Posted on 19 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

This week in Sakura Quest, we have core members lashing out at each other, and some more nice interactions between other members – which in fairness is all I could hope for. You know a cast is well developed when you can pick any two main characters and they still have their unique chemistry together. This week is a second half of a double episode about filming production and as far as “second half of double episode” entails, it does its job magnificently. Not only Sakura Quest manages to detail the activities of assisting the shootings from the girls and make it fun, they also flesh out the core casts. Maki’s material in particular is one of the strongest development they’ve succeed so far. What I’m not confident about is the larger narrative, which I guess we have to see how it will turn out next week.

Turn out the main reason for Shiori’s hesitation at the idea of burning that old house is because she spent her childhood memories in that house. She’s used to play around a lot as a kid with the owner of the house, now seeing that place is about to burnt down make her feel nostalgic. That flashback swells me up with emotions with the remains of forgotten memories: several marks of her height charts as a kid, the once-cozy house now empty and worn out. I always have a soft spot for ruins and empty houses (you can feel those places are immune from the passage of time) so I’m totally on Shiori side in this matter. That argument between Yoshino and Shiori is great, and I would love it if the show can continue pushing characters arguing with each other. No fight no glory as they say. Yoshino makes a jerky move by pointing out that Shiori was selfish- reluctant to burn this house but “don’t say a thing” when the crew mentioning other houses. Well, let see how Yoshino REACTS if this was the house she grew up with for Peter sake. I feel that sacrificing your own feeling in service of the shooting is way too easy for the filming crew. First, they don’t aware how difficult it is for the locals to follow their demands (even emotionally) and second, that house wasn’t originally planned to burn down to begin with. Maybe no one like to ask for more trouble, given that the relatives already give it a go but if I were Shiori then they can burn that house down over my dead body.

Maki is given a motivation push over what she wants with her acting job. While last week was all about her self-doubts towards her career, this week is Maki’s journey to find the love for acting all over again; all through tutoring a complete amateur about acting, find the passionate young versions in every corner of the town, and realize that she has the supports from others over pursuing what she loved, even if the supports are often subtle and low-key. I particularly love the sequences of her remembering her childhood, with lovely insert music and very great visual that highlighting the sad truth between her now and her passionate young self before. Again, her whisper ”It’s got to be something you like, or you won’t get far, kid” hits a bit too close to home. I appreciate the mature theme of Sakura Quest here, about the very real struggles that now, as someone who also in his 20s, have to deal with. Maki soon picks up her spirit, playing double for Moe in an overdramatic burning house scene (which was a crap decision by the movie crew for me, burning the house for just one take in such dangerous scene? There’s a high chance that she fails and what’s ever going to happen if that is the case? Burn another house down?), but she succeeds beautiful and moreover she enjoys herself to act again.

This episode also deepens the chemistry of our cast, especially between Maki and Ririko, my two favorite characters. What Maki says to Ririko ta calm her nervousness is great, but their easy atmosphere when they talk to each other about their old school and The Snow White’s tradition plays are what really sold me on their relationships. Not only give the core cast some internal conflicts to work with like in Yoshino and Shiori’s case, Sakura Quest also give the cast an opportunity to improve each other by using one character’s strength to help out the others. Ririko also has another cute scene when she was slowly moving sideways with her hands covering her butt. You have to see it for yourself but it was a solid joke for me (didn’t I mention I like the humor of this show?).

While last week I was a little frustrated with the direction of this show, Sakura Quest, at its core, still pull many moving and honest treatments to young adult’s insecurities and struggles with their life, something that anime medium don’t tend to do too well. If there is a movie on top of my head that resembles this show in terms of tone and the theme about the insecureness of twenty-something characters, it has to be Garden State. Moreover, while the plot does feel force at times (the crew guy talking to Shiori about Yoshino’s request is incredibly forced for example), it’s those quiet moments that help carry the emotional weight. Scenes like Maki seeing her childhood as I mentioned above, Yoshino glances over Shiori during the burning house shooting, or Shiori quietly watching the ashes, speaks more volume than any word can convey. Sakura has its charms and I will stick with it for a while longer, at least until the end of this season.

Posted on 11 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

This episode of Sakura Quest… Did I just miss an episode or two in between? Remind me again when exactly did all those movie productions come from? The show just drops its woodcarving storyline to this film production storyline and that switch is jarring. Now Sakura Quest heads into one of direction that I’m quite nervous about: a sitcom anime – a type that don’t need much continuity. On top of that I can’t say I’m fond with this film production scenario. I don’t get the idea of the movie they’re making either: A slice of life story set in Manoyama (see self-reference here) that… have a blue-faced zombie outbreak? How’s that supposed to be a slice of life then? Okay, now to what we have this week, we have our girls run along with the film crew, trying to find good locations, calling up extras and finding old houses to blow up. It’s good to see the functions of small film productions in action, and the old man Kadota and oba-san Chitose provide many good laughs on screen (the comedy in this show remains very good). I love Kadota’s commitment to the role he played, and just by few scenes both Chitose and the tsun café girl Erika’s unpredictable reactions really tell us the person they are (oh, and Ririko’s cute little victory). Lovely character works all around. The director is a bit of a douchebag though, I can see him piss a lot of local people off by the next episode.

Out of all the main girls, it’s Shiori that I’m initially worried the most. For other girls, I can see how they develop their potential conflicts. Yoshino with her adaptation to the rural village, and her quest to gain more tourists for the town will serve as the main driving force for the story. For Sanae, we already had her being insecure about running away, and the potential love-triangle with the wood-carvers. For Maki, it’s her job insecurity and her conflict with papa. Ririko will have to deal with the difficult oba-chan and maybe her love for video-recording. But as for Shiori, there’s not much to develop. She’s a stable character with a stable job and a stable family, and so far, she serves mainly as the supporting voice for Yoshino and the girls. Prior to this episode, the only development angle I could imagine for Shiori is her closeness to Ririko, which whenever Ririko has an issue, she’d be the closest to help out her friend – But that, as well, is a supporting role. Thanks Sakura Quest for given her something to work with this episode without distracting the main storyline. It’s obvious that she feels connected to the abandoned, worn-out house and for now, my guess is that she was close with the person who used to live in that house. Her close friend maybe. Whatever the case, it’s good to see that she takes a main stage once in a while, and I really hope that Sakura Quest gives her something of an arc to develop her further in later events.

But the main beef in this episode is all about developing Maki. Aside from Ririko, Maki is my favorite girl and this episode both flesh out her current situation with her family, as well with her acting career. When she remarks that “Loving (the job) is also exactly what makes it so hard” and “Your twenties are a special time, and I wasted them”; I feel the sensations. Her underclasswomen appeared as a main female lead just puts the salt in that open wound, made she feel frustrated. But Maki, remember that Moe’s getting more acting roles ain’t because of eating cicadas, and besides, cicada isn’t that bad (take my word for it). Sanae seems to knock some sense out of Maki and all eyes now are looking for her to take the acting part. I know she’d be exceptional there. These concerns about adult-insecurities are really relatable and grounded and those character’s moments are what raise this show above the bar of your average anime.

But I finished this episode feeling unsatisfied. While, like I said, the characters’ works and the comedy are the show’s greatest strengths; the main storyline feel abrupted, unbalanced that feel more like a wasted opportunity. This episode, judging as a whole, is a solid episode, but that is precisely why I have a feeling that the series will be just sitcom-y like this from now on. At this moment, my interest in continuing cover this show has dropped dramatically; I will give this show another episode to see if it can redeem itself. Sakura Quest is not bad per se. I just feel underwhelmed by the potential it could’ve had and the actual presentation right now. Otherwise, with 2 other shows that I find myself more invested in, I would just pick one and cover instead.

Posted on 5 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

And with this episode the main overarching plot starts to form, or so it seems (there’s still a big possibility that the town dismisses the whole idea but by the end it seems less and less likely). The main project these girls come up with this time is about making a palace full of sculptures that inspired by Sagrada Família, itself famously known for its still-under construction for over hundred years. Now, I had actually lived in Barcelona for almost 2 years; so I know one or two things about Sagrada Família. Many people, like the cast of Sakura Quest, admire it as the representation of multi-generation body of works, as a symbol of passing the torch and live on the spirits for generations. The thing is, the cathedral was never meant to be that way. They were simply out of fund. Yes, the death of Gaudi hurt the project too but it hadn’t finished for over hundred years because it couldn’t. We’re talking about the cathedral here which have both the approvals from the religious crowd as well as the artistic crowd, yet somehow the constructions have always been delayed and funded by private funds. Now flip back to Sakura Quest, do I think that ambitious project will see the light of day? Nope. The Sagrada Família is made out of the desire to make it the ultimate cathedral, the Sakura Pond Familia is made to attract people to the small town. Already a wrong approach, and that doesn’t take funding (how someone wants to put heaps of money for this) or the sheer implementation into consideration.

But that, I guess, is exciting in its own way just to see how the cast manages to deal with those issues. For this episode we see them making their own efforts to actually go out there and study about the woodcarving art: Yoshino goes to various houses to have a look at the mantra, Shiori and Ririko study about the history of the art in their hometown, Maki gets her hand on making one, and Sanea… well, she just wanders off alone but those are positive signs for fleshing out our characters; which is a clear step up from last week’s episode. I like the way there was no tension from the group when Sanae bailed out, because come on, we all know she will be back sooner or later. So the show frames her action as a necessary step back to know what she really wants. The decision to build a palace from Yoshino comes rather out of the blue but well, she’s a fool so it should be expected, and I mean it in a positive light. I’m not so sure how to feel about Sandal-chan character, he’s given a more active role in this episode and the sequence where he gets busted by the police was hitchhiking a police car certainly among my favorite moments this week. However, I still feel the guy’s so out of place with this Manoyama town and I have a feeling the show creates him as a vehicle for Vinay Murthy’s first voice acting, he’s himself an American actor (MASQUERADE). Seriously, I love the humors in Sakura Quest, they have a keen sense of comedic timing, witty dialogues and slapstick situations that bring joy and heart to the story.

At the same time, the other half of the episode focuses on Sanae and her little crisis, as she realized she has been half-hearted about the project. She has a brief talk with the woodcarver Tatsuo while staying alone in front of train station that inspired him to create a lovely wooden shoe. As much as my hesitation to the Sakura Pond Familia project, making wood-carved products to promote the industry is actually a very neat idea. It’s true that every industry needs to adapt as time changes, for wood-carving, it’s starting as Buddha statue, to the house’s plate, to the mantra… making wood-carves products and furniture seem like a natural progression for me. Yoshino gives Sanae a great view about Sanea’s issues: although it’s true that everyone, everything can be replaced, it’s each individual’s personal touch that distinct one person to another, and therefore everyone will always have different results. I also find Sanae’s idea of building the palace next to train station a solid idea, as from my own experience (especially towards Japan), the train station is where it gets the most crowded, insanely crowded. Hmm, I hope there won’t be a love triangle between Tatsuo and Kazuki and that IT girl because it’d be a one-way fight anyways since Kazuki cares for nothing but carving little piece of wood and Sanae is clearly drawn to that tsundere guy. At long last, the girls end the episode with their first taste of success, even if it’s only a modest one. But things look brightly ahead, now that the girls and the villagers are looking at the same direction for the big project (I guess exoskeletion suit will come very handy), and THAT is what really matters.

Posted on 27 April 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

Hmm, I don’t really like the direction Sakura Quest is going for. To be more precise, this episode brings up some questionable variables that I don’t think blended well with the show. The actual story for this week though, is still enjoyable and grounded enough to overcome those concerns. At least for now. This week the Queen and co take up a new approach of boosting tourism: promoting woodcarving industry that is indeed a traditional government-protected industry in Manoyama, albeit many earlier attempts of gaining tourist flows using woodcarving industry have been failed. This time brings the same unsuccessful outcomes, as expected, mainly because of the girl’s lack of knowledge to the town, and to the art of woodcarving itself. How can they expect to successfully draw people in if they don’t really know about what they’re promoting? The plot is going to get worse for Yoshino and her friends before they can learn from those mistakes and get better. So this episode is functional enough at its core, but it leaves a lot to be desired.

The first issue is its weird addition of modern technology in this otherwise mundane and down-to-earth world. The girls meet the oddball local mechanic who is your typical silly inventor-type that usually brings more trouble than success, or both at the same time (think about “Doc” in Back to the Future). In this episode, his inventions come a bit too handy that they would be right at home at Phineas and Ferb’s daily summer break: an iron box that transforms into a jukebox, the mechanic suits that help farmers carry their loads easier. I get the point of merging the traditional woodcarving and the modern technology (old and new) from the outsiders with the assistance from the locals (in and out); but if the show meant to be a grounded, realistic portrayal of tourism job in rural town then those weird robotic arms and suits throw that realism out of a window. It’s so out of place and weird that for once I’m not on board with their plan and agree to that grumpy woodcarver and Mama merchant instead (come on, Buddha vending machine is BLASPHEME!!!)

The second flaw of this current approach lies in the main cast themselves. Take their spiritual predecessor, Shirobako, for example. The main cast in Shirabako have different jobs within the anime industry and even in different stages of their careers; they each have to deal with their own problems because each of them have different issues in their lives. Sakura Quest groups them together too early, so that all of them now work for the same goals, share the same house, eat the same food and that don’t work well in their favor. I have fun following them for the first 3 weeks because each of them still has different interesting traits, but their personalities start to blur in this episode. Give me more drama, tear the group apart so they have to overcome their issues by themselves is for me a much more appropriate approach (but seeing that we have 20+ episodes in our hands here, I don’t worry much about not having enough time to develop them). This episode sadly doesn’t work well character-wise.

Furthermore, I have a mixed feeling towards hinting at the romance of Sanae and the new guy woodcarver. Romance isn’t bad by all means but Sakura Quest is about mature people and their tourism jobs, so I hope the romance will only serve as a character’s development for Sanae and not taking too much concentration. The new guy nails it when he mentioned about the insecurity of Sanae: running away to the small town because she feels replaceable, like her existence isn’t that important to the busy Tokyo life. I had that experience myself sometimes so this might cut a little too close for myself. Overall, this week is a slightly misstep episode as the core material is still running strong here, but this episode is bogged down by some unconvincing details. These issues won’t deal any permanent damage, but Sakura Quest needs to work harder than this to become a real sleeper hit.

Posted on 22 April 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

“The one who can change the town is the young fool outsider”
Which kind of makes sense, since the outsider’s perspective will give a fresh take to improve the town. That makes our Queen Yoshino the perfect candidate, but as the interview goes on, she learns the truth: she hardly knows anything about the town, except from perhaps its scenery and expired manjus. So her first step as Manoyama’s Queen is to find what the locals like (to no result) and what makes the town unique. Here Yoshino learns the main conflict between Tourism board and the Merchants Group, the UMA boom resulted in Kadota-sensei switched from homemade carrot Kabura-kun to the silly Kabura-chupa mascots. As we knew last week, the Kabura-chupa has nothing to do with the Mexican mythical creatures and does seem to cause more mixed response from the local and neither attracting much tourist attention. After the hilarious runs from both our girls and the Tourism board to achieve the mascots’ heads, the final parade where Yoshino decides to ditch both the town’s previous mascots (making Kadota-sensei appear in a mix of Chupa with Carrot head, but that mainly for practical reason) and her promotion speech is a touching, if not a bit too honest for her own good (now I have an idea why she failed 32 interviews). She decides to spend her time as a Queen to pick a mascots that could stand the test of time. And now our real Quest finally begins.

One thing of note that I find particularly true to life is the way the villagers are indifferent about what they want to make the town better. They’re just a bunch of locals who born and live within the town to the point they don’t really question about the town’s condition anymore. Usually in other series that take place in a small rural area, they tend to feature many local custom (like welcoming the sunshine in Love Live Sunshine), and the local’s unabashed love for their town. Not here. The old people in the town don’t want anything to change; while the young ones pretty think it’s a dead town anyways, why bother trying. Manoyama feels really like some random small town we might come across. It’s not like they don’t love their town, but more of they are born here, taking a job that passed through generations and taking the town for granted. Whatever going to happen, they’d still live there, so why bother on the change at all? I’m kinda curious to see how the girls can fire up those people in coming events.

Finally, I’m glad that Sakura Quest is a more adult-oriented show that don’t feature high school settings with juvenile humor, because the humor in this show is deadpan and much more attuned to my own taste. Lines like “just the cold indifference of time’s unending march” both sound true, but with a more sarcasm tone. Also I really enjoy the various costumes that the main cast’s wearing. There is a great attention that focus on these costumes here as oppose to say, high school uniforms. As it announced, the show will be 26 episode long and so far Sakura Quest more than earned its spot in my watching list.

Posted on 14 April 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sakura Quest

I’ll be honest, I’m digging this tale about the attempted runaway queen that ends up selling sweets in a self-made stand. Sakura Quest is a third of a loose trilogy from PA Works about characters and their specific jobs, after Hanasaku Iroha (about hot spring inn) and the heavyweight Shirobako (about anime industry) which are more adult-oriented than our typical anime field. This week runs more like the first trial for our Queen Yoshino as she has to sell 1000 boxes “Chupakabura manju” sweets, which ultimately failed. But of course, she’s having fun in a process and all of our primary cast is gathered to make the selling project altogether. It’s great fun to see those girls pour the hearts and passions for the work. Sakura Quest maintains its nice pace and firm gasp on small moments with great eyes for details and absurd humor.

After finding out about one year contract, meaning, she has to stuck in rural town Manoyama town for an entire year; Yoshino understandably freaks out and wants to escape the place as quickly as possible. But the old man Kadota gives her a first mission: to sell of those sweet boxes that he placed a wrong order (haha, this guy). So comes her first quest of gathering all the necessary people, meeting up the locals and running a website to promote the sweets. Only in 2 episodes this little town already has a warm and live-in atmosphere, and those locals already feel like my actual neighbors. There’s a diner store which do fortune-telling on a side. There’s the bus driver, the cranky old woman who hates tourism board, the cowboy blonde guy who plays harmonica (he actually doesn’t fit with the rest of the cast). This little town is not unlike any other small town, but it breathes so much refreshing air.

In order to sell that huge amount of sweets, the girls figure out the way of promoting it: making a fancyccult website. 0 products sold. Then the Queen will shake hands with the commoner. 3 sold by Shiori’s family members. Then putting an advertising video. 1 more sold. That’s it, they have no merchant skill at all. I have a good laugh with the absurdity of the video, but it’s well made, I totally sold to buy it. At the end of the week, all the girls just sit there and enjoy the expired sweets, while reflecting that the last week was indeed FUN.

The five champions, as the show put it, have their own personalities and while they’re not that flesh out yet, their interactions to each other are gold. Apart from Yoshino the running Queen who is energetic, we have the local members of Shiori (soft-spoken sweetheart) and Ririko (the typical dandere quiet, monotone shy girl. Still, her shifting glance is awesomely animated) and the girls from big city Sanae (who becoming anti-social when moving to this rural life; she’s sadly my least favorite character so far) and Maki (my favorite character, a no-nonsense local celebrity who appears in a popular series- as an unknown side character). All of them have different jobs and different characteristics, but that exactly why they can bring such great chemistry together.

The more serious theme for this episode, however, lies in the allure of big city versus quiet rural town. Yashino loves to live in big city Tokyo because it provides more job opportunities and it basically has everything. But nothing in particular. I guess this is the attitude from most of young people out there: going to the big city, getting the fine job and settling down there. But as Yashino finds out, putting a foot into that world isn’t easy with countless interviews without single job offer, but here in Manoyama she is given an opportunity. Sakura Quest presents an alternative mindset regarding that: “Doesn’t matter where you go, with the right attitude you can find a place for yourself anywhere”. That is a solid advice if you ask me. Sakura Quest is an energetic dose of anime that I’m gladly welcomed to my life right now. Long live the Queen!

CHANGE USERNAME
KTravlos
I have to say Akko is developing nicely as a character in LWA. Also Magane in Re:Creators reminds me of Hannibal as palyed by Mads Mikkelsen. There is that same est for life married to sociopath that is a bit charming :) Mamika's character is also just cool. Beyond that AofT and Bahamut both delivered competent episodes, with Bahamut a good mix between comedy and tragedy.
K-Off
@Aidan Assault on Arkham was fantastic. Between that and Under the Red Hood, a classic.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have a lot to say in this week's Eccentric Family. Review will come up later tonight when I get back home from work.
AidanAK47
Seen Assault on Arkham or what it should be called, The animated Suicide Squad movie. Thinking of checking out Dark.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Have you seen assault on Arkham or the justice league dark film?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It isn't so much because its Talia x Batman, moreso that it feels odd shipping Batman with anyone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While kind of amusing, initially I wasn't too into Uchouten this week, the hot spring part got me groaning, but then someway through dramatically it really picked up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From reading comics a few years back, I still feel that they adapt better to animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: And I say this as someone who was able to defend Alien 3 and Ressurection.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Covenent felt like an Infantilized version of Alien.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't call either John Wick film or free fire amazing or anything but they had great fight scenes that were actually visually coherent , of course they weren't given a proper release.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not watching/paying for anymore of these reboots/remakes/shakey cam pg rated action films anymore. I'll stick with my balls to the wall Hong-Kong/Chinese ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: It also had really uneven pacing aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: ....The dialogue is so embarassing, they don't do enough with this backstory, they just keep teasing, none of the new characters have the same charisma , the editting in the action scenes shakes all overtheplace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I gave Covenent a fair chance, I thought it would be an exception to the reboot thing. I'll admit theres the sets, the atmosphere, Fassbenders performance , the idea to expand on the franchises mythos is cool but....
Kaiser-Eoghan
It really really hurts as a film fan, trying to find older, genuinely quality foreign films , finding that no-one is seeding them and theres no proper/in print dvd release anymore. Then finding some awful shakey cam modern American superhero film with billions of seeds and a bluray release.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I don't know. Todd was more the imperfect son always aiming for batmans approval. Damian is more an assasin wondering why the hell he can't just kill his enemies. I hear that Comic Damian works better than Animated Damian. I do think that if given a personality he could work but as he is currently you are right that he's essentially a mishmash of past robins.
Vonter
I watched Alien Covenant and I don't know if it improves by being more dumb and less pretentious or if it os the final nail in the Alien franchise coffin. Not since the StarWats prequels there has been a retcon that changes your view of the original movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can recall enjoying a certain Jason Todd centered story called Batman:death in the family.
K-Off
Well, even when Damian does completely cross the line and become a villain, he's not even that interesting, i.e Injustice. Yup, Jason Todd already covered everything, but better.
AidanAK47
Problem is that he's an edge lord cocky piece of shit that just doesn't have enough likeable traits for this to be compelling. What really pushed him over the edge was mocking Nightwing over his parents deaths. That shit is not on.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the contrast that Batman refuses to cross the line and kill but Damian has crossed that line. As well as his potentail to become a villain. Tim and Dick didn't really have that though Jason sort of did. Damian's arc is more about teaching him the morality of a hero.
K-Off
@Aidan I'm not sure I like Damian's concept to begin with. The Bat-son dilemma's inherently addressed by the Robins for all intents and purposes. Damian just goes through the same motion, only difference being he's biologically related.
K-Off
Yup. Wonderwoman either doesn't need to have a love interest, or it needs to be with Steve Trevor, the two have a solid backstory that the movies unnecessarily removed.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, I don't mind the Taila X batman pairing. Makes more sense than Batman and Batgirl. But if there's one pairing pushed in the new movies that I just find wrong is the Superman X wonder woman. I just don't get that one.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the concept of Damian as a character. But it's executed so badly.
Anonymous1105941
Teen titans needs one more season to wrap up all the loose ends. Such as what happens to Slade, and Blackfires revenge. The creators clearly wanted to explore those plot lines but got cut short.
K-Off
Teen Titans hasn't aged very well, but one thing I still do like about it is how contained and local the setting and cast were for the first half of that show. When godly superpowers are involved, that appeals to me. Much of the same reason why I like Logan and Raimi's Spiderman so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Very rarely watched teen titans when I was younger, I was vaguely interested in slade, stopped watching around when Terra appeared. I actively avoided comics where Damien appeared, never liked that Talia x Batman pairing much, I can only imagine how much worse it is to listen to Damien than read him.
K-Off
@Aidan, I like some aspects of those movies, but I'm not a big fan of the new continuity and art style in general...and yeah it doesn't help that Damian is irredeemably unlikable.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, There is also the DC animated Teen Titans movies like Teen Titans vs Justice Leage and Teen titans the Judus contract. Though it's not the same as the the TV series and Damian is such a dick.
K-Off
@Anon I don't think Teen Titans needs another season. The last season wasn't that good, but the movie ended the series on a high note and Young Justice pretty much rebooted everything, at least in terms of replacing people's want for a more mature DC cartoon about the Titans.
K-Off
Yeah it's become more of a hassel (for myself and my friends) to set aside time to go to a theater.
SuperMario
I guess in the end it all comes down to how easily it reaches the viewers. Give us a hard time and we don't give a damn to check the new movie/show out
SuperMario
... otherwise have to wait for a year, even more before it reaches Australia. But many companies will raise in the wake of Netflix and that will be where problems arise
SuperMario
This trend isn't happening within the anime industry, but it's happening in the movie world as well. In the past 2 years, Netflix starts to exclusively distribute many films, meaning that they won't have theatrical release, but straight to Video on Demand which caused quite a stir in the industry. Personally, I actually don't have much problem with it as now I will get a chance to see a film that
SuperMario
Dive!! , a series that will air next season on noitaminA slot will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Not that I'm eagerly looking forward to Dive, but that news again makes me frustrated. No one will watch it and then all the hypes it might have will die down eventually.
Anonymous1105394
Considering I didn't even expect a season 5 it's more than I could've evr wanted. Now if only if only Teen Titans could get the same chance.
Lenlo
Oh yeah, it turned out well. Didnt mean to say it didnt.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Considering that the ratio of great to alright episodes is 8 to 2 I say that it turned out pretty well.
Lenlo
I have to say, the Samurai Jack season started stronger than it ended imo
AidanAK47
So this is how Samurai Jack ends. 16 years in the making. Honestly considering how much needed to get wrapped up I knew the ending would be a bit flawed. Really think Gen should have givin it one more episode to flesh out the ending and then it wouldn't feel so rushed. Overall despite it's flaws, it's a decent ending. Not prefect by any means but it will do the job.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol theres a surprise, seriously, Black Lagoons manga is updating again.
KTravlos
worst recap ever for me? Gangsta. That was a stupid recap episode. Really like a Public Announcement. Useless, stupid, and ruining atmosphere. Utter stupidity. There I got it our of me :p
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Unfortunately too far behind in the sequel manga to catch up, I did take a look at THAT in the latest chapter though.
Masky
Huh, for some reason thought Tokyo Ghoul was under shonen when its seinen. Welp now that makes more sense, I was thinking story about cannibalism would be kinda absurd for shonen.
Spike
They serve no purpose except to fill airtime when production gets fucked up. They have 2 bad choices - run a recap or run an unfinished episode. Recap is generally the less dogshit choice. I've seen a few anime that ran the episodes with unfinished animations and still frames.... the backlash was about 100x what a recap is.
SuperMario
I'm about to say that to you as well Kaiser, maybe watch the recap and then continue on. The only thing I kind of take from the recap episode is the editting: how they chop off the fat of 6 episodes to still give you important developments. But as a way to catch up/ to reintroduce the series, it's freaking useless
Anonymous1104087
I don't think anyone should start from the recap episode. Unless there was a long hiatus, a recap in between episodes is unnecessary for new viewers and old
Lenlo
I mean, aside from whatever happens with Mugaro.
Lenlo
Next episode seems early, out of 24 episodes, for Nina to learn the Prince is Chris, yet that seems to be what the confrontation is leading towards, and then she freaks out and he learns shes the dragon. Becomes the conflict for the rest of the season?
Lenlo
Seems I was right, Azazel didnt predict that Nina might not be so easily riled up as she once was. To bad so sad Azazel, she has someone she loves now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How useful are these recap episodes anyway/actually? Hypothetically lets say I was feeling lazy and decided to watch tsuki ga kirei starting from the recap episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="https://www.anirena.com/?s=blame

http://anilinkz.io/blame-movie"]
Lenlo
So long as there are consequences for how hes acting, then I am ok with it. I just dont want him to turn into some MC hero when hes acting like this.
AidanAK47
And in Re:Creators Sota is still being a goddamn pussy. Now that the exposition has gone down I am really starting to hate this kid.
SuperMario
It's the presentation that they differ. Ghost Hound focuses more on the atmosphere, so those details I mentioned before work for their benefits; whereas Sagrada Reset focus on plots (and confusing themes) so those stick out like sore thumb.
SuperMario
4 episodes into Ghost Hound so far. This show also reminds me a bit of Sagrada Reset this season- the way they both emotional distant, complex plots; keep viewers away at arm's length, and feature characters that have robotic facial expressions. Yet I enjoyed Ghost Hound so far and couldn't engage in Sagrada Reset at all.
SuperMario
@Spike: I was like... "tsuki ga kirei has a recap episode, so let's move on to Kado"... another recap. Tsuki ga kirei I'm not too worry as it confirmed that it'll have 12 episodes, but I'm not confident on Kado
SuperMario
@lenlo: in a sense you have to suffer it all alone. No worries thou as I intend to binge watch it when this season's over
Spike
Kado team crumbled under the pressure. Recap this week.
Lenlo
@SuperMario, im happy I dont have to compete with anyone to cover Berserk :P Got it all to myself to whine about, though its been ever so slowly improving.
Anonymous1100725
Ranka is ranka in any verse.
Anonymous1100725
Bahmut no spoilers. Ranka Lee. She just doesn't get it so everyone dies. As she stands around wondering.
SuperMario
In fact, Okja will play in the Sydney film festival next month, but seeing that it will stream in Netflix at the end of June I think it's best to wait until then
SuperMario
@Kaiser: great, I'm super hyped to watch Okja. Always enjoy Boon's movies. The critic's reviews from Cannes on Okja should come up soon I believe.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I watched Lain many times over as well but I'm sure that I didn't pick up everything. That show required multiple-viewing anyways.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Good news, netflix will stream Okja at the end of this June.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its not often that I rewatch things, but years ago I've seen Lain at least three times, its also one of those few anime series where I felt to look up deeper analysis into it. It had a tremendous atmosphere and was ahead of its time.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: watching Ghost Hound made me want to revisit Serial Experiment Lain and give my episodic thoughts on that. Not gonna happen soon as I have my hand full right now but I swear I'll get to that one day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I actually am planning to rewatch ghost hound soon, so I'll give you my new thoughts on it then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always avoided Altair mostly based on it being a shounen action series. Kakeguruis premise involves gambling games, which I don't find interesting.
KTravlos
Kakegurui is on my list. I thought it would be crap (terrible setting etc), but the manga won me over. Princess Principal will be given a chance, so will Shoukouko no Altair.and perhaps Reflection. We shall see. Also Twilight Axis Gundam, as I love the manga team.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Recap episodes exist because of production troubles. Sometimes shit happens when you make an anime.
You are being a bit overally argressive but I do agree with the statement that Ntr is pathetic power fantasy. It really is.
Anonymous1099236
Ntr is a pathetic power fantasy for pathetic people
Anonymous1099236
Why the hell do recap episodes exist. Do they think we're that autistic
SuperMario
I honestly don't even what NTR is so I had to look it up. Interesting
SuperMario
Just a quick remaider that Tsuki ga Kirei has a recap episode this week. And yep, after watching this week's Sakura Quest I think I'm gonna stick with it
SuperMario
Flipping through the list, I'm also pretty know what I'm interested in, most of them are original anime, which is a plus
SuperMario
@Aidan: I'm still amazed that us never have to fight over covering shows, except for that one time with Flip Flappers. Always thought that crappy tastes are the same
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Those two comments were refering to NTR trap
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would really genuinely like to see some of these smut manga actually functionally use fanservice and romantic sex scenes rather than just cheap titilattion
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Poorly done ragey drama with bad comedy bits , I've reached a point with it where I no longer want my time wasted by it.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I admit to having passing interest in Princess Principal but not enough to fight you over it.
And Tsurezure Children is actually really really good. Really fluffy love stories with great comedy.
SuperMario
haha, even me who love slice-of-life won't fall for Tsurezure Children
SuperMario
@Aidan: Princess Principal
SuperMario
@Kaiser: The character designs on Centaur kind of weirds me out though
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Ugh...that one. Imagine a discount scums wish and you get the general idea.
AidanAK47
Mate if you are talking about Fate then let me say there is no way in hell I am not covering that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
NTR as the title of an anime? How shameless.
AidanAK47
@Mario,....Tsurezure Children?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by centaur no nanami's manga. Actually cares about its setting and genuinely charming characters.
SuperMario
@Aidan: and this time there is 1 show we might both want to cover ^^
AidanAK47
I will have to start writing up that preview for this. I think it's pretty obvious what I am looking forward the most to watching.
AidanAK47
Links generally work with text if you place them at the end of it. Like so:
http://anichart.net/Summer-2017
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="http://anichart.net/Summer-2017
I....I"] might at least try the Vatican kiseki one and centaur no nanami...
AidanAK47
@Anon, Don't believe Clickbait. This is all based on a quote from the author thanking the animation studio and hoping for an opportunity to work with them in the future. What this confirms is that there is no plans for a season 3...yet. Could very well happen in the future. What this confirms is that it ain't happening any time soon.
Puran
Natsume is killing it this season.
Anonymous1094513
RIP Konosuba. Season 3 confirmed to not happen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PvOmsKjcJU.
Lenlo
Im not sure what they are even saying.
Anonymous1092432
lmao Anon 250 got rekt
AidanAK47
Normally I would delete openly offensive posts but seeing as these don't make enough sense to be offensive I will give them a free pass.
AidanAK47
No idea who this Adnan guy is but if he watches gay porn then so what?
Anonymous1092250
adnan watches gay porn
Anonymous1092250
people who watch one piece are just watching gay porn
Anonymous1092250
one piece of shit
SuperMario
Hey, do you guys know about wanna cry ransomware? how's the heck that I just aware of its existence today? Scary@@
Lenlo
Haha will do, but im not gonna compete outside a local, maybe regional level, not anymore. I mostly want to get back into my old shape after 2 years of letting it lapse.
SuperMario
Oh, congrats. Used to play sport in competitive level myself (tennis), but now I feel like an old big fat geezer now haha. Keep me updated on your Fencing as it might motivate me to join sooner ^^
Lenlo
Dont even have to work out to do Fencing, you can just go for fun once a week. Im just trying to get back into competitive shape now that I have my degree
SuperMario
I'm not really big on workin out though; my housemate just keeps asking to join gyming but I always back out, haha. Although I'm okay with running and I'm doing yoga like 4 times a week
Lenlo
Cool. And definitely, give Fencing a try, find your local gym.
SuperMario
When you feel sore it just means it's working, so all good haha. I'm still pretty much interested in try Fencing one day btw. About Uchouten, it's about a bunch of tanuki in human shape wander around and having fun (I'm not serious btw). I think the forst episode of the first season can tell you exactly the tone of the show, so you can watch that episode to see if it's your thing
Lenlo
I both love and hate the post-workout aches. Its what I get for trying to get back into Fencing shape.

Whats Uchouten about?
SuperMario
My love is blind, Kaiser. When I love a show I tend to go overboard with it ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
I’d forgotten how fun these characters are, although some of the novelty, charm, humour has worn off, it is still there and I’m beginning to re-remember while watching.
I do hope though that they’ll do more with Kaisei and Bonten however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Annnnd thank you Mario again for your reviews tempting me to watch a show.
I was hesitant sitting down to watch season 2 of Uchouten Kazoku because it had been so long since I saw the original.
I caught up, Nidaime and Tenyama got my attention most, standout scenes were the shogi match and the second half of episode inside the painting, the bits between Yaichiro and that girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honestly I could never do the sleeping on the back thing, thats largely because I heard that it increases the risk of sleep paralysis/apnea.
SuperMario
WHY PROTECTING THEM THEN?
SuperMario
You know that human is the only mammal/race that sleep on their back?
KTravlos
hahaha
Lenlo
Is his wall being built with Mexicans? Are they inside the wall, AoT style?
Kaiser-Eoghan
MAKE TITAN GREAT AGAIN =<
Yes that is true aim of Donald Trump's wall, he's actually in the know, trying to keep out Titans.
AidanAK47
WE SHALL KILL ALL OF THE ANONS.
....Wheres my 3D gear?
KTravlos
they all are anonymous and thus enemies of the human race :p
AidanAK47
@KTravlos, Just to clarify but the guy who wrote " idk wtf " and the guy writing the paragraphs are clearly two different people.
KTravlos
I also dislike anonimity on the net. If you are not in danger of being killed or purged because of your name, you should offer it. It is the right thing to do.
KTravlos
done by a lesser director. Simply put and to end it on my part: Exaggeration is the core of art. You can exaggerate the mundane , but exaggeration it still is.
KTravlos
They focus on it and make it the centerpiece. All motion picture does this, and anime does this very well in my humble opinion. There are things that are "easier" to do in live action. But make no mistake, it all comes down to the director and his team. Despite the fact that Monster is very grounded , some of its most evocative scenes would not work if done live action. Or would had not worked if
KTravlos
Look I was sharp because I do not like the whole idk etf culture thing. Should tell you my age.

What I meant with my words can be made more accessible with this analogy. Do you find yourself moved by paintings? Photos? None of this give the immediacy of the whole picture a moving image gives. And yet we are moved by them. This is because they take a element of reality and exaggerate it....
Anonymous1091057
Anyways, I should stop lol. I just ranted like less than 24 hours ago. Gotta go to uni soon anyways
Anonymous1091057
Whoops, I meant to say, ... or even stuff like Baccano could work in western live action.
Anonymous1091057
Also, I feel like shows that have some western context already infused in them, like most sports shows (i.e. Kuroko no Basket for example), or even stuff like Baccano, but once again it'd be hard to pull of the craziness and coolness of the shows, because a lot of it comes from the shows animation and style.
Anonymous1091057
But also, those shows might just be too weird for western live action.
Anonymous1091057
I don't see shows like One Piece or JJBA for example working in western live action well, at least for a long time till the CGI becomes much, much better so to not to completely destroy our suspension of disbelief.
Anonymous1091057
Those sort of works have a cross-potential for working both in anime and western live action. Then I feel slowly you can start littering in some of the more sci-fi esque ones like Steins;gate, or supernatural horror ones like Death Note.
Anonymous1091057
That's why I feel like the best hope for adapting anime into live action movies and TV shows (TV probably would be better for adapting anime tho), is to start with the more grounded, like Monster or even something like LoGH which has a sci-fi element but still maintains a sort of realism.
Anonymous1091057
There are good western movies and TV shows that are strange, but not bizarre; weird, but not the same kind of say JJBA.
Anonymous1091057
I feel like this difference between the 2 mediums makes it hard to adapt anime into live action, particularly western movies. Most anime are closer to the extreme of creative and zany than the extreme of grounded which movies are better at pulling off.
Anonymous1091057
Or another example is Steins;gate. No other medium could have a plot about bananas, time machines, cell phones, world war 3, and make it work pretty well everything said and done.
Anonymous1091057
Or how in the world could JoJo's Bizarre Adventure ever work out, with its complete craziness, except in anime. I know they're making a movie from the first arc of DiU, but they inevitably have to strip away some of the weirdness that makes the series great.
Anonymous1091057
But then on the other hand, I'm not the biggest fan of modern western superhero shows, particularly because I feel like it's better suited to anime. I'll take One Piece, FMA, or Hunter x Hunter (just to name a few) over 90% of superhero movies today.
Anonymous1091057
*movies aren't a great example of this as a whole, there's a scene from the last Hobbit movie which kinda shows how live action captures the tiny tics and "boringness" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIaJb6RY0TQ
Anonymous1091057
Or like, just the way a character breathes; while the movies aren
Anonymous1091057
I feel live action is better able to capture the minute, "boring", or slow parts of life. For example you don't see too many slow shots in the animated medium (maybe movies being an exception), but they're common in live action (not as much in modern movies, but still).
Anonymous1091057
I agree its a matter of personal preference, and I didn't mean to imply that I thought anime was inferior to TV or vice-versa, but just that they offer different types of experiences. I feel anime excels at the imaginative, crazy, and bizarre, while live action succeeds at the grounded, mundane, and "boringness" of living.
KTravlos
I do not care if you do not know what I am talking about. There we are.
Total users: 15

Featured Posts

Uchoten Kazoku 2 – 07 [The Friday Fellows Club, Again]

For a show that has a knack for little moments, this episode is one of the rare times that Eccentric Family goes for big dramatic emotional route, and manages to knock it out of the park. Soun, in the end, serves no more purpose than a pawn in a chess. Wicked all the way, but […]

Sakura Quest – 07 [The Mansion in Purgatory]

This week in Sakura Quest, we have core members lashing out at each other, and some more nice interactions between other members – which in fairness is all I could hope for. You know a cast is well developed when you can pick any two main characters and they still have their unique chemistry together. […]

ID-0 – 06 [The Observer]

With this episode we start to learn more about Ido’s true identity but the reveal feel far-fetched at best. I know he’s supposed to be someone special, but “an enemy of mankind”? Seriously? That trope again? So he was a Titan or some kind of disease that destroy the human kind? Oh since he’s in […]

Little Witch Academia – 19[Cavendish]

It’s time for the Diana episode and it’s a two parter no less. This episode was mainly a setup to the next one but we did learn a couple of things here. One is that Diana is indeed a former Chariot fan as she possesses the one card that Akko doesn’t have. I honestly think […]

Shingeki no Kyojin(Attack on Titan) – 32[Close Combat]

It really does feel like this episode passed by far too fast as I remember Eren and Reiner fighting and not much else. Much like most of you I am sure you are very interested in who won that fight between Mikasa and Annie. Well I can certainly let you know that this fight is […]

Seikaisuru Kado – 06[Tetrok]

I was wrong about the recap episode this week. Perhaps it was after this episode or maybe I was just mistaken. Well you don’t hear me complaining about this as I get to see the fallout from the last episode. Or at least what should have been the fallout. I got a little annoyed with […]

Uchoten Kazoku 2 – 06 [Arima Hell]

Hell, this episode of Eccentric Family sure is surreal. While this show has always been your very definition of magical realism series, the latter half of this episode leans far away from the “realism” spectrum with the most ridiculous catch ever: Yasaburou found himself inside the Painting of Hell, being pushed by none other than […]

Re:Creators 06 – [You are the one who knows where justice lies]

After a slew of exposition-filled episodes, Re:Creators is back to the vibe of the first two weeks where its creations were blowing each others apart with their powers. Out of all creations so far, Makagami is probably the most batshit crazy character in Re:Creators that is more in the vein of Rei Hiroe’s previous work […]

ID-0 – 05 [OFE with Free Will]

Welcome to another instalment of space opera mechas, this time though the episode leans towards to Alien-inspired thriller as the story unfolds mostly inside the spaceship, but for my money this is the best episode Id-0 has pulled off so far. To even my surprise, this show just keeps getting better and this episode gives […]

Latest Reviews

Kobayashi-san chi no Maid Dragon (Winter 2017) Review – 74/100

I remember back in the first impression of last Winter season, I regarded Demi-chan as a better Monster Girls slice of life subgenre over this one. But as the season progressed, while Demi-chan run out of its steam quickly, this one picked up its pace after an underwhelming first episode to become a much more […]

Scum’s Wish (Winter 2017) Review – 80/100

I remember after watched a movie called “Requiem for a Dream” a few years back, I felt devastated for an entire week. The ending hit me so hard that after finished that movie I had to walk around my area for 2 hours in the middle of night to settle my feeling and I thought […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Review – 90/100

When you have watched a large amount of anime you can come to assume that you have learned a lot about Japanese culture. Though I think it’s testament to how limited it is to view Japan through anime when you come to realize that despite watching so much, you have never heard of Rakugo. Rakugo […]

Youjo Senki Saga of Tanya the Evil Review – 80/100

Isekai stories have become somewhat of a tiresome genre as of late. There have been many stories of people being transported/reincarnated into other worlds where they shed their once pitiful exterior and become some legendary figure in another world. In most cases it’s trit, balant childish wish fulfilment and the stories often become tiresome when […]

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. (Winter 2017) Review – 83/100

Imagine my utmost amazement when a show that I wasn’t that confident on taking in the beginning turned out to be one of the most solid offering this season had to offer. ACCA is the most recent anime adaptation from mangaka Natsume Omo, which despite isn’t a household name, many of her works (6 titles […]

Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Winter 2017) Review – 62/100

Demi-chan is one of the newest addition to the monster girl subgenre, which usually feature a human helpless male lead get stuck in a harem of mythical creatures, in form of oversized boob girls of course (why usually those monsters are in female forms anyways? Aren’t they sexless?). In this case, we have monster girls […]

Seiren (Winter 2017) Review – 51/100

Let me say this out front, Seiren is NOT a good show, it’s a highly uneven one. Throughout its run, I can see some solid moments and fresh ideas that could potentially raise it above the bar, but ultimately, view it as a whole, Seiren is a show that isn’t worth recommending. At first, I’m […]

Flip Flappers (Fall 2016) Review – 93/100

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal […]

Sound! Euphonium 2 (Fall 2016) Review – 86/100

I must admit that out of all the series I was blogging last year, Sound Eupho 2 was the one I’m saddest to see it ends; not because it was my absolute favorite anime last year, but because the sheer amount of their attention to details and their ridiculously quest for perfection are something that […]