Posted on 2 January 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, SSSS.GRIDMAN

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was never a dull moment. On the surface, it shares many of the studio’s (good) trademarks: an unconventional storytelling, bombastic action sequences and and eye for arresting visual. Yet its approach is completely different that the visual approach becomes a character of the show itself. On the next surface, GRIDMAN is a love letter to those tokusatsu shows, the Gridman franchise and even Transformers franchise that we see the sheer love from the staffs to all these homages. While you don’t need any of prior knowledge in order to follow this show, the ones who do know about these homages might enjoy the show more wholly. For my money, along with Revue Starlight, GRIDMAN is one of the best visual directed anime this year 2018 has to offer. A visual where not only it’s striking to look at, but also support its themes and laid out many small details about its world-building.

The main vibe GRIDMAN offers in the first few episodes lie in how offbeat everything happens on screen is. Character waking up with an amnesia; there are kaiju monsters standing motionless in the background. The school appears to be normal a day after its destruction. This offbeat sense could very well turn many viewers off, but not until later do we find out about the truth of this world and its characters that everything starts to fall into place and its visual choice starts to make a whole lot sense. If I have to point out another quality of GRIDMAN, that would be there’s a clear line between “minimalistic” and “going all out”.Usually, the battle scenes go is bathed with its bright color, dynamic CG sequences and epic feeling, but in its quieter moments (which usually happening ⅔ of the episode), it goes for saving-energy mode: minimal music, repetition shots, realistic dialogues, “camera” is in static mode. This is a bold choice since clearly dividing its segments like that would cause a tonal inconsistency or even not holding audience’s attention at all, but it’s a rewarding one because GRIDMAN creates a real sense of its mysterious world that feel wholly unique and unforgettable.

Some could argue that because of these clear dividend, GRIDMAN is a show of two halves: its mundane slice-of-life half through the point of view of Rikka, and its Gridman vs Kaiju monsters origins narrated by Yuuta. In fact, part of the claim is true. Looking back, GRIDMAN doesn’t seem to have a clear protagonist, as we were introduced to this world through Yuuta’s eyes, himself is a blank state, then all the emotional core is progressed through Rikka as she goes through her normal life and then the show leaves its climax arc to Akane, her God-like status and her existential crisis. Not all of these work well (Yuuta’s part is clearly GRIDMAN’s weakest part), but I’m surprised that this show brings another level of complexity to Rikka and while I’m a bit let down by the ending, the dream episode remains the best episode I’ve seen in 2018, and the single sequence of Akane jumping off the crane remains one of my favorite scene of the whole year.

GRIDMAN is also one of these shows where it embraces “show, don’t tell” school the the fullest. The visual style always give the sense of scale between the characters and how huge the kaiji monsters are. It features many distorted lenses, further informs us visually that the world these characters inhibit in are not necessary real. Most impressive of all, in my humble opinions, is how the show uses the distance between its characters to signify their chemistry. The best examples of this approach is Akane and Anti’s relationship, where you can see the clear distance, most of the time Akane is in higher position, looking down at Anti. In addition, My favorite one is in episode 3 that details Rikka and Shou’s getting sucked into their own misery. The visual framing, which frames these two looking different ways through mirror is the textbook example of how to inform character’s inner struggle purely through visual alone.

This show is also in love with putting as many details in its world-building, a bit obsessively like the way Wes Anderson usually spend to his worlds – mostly through the objects that surround the characters. While these details might not necessary relevant to the main plot, uncover these Easter eggs might prove rewarding and might open up to more interpretation this show aims to be. This is the show that the more you dig into it, the deeper the Rabbit hole goes, but damn I really do prefer if the show confirms some of its theory. The live-action sequence at the very end of show, for example, nicely sum up this show thematically, at the same time raising a hell lot of ambiguity to the table.

And for me, that is exactly the kind of anime I’m yearning for. It might not be perfect, it might be for an acquired taste (although I heard that it sells surprisingly well in Japan), it might not wrap up the best way it can, but it never afraid to take risk and ultimately it comes off as its own thing. I sure hold Akira Amemiya in high regard now.

