I keep […]

Clipboard03

Space Dandy – 02 & 03

Here is another thing that also really bugged me about anime of the past few seasons: the ones that have a very promising first episode only to just fail trying afterwards. I mean, I hate it, but I have to swallow my words about Nobunaga the Fool after watching its second and third episodes, due […]

Clipboard02

Samurai Flamenco – 12

Oh, Samurai Flamenco… what are you doing? I used to praise this show for being so well put together. Obviously I can’t say that anymore, but still it’s quite a ride to see how crazy the show can get next time. This episode was this really weird combination between the first half of the show […]

Clipboard01

Samurai Flamenco – 11

I think my brains just exploded… I knew that this series would spiral out of control. Just not in this way. In one episode, the creators YET AGAIN completely changed the genre of the entire series, along with the feel, mood, themes and everything. At this point the only similarity between episode 1 and 11 […]

Clipboard03

Kill la Kill – 11

So finally, we’ve got the first big hint at what the second half of this series will be about. In this case, it’s in the form of a bunch of characters who just showed up from out of nowhere. Okay, that can work. It’s typical that everything about them screams fashion, and this indeed is […]

Clipboard02

Samurai Flamenco – 10

Usually I blame writers lately. This time however, the writing was fine. I see what this episode was trying to do, and it had me at the edge of my seat. Perhaps a bit fast-paced, but I see what the writers were trying to do. This really could have been an amazing episode. But god, […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]

Clipboard01

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review – 82,5/100

I like surprises, like when a series comes that just turns out to be good against my expectations. Yahari Blahblah from the outside had all the signs to turn into yet another one of those high school comedies: snarky male lead, pointlessly long title that fails at being witty, various other cliched side-characters. And they […]