Posted on 24 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

GRIDMAN closes off its story on a grand spectacular finale and as far as spectacular goes, it does its job nicely. Personally I’m more impressed with this show in its quiet moments so I enjoyed it more in its last 6,7 minutes. I don’t know how much relevant GRIDMAN the anime is in regard to its original live-action. I mean, what’s the deal with the kaiju girl Anoshiras II and what’s the true role of GridKnight, but taken as an individual piece this ending is both straight-forward and confusing in the same manners. The straight-forward part is how the climax goes all out with its action: we have Gridman in full form versus Alexis in full form, and we do have all these cheesy lines that I’m sure serve as a homage to its original “Here comes my special moves – Fixer Beam” “Nanii? How can you have such godsent power?” “The power of MORALITY to destroy the immorality”. It’s fun to hear these campy dialogues out loud, and it’s even more entertaining when they’re boasted by the stellar animation. While I admit that the battle never wowed me, I can sense the love from the staffs to every single details of this battles.

What slightly bugs me, however, is the narrative led up to the final showdown between Gridman and Alexis. First, the way Alexis “uses” Akane is pretty inconsistent and abrupted. Here, in a span of 10 minutes, Akane turns into a kaiju (her scream is awesome, though), gets rescued by Anti, and immediately gets swallowed again by Alexis. In terms of narrative progression, you can easily cut down the “Akane becoming kaiju” part and nothing (except for the kaiju design) is lost. The same goes for Anti where he desperately tries to save Akane (which I thought was wierd to begin with because it’s not Yuuta or Rikka, but the least of all people Anti who saves the princess) just so that moments later he gets stabbed by the villain and was thrown aside for the rest of the battle. Don’t get me wrong, I love Anti. He’s, after all, the only character who grows the most in this show, signified by his blue eye color at the end, but I can’t shake the feeling that his own narrative arc is a bit shaky and not totally well planned-out.

But then, it comes to the “afterneath” section and while most of normal shows would retreat back to the new status quo, GRIDMAN manages to do something interesting here. We have a few-minute but feel like half-an-hour long sequence (hey, I’m not complaining) of only Rikka and Akane in a room together, further showcase how GRIDMAN is at its most comfortable when it strives for minimalism. Here, in a near-empty room, Akane has her redemption and Rikka has one of the best moments of the whole episode, as she gives the card holder gift to Akane, and wish that they could always be together, at the same time tells Akane not to let that wish come true. After all, Akane needs to move on from this cyber world, and the characters created by her will stay behind and have lives of their own. It’s a neat ending, but the decision to only let Rikka says goodbye to Akane sure leaves a lot of ambiguity here, which I will get to it later.

In a surprising move (which for me is a touch of “genius”, until I learn that it’s inspired by EVA’s ending), we have a live-action closure, a girl that looks awfully like Rikka that literally wakes up after the long sleep. The searing score was the one that played softly back from the beginning of the first episode. The ending will leave a lot of speculation of what is real and what not for sure, but ultimately I don’t think it matters that much. The main narrative is clear: Akane has her redemption arc and moves on, while Gridman and the Squads return to their hyper world and Rikka, real Yuuta and Shou stay back and live on.

As a whole, while I was a bit letdown to its final stretch, I’m still impressed with how much love and attention this show has for their world-building (it has a Wes-Anderson level of details here – the kind where it relies on the rich range of surrounding objects to defy the characters) and how it translates its themes by its visual craft – it’s one of the best visual directed show, along with Revue Starlight, that I’ve seen this year. Plot-wise, looking back I’m rather curious on how this show has many faux-protagonists to the point where you can’t really say whose narrative we are supposed to follow (it’s not necessary a bad thing), we start with Yuuta as we see the world through his eyes and his amnesia, but then in the middle Rikka demands us with her emotional tones and manage to sell them successfully as a normal girl trying to go through her life, then in the final arc it’s Akane takes the central stage. Not all of these transitions work, but it never fails to be anything less than intriguing, and that is a big compliment come from me.

P/s: pure speculation: it’s no fun to not give my own take on what happened at the end, right? Here’s my own two cents: the girl who wakes up at the end is Akane (we have her *real life* uniform, the card holder and the broken Iphone, and the name Akane in the picture). But why does she look awfully like Rikka? Is Rikka the part of herself she doesn’t wish to acknowledge? That might be the case but then again, the ED hints to the fact that Rikka might be real after all. Visually, the silhouettes has Akane’s mannerism, but is there anything more than meets the eyes?

Posted on 17 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

I have a sense that GRIDMAN regresses considerably since its magnificent episode 9. Well, major events are still happening. Last week, Anti transformed into GridKinight and this week, it’s revealed that Yuuta is indeed Gridman, hence the reason the boy doesn’t remember anything before waking up is simply because he has no memory to speak of. But here where I see GRIDMAN falters. It brings up a lot more questions and I’m not so sure if they can address them all in just one final episode. Moreover, the main narrative core, which is about Akane, is stalled for the last two episodes. As a result, we ended up seeing her wandering aimlessly in her own makeshift town, stabbing someone and then wandering aimlessly again. Maybe it’s just me who expected more than this but we still haven’t gotten into Akane’s backstory, if there was one, at all. Nor do we have a good idea of what Alexis wants behind all this or exactly what Anti were in related to Akane. For Akane, we only have a vague sense that she had some trouble in her real life that she escapes to this world and makes it any conceivable way she wants. For Alexis, if his objective was to destroy Gridman, then it makes little sense to summon all those kaiju monsters again. I have to note that the reason for Anti assuming the GridKnight role is because of those kaijus. Without them, he has no reason to fight. Lastly, it’s unclear why Anti was so dependent on Akane. From my point, we (and Anti himself) know that he isn’t the kaiju created by Akane, and I feel that Anti becoming GridKnight is incredibly forced. He can become anything. A kaiju with heart. Anything. So why GridKnight in particular?

We can’t pass this episode without mentioning the big event of this week: the reveal that Yuuta is indeed Gridman. That’s the whole reason why he can’t wake up until the Neon Genesis Squad figures out that they need to fix the old junk. It makes a whole lot sense regarding how Yuuta doesn’t have any prior memory and how they need to fuse in order for Gridman to work, but it also opens up for more questions I’m not sure if the show’s equipped enough to deal with. First, what about Yuuta and Rikka’s previous encounter? GRIDMAN has been hinted bit by bit that the meeting is kinda important for both him and Rikka, but now I don’t know what to make of it. Second, what about Yuuta’s real body now? I guess this doesn’t matter much, he’s a NPC anyway. Finally, what to make of this revealing? Is the fact that Yuuta is indeed Gridman change anything on this chessboard? I have no clue to be honest but I suppose the show will tackle that question in the final episode.

This week’s audio drama we have a mundane but much-needed conversations between Shou and Rikka. The reason I said “much-needed” is because on screen, I’m more strucked on how they can’t communicate their own thoughts to each other. Back in episode 3 we had a brilliant segment (which is still one of my favorite moments of the show) of them sucked into their own personal space. We have a glimpse of that again when these two are in hospital beds, waiting for Yuuta to wake up, as each of them is lost to their own thoughts. Rikka has a lot on her minds, mostly regarding Akane, but I rather enjoy how Shou addressing his own crisis of a best-friend trope: that he doesn’t really contribute to any of the fights. He succeeds on performing a role of a character who has no more role except sitting there helplessly.

Finally, my hope for Akane’s flashback might not turn out to be true, regarding how Alexis, in his ultimate decision, turns Akane into a kaiju too. While there are much more kaiju battles in the last two weeks compared to what we previously got, I don’t really see the weight of these battles. The reason for that is because Akane’s pretty much absent-minded, so even more than before we know how the results are gonna turn out. I must say, I’m a bit disappointed that GRIDMAN didn’t deliver in this final stretch, but there are still plenty of reasons to get excited about the final showdown next week.

Posted on 10 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

After a crucial episode last week where GRIDMAN reached its highest bar to date, it’s understandable that everything that follows it would be a letdown. Nothing in this new episode can beat the moment Akane jumped off the crane last week in terms of sketching her depression. This episode is where the entire cast goes through some sort of existential crisis. Yuuta, Rikka and Shou are processing the thoughts that they might be some sort of non-playable characters, being created and programmed to in the service of Akane. The Neon Genesis Squad is also going through their own Gridman’s identity – are they Gridman themselves or just parts of it. Anti goes through crisis regarding his kaiju origin and finally, Akane for her very purpose of creating this world in the first place. Akane receives the most damage as it stands, but it doesn’t help us that the episode doesn’t get into her own point of view, as a result we’re more like observer from outside looking in. Nor does we gain any more characteraction from Yuuta, Shou and especially Rikka this week.

So, let’s start with the end of this episode, where we have a surprised cliffhanger: Akane takes the matter into her own hands. Yuuta gets stabbed, but I don’t think that’s the end of him, considering he might not be a real person to begin with. His backstory has always been fishy, and his life starts after the amnesia. Although we learn that he had some history with Rikka before his mind went blank, for Yuuta himself and for us, the audience, it might as well just be the memories planted by Akane. Although it’s now fair to say that Akane is the goddess of this world, there are still many elements that go beyond her knowledge, namely the existence of Gridman. Whether it’s Alexis who brings Gridman to this world, or possibly the wise kaiju girl who did it, still remain a mystery. By having her confronting Gridman head on, we might know then the reason behind all that, and even the long-awaited Akane’s backstory that has been hinted throughout the show’s run.

Anti sure is busy this week, and I’d say that it’s kind if abrupted the way he switches side from Gridman’s eternal enemy to GridKnight, Gridman’s sidekick. He has another encounter with Akane, where Akane finally acknowledges him, not as a kaiju, but a living thing with beating heart because “kaiju can read people’s heart”; so it’s up to him to find his own purpose. And yes he did by fighting against Gridman at first, then fighting to protect Gridman, all in the span of 10 minutes. The kaiju battles, in keeping with GRIDMAN’s tradition, are colorful, well-animated, short and sweet. The first one, the half-formed murk of clay, represents Akane’s half-hearted attempt since she’s in no mind to create kaiju anymore; but the second one is the manifestation of Akane’s heart: powerful, unpredictably and proves to be Gridman’s greatest threat, until Anti – argubly the only one who understands Akane the best, beats her. Not that she gives any of these much thought, anyway.

Still, there are some little moments that I greatly enjoyed throughout the episode. One of those is how whimsical it is that the gang decides to go to Akane’s house to confront her, and literally walks to the house next door (kudos to Amagi who picked it up as early as episode 2); or these side characters that were based on Amemiya’s previous web novel. We lost a bit of Rikka’s charm lately, unfortunately (those moments regarding Rikka going through her normal life remain my favorite parts of GRIDMAN), and I hope the show close off on a high note. One thing for sure, GRIDMAN can still manage to surprise us, and I believe it still has some cards close to its chest to pull that feat off.

Posted on 3 December 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

Before this episode, I was thinking that it must take a full bag of magic to make me care about Akane, being an irredeemable bitch as she is. Episode 9 did just that, and then some, in its own fashion no less. It’s by the strength of its visual storytelling that show us how desperate she wants our characters to like her, and how ultimately let-down when she fails to do it. With a show that is so strong about its visual identity, a bus full of passengers suddenly feels off. What is a better way of displaying Akane hitting rock bottom (and her God-like power) than this single sequence? I can’t remember the last time I see the image and sound of the train crossing line symbols each dream segment? Heck, this episode is on its way to be my favorite GRIDMAN’s episode so far, and that says a lot. Not only it flirts around with dream/reality boundary that is one of my jam, it also deepens Akane’s narrative in most unexpected way.

The most genius part for me happens right in the beginning, when Yuuta wakes up and finds Akane in Rikka’s home. It’s a rehearse to the premiere with Akane now is in place of Rikka, and acts in a total Akane-way. That sequence is more screwing with us audience than it does with a confused Yuuta, since we have a knowledge that this happened before. The same things happen the same with Shou and Rikka, as they meet Akane in their separate dreams and can’t get out of such dreams. It’s masterful of GRIDMAN to start all the dream sequences in Yuuta, Shou and Rikka’s point of views, respectively, before pulls out to reveal that they are tangled in Akane’s manipulation. As for their dreams, it’s interesting to note that, while with Shou and Rikka, Akane choses the moments when she is alone with them in the “real timeline” – or put it better, the timeline where we has been following – with Yuuta, it’s the beginning where Yuuta wakes up from his amnesia, with the knowledge that normally Akane can’t possibly know. This detail further confirms that 1) Akane is indeed the goddess of the world we have been following, and that like our Hero team comes to suspect, that world might be entirely Akane’s dream to escape the real world and 2) unlike his friends Shou and Rikka, Yuuta might no be a real person. He has no memory before the event to begin with, which makes him a boy without a past.

But it’s interesting that as hard as she wants her followers to wordship her, the three comes to their sense because they reject this ideal world. “It’s all too good to be true”, Shou said that at one point. Yuuta looks at his reflection over the tomb he and Akane visit, which the kanji characters form into his tear, Rikka push stop button when she wants to get out of the dream – the moments speak more powerful than any conventional mean, and fittingly they cut to Akane’s pride the deepest. The more desperation she tries, the harder they pull out. The harder the pull out, the bigger blow she receives. I also enjoy Gridman’s reflections towards every single reflective things out main cast see. Those sequences, where Akane standing on top of the giant crane, above everyone but ultimately alone, best summarize her own struggles towards creating the perfect world, and fails to convert the people that she cares the most.

While the main plot of kaiju vs Gridman takes a backseat this week, they still offer plenty of fresh take on that formula. It’s the first time that this kaiju works in more… deceptive way. The kaiju puts Yuuta, Shou and Rikka to sleep and keep them hostage in their own dreams. What makes it all the more dangerous is that it can be seen, but can’t be touched by this realm of reality. It’s the first time where the Squad forms a version of themselves without the main host, Gridman, and it further reveals that Anti is more than just a regular kaiju. Now that I think about it, Anti might not be Akane’s creation and he’s more along the same line with the kaiju girl that Yuuta met in previous episodes. The animation, in addition, really bring the characters to light. It’s one of the rare time where both the animation and character design (especially Rikka) are looser than normal, hence the movement is much more expressive. From what I heard, this episode is storyboarded by Kai Ikarash, a newbie but the quality certainly has my attention. There’s just too many alternative routes GRIDMAN can take at this moment, and I mean it in the best possible way since for while some time that I feel this intriguing about a show at this stage: both revealing just about enough thematic depth, at the same time as vague and open as ever for more surprises on the horizon.

Posted on 28 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

Is it just me or Akane’s face is too pink this week?

GRIDMAN doesn’t break its formula this week. Structure-wise, it’s another first-half minimalist building up and second-half grand battle between kaiju of the week and Gridman. It’s up the stage for sure, this kaiju is promised to be the strongest one yet, and it’s the first time where Gridman manages to get all the boost-up items at once. But by all means I still enjoy GRIDMAN greatly. After all, repetition is the game here. These last episodes it has been opened itself up a lot to reveal many crucial points. This week, it’s a reveal from Akane that Rikka is created in a way the she can’t possibly hate Akane, by her kaiju no less. Well, I take all Akane egotistical view with a grain of salt, but it begs a question on how real everything is. If Rikka – the only cast member who acts like real human – is fake, then what about Yuuta (who has amnesia) or Shou in general?

Gotta say I really enjoy the way GRIDMAN counts down the cultural fest. It builds up a sense of anticipation, although with the main cast it has little to do with the fest itself. Akane challenges the Gridman’s team head-on by announcing her plan of kaiju’s attack on the day, in which our team responses by attacking first instead.By doing so, the students are forced to evacuate before Akane does the real damage. It’s still hilarious to see the scale-down Gridman against the giant monster nearly double his size and the real battle is GRIDMAN’s most over-the-top set pieces so far this season. There has been an ongoing claims over GRIDMAN’s blatant plagiarism from its inspiration but I don’t buy it. One of GRIDMAN’s aim is to pay homage to its source, from Gridman franchise to NGE so it doesn’t surprise me if the show uses many of its inspiration’s iconic scenes.

Meanwhile, Anti shows up at the gang’s hang out looking for Rikka. While he missed her this time, it bounds for a development between them since it marks the first time where Anti looks for someone else other than Akane, and that he doesn’t join the battle to kill Gridman. Is it a change of heart of a temporary retreat? I suppose it’s a latter but I won’t be surprised if Rikka can change him. Now that Akane is lost for an x time, and that we reach to the point where both Akane’s kaiju and Gridman are in their best form, I guess it’s time where they end this Gridman vs kaiju stage and reach to the next stage with a new final boss.

Posted on 19 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

The last two episodes GRIDMAN has cleared up many things and handily suggests the road it will ultimately take for its last half. First, it’s the reveal that the world our characters live in is belong to Akane’s, as she can destroys, and rebuilds again as she likes. Second, it’s a strong hint that she might not be the last boss of this war, that she’s being manipulated by Alexis, the alien. Like I has discussed over the past few weeks, I reckon the main emotional conflict is going to be between Akane and Rikka. While their past is still a mystery (which now I’m leaning to the theory that they used to get along but fallen out as they grow up), the two things (more appropriately, two people) that tie them together are Yuuta and Anti. We know for a fact that Rikka and Yuuta had a history before he got amnesia (that ball game rally – in fact, this week in audio drama we learn that it has something to do with a headband). This week, we’re leaning to the other side here with Yuuta and Akane. Take it as pure fanservice or not, the sequence where Akane doing in Yuuta’s bedroom is full of sexual tension.

While Yuuta’s friends have a hard time to believe his story (thanks to the poor way he puts it, he even doubts himself), he has much better success when confronting with Akane. The bit where she comes to the restaurant where their friend got ‘murdered’ by her without any remorse really speak clearly enough about her character. She thinks of herself as a Goddess, thus she can’t stand where things go against her way (Gridman) or when something going on beyond her knowledge (Anti). It’s a sneaky scheme Alexis prepares here. As he puts it: the more hatred the person has the more powerful the kaiju is. Anti sure hates Gridman more than Akane, and now when she realizes her place as a Goddess is challenged, she’ll be more determined.

It’s Anti who goes through a lot of action this week. He comes to school and confronts Yuuta before stealing all the breads. Soon he’s inspired to create a kaiju to kill Gridman, and failed. I can’t help but feel sorry for him the awful way Akane treats him, which plays as a huge contrast to how Rikka treats him in previous episode. The parallels are there: Akane consistently gets close to Yuuta, but he’s more attracted to Rikka. Akane treats Anti like pure dirt, while Rikka cares for him a whole lot. Whether or not Anti can develop his character (he’a still a kaiju after all) and where his loyalty lie will prove to be significant for the next few episodes. At the same time, we learn that there is another upside-down city up in the sky. For now, I suspect it as “the end of the world”, but we will know more about its significance soon enough, I hope. For now though, enjoy all these lingering shots (this episode has 3 of those, each of them lasts for good 10 seconds) that might or might not be relevant in the future.

Posted on 13 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

“They shouldn’t making episodes without kaiju in them “
It’s very cheeky of GRIDMAN to meta-comment on this episode, as indeed there isn’t any big fight between Gridman and kaiju monsters this week. We still get an introduction of new kaiju, however, and the fight in human forms. That’s the thing about GRIDMAN, it’s a show that knows full well all the formula of tokusatsu genre, and it does something interesting with these formulas. The main characteristic of GRIDMAN so far is minimalist. There isn’t a constant background music in this show but once it’s there, it matters. There isn’t too many people in the show (my favorite bits are the ones where the cast riding an empty public transportation), but once you see them, they have an impact to the story. Even the angles in which GRIDMAN places its shots are decidedly deceptive as hell, in a sense that if you look at certain scenes in another angle, that world might appear to be a different world.

And with this episode, this sense of “off” comes into the forefront. In an essence, this is a rather interesting episode, not only because it shakes up its own usual recipe, but that it connects different pairs, parallel them in an interchangeable way (the use of the same settings and same plot device for example) so that all the dots are linked at the end. We have 3 interweaving meet-up from our three main characters: Yuuta with the mysterious kaiju Anoshiras (his name isn’t mentioned in the episode); Rikka with Anti that proves to be a nice contrast with how Akane treats him; and finally Akane herself and Shou. The same motifs are there: they all eat something, while being surveillanced by a member of the Squad, down to Yuuta – Anoshiras eating the same bread at the same place in the same shot as Rikka and Anti moments ago. Now, normally I wouldn’t appreciate the info-dump from a side character to the main lead like the way Anoshiras spills the bean about the Akane’s true nature (it’s screenwriting 101 that the main protagonist has to work to gain info by himself), this reveal succeeds in two ways. First, now it’s the first time that the Good side is on the same level with Akane, now they have the same amount of information regarding each other’s secret. Second, this reveal opens up to more intriguing questions, and hint that the battles we’ve seen so far are maybe just a proxy war for something much bigger.

So the meat of the episode is that Yuuta (and us) come to a realization that the world they’re living in now is purely Akane’s creation. In the same way Haruhi constantly demolish and rewrites her world, but for Akane it’s consciously. She has a bitchy attitude when she wants to destroy everything that she finds annoying, and she has the power to do so. This episode reveals, however, that the mastermind behind all this isn’t Akane, but the figure who always talks to her on her computer screen. Now Akane’s role in the story changes rapidly. She might be just a victim of this guy’s manipulation so it could mean she joins the good side at the end (well, the OP highly suggests this). The mysterious kaiju, on the other hand, explicitly states that he isn’t created by Akane and he helps Yuuta because his master owned Yuuta a favor. The stakes are getting much higher now that another important piece comes into the picture. This could be a a game-changer that changes everyone’s role in the story, but let’s wait and see how well GRIDMAN deal with this new development.

Posted on 6 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

I feel like it’s inevitable that we eventually get to this episode. It’s an episode where the cast will wear some sort of bikini and swimsuit and show as much skin and flesh as possible. We’re also talking about Trigger for Christ sake, one of the leading studio when it comes to fan-service. Right at the opening scene we would see Akane is sexy swimsuit with suggestive pose. While normally I’d say “yuck” in disgust in the same way kids behave when eating pepper, the fanservice here in GRIDMAN does so in conjunction with its theme. There’s always a disparity on what happens on the surface and what it’s actually about in GRIDMAN. All these fan-service tendencies, from Akane in bikini in the first few minutes, to Yuuta finding the swim suit, to the girls having fun with Shou’s chubby belly to that suncream sequence, all create an artificial surface that soon to be broken down by Akane’s true motive. Again, GRIDMAN turns what could be a disaster into something relevant to its detached world. All the more impressive that this seemingly field trip of rafting-exercise is soon to be a battlefield that come neatly together at the end. The settings this week rightfully become another character in this episode.

More than any other anime, GRIDMAN is a show that has many striking shots that are so condensed with details, and so integrate with its narrative that these shots alone inform you so much about the cast’s dynamic. I will address 3 such shots here (with the exclusion of the suncream scene between Akane and Rikka as I already talked about them last week). The first one is the sequence where Akane interrogates Yuuta to find out whether or not he’s involved with Gridman. The way GRIDMAN frames the shot, however, of them sitting in a symmetry manner suggests you how the show suggests them as a different side of the coin. Villainous as she is, Akane regards that as her duty, just like how Yuuta feels. As a result they share some special dynamic that go beyond from interrogation or bad guy vs good guy relationship.

The second shot happens later on, between Anti and Akane. It’s the moment when without any word, Anti just lowers his body to carry Akane around the burning bush. It delivers some raw emotions here, the way it’s Anti way of caring for Akane, but he’s also determined to carry his own mission, which is kill Gridman by himself. I found that he ends up helping Gridman’s team more often than not, but he remains the elements of surprise for the ongoing battle between Gridman vs kaiju monsters. Later on, the scarf the he gave to Akane, was pushed aside coldly by Akane. The show doesn’t put any sentimentalism on that but the way that scarf keeps lingering on the screen displays some powerful emotion. Last but not least, the sequences concerning the cast riding the train. Apart from an iconic shot of kaiju monsters in the background (and how little it affect the main cast as they’re pretty much used to it), it again has some GRIDMAN’s signature touch: the train ride is otherworldly, it’s empty and the quirks where there’s a strange mist that put everyone to sleep are a welcome one.

These past few episodes I haven’t mentioned much about the CG battles, not because it’s unremarkable but more like it’s the aspect I pay the least attention to. Now, I just want to give a moment to say that the CG battles between Gridman and kaiju monsters have always been consistently awesome. Usually CG fights stand out in a bad way (like in Planet With where you can tell right away the awkward moves. Here these scenes were handled skillfully, it’s the timing that is always consistent that sometimes it doesn’t feel like watching a CGI battles. Gridman continues to be its own thing, and I’m glad to say that so far I enjoy every moments of it, even more so with its understated moments. There’s only one mystery that I hope the show can address in the future: How the hell did Rikka’s mom (voiced by the VA actress of Haruko Haruhara in FLCL) work out that exact number for the Junk’s price? It might be a bit too expensive for an old junk that barely work, but it’s never too pricey to save the entire world.

Posted on 29 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, SSSS.GRIDMAN

Before discussing this week’s episode, I feel the need to mention the weekly voice drama (thanks a bunch for bringing it to my attention, Animosh) of GRIDMAN that provides more context and dare I say, more personality to the cast. As much as I like the current style of GRIDMAN, its strength is purely on the adept direction by Akira Amemiya and its solid visual craft where the dialogues are hardly relevant. As a result, by making these characters having an actual communication, it adds up a whole lot and helps explaining many of the loose threads in the anime. For example, listening to the audio drama, we learn that Rikka and Yuuta definitely had something going before the amnesia, that “ball game rally before summer” sounds like a perfect setting for a date if you ask me. These voice drama, along with the content of this week 4, also marks a shift in GRIDMAN’s perspective and now I come to suspect that Rikka is a crucial character that hold the emotional core in this anime. I mean, the voice drama of episode 4 (4.4) raises a red flag about Rikka’s life threat and based from what happened this week, I have very goods reason to believe that would be the case.

The main key to that plot thread lies in the relationship between Akane and Rikka. Granted, the main reason why Rikka approaches our girl in this episode is purely to confirm whether Yuuta is Gridman or not (and she fails miserably on that, but boy, did she try); but there’s hints about their already gone established friendship, and slowly Rikka comes to the realization that all the incidents happen around her. That might just be her hormone’s actin’ up (that everything revolves around her), but I come to suspect the core reason for Akane becoming a psychopath has something to do with her and Rikka. Talking about the Queen of Cruelty Akane (opps, lame references to another show I’m blogging), this week she decides to kills the V-bloggers boys because they keep pestering her (could it be a warming message for all the Youtubers out there?), and the way GRIDMAN displays her, by extreme dutch-angle shot, by her still acting nice but can’t hold back anymore when she’s alone, tells you pretty how unstable her feeling is. She isn’t merely killing people for fun, she kills them in the manner of farmers cropping up weeds.

As for our battle this week, things get even more crowded with the appearance of a new insectoid kaiju. This Kaiju succeeded on killing 3 of the boys, and on the verge of defeat our Gridman… until Anti interferes given he wanted to be the one who defeat Gridman. It’s interesting to note that Anti pretty much acts according to his principle, so he’s no longer an Akane’s puppet (the way Akane constantly throws her phone is amusing, too). On the other side of the battle, the Neon Genesis members, and Gridman himself, are freeze as soon as all of them entering the Junk (it’s overloaded – speaking about old machine, huh?). Their solution? Unplug the machine and load it up again (this sure brings back memories, but it’s also the fastest way to destroy your computer’s memory). Rikka’s quick decision sure brings a smile to my face. The Neon Genesis squad so far is a delight, they don’t harbor too much deep but they bounce off each other well, especially Samurai Calibur whose deadpan delivery goes well with the show’s emphasis on visual. I’m still down to see the other two members’ real power in the next few episodes.

Episode 4 also spends a healthy amount of time developing the high school romantic saga that involves a group date, a stalking and many more. Most prominent of all is the pair Yuuta and Rikka, as the last few episodes we see more of their chemistry from Rikka’s point of view, so it comes as a bit abrupt that in this episode we see Yuuta already fallen head over heels over Rikka (well, abrupt to me anyways). Yuuta still remains the most boring character out of this cast, but it’s fun and a bit cute to see how both him and Rikka are too dense to make any progress. Like how Max points out, it’s painful to see them trying to talk to each other. The offbeat tone still works wonder here. I very much enjoy the snarky comment from Yukka’s friends Namiko and Hass “who speaks like that these days?”, or Akane’s squid train pass card, which might or might not be relevant in the future. There’s still a lot to admire about GRIDMAN, even to the non-fan of its TOkusatsu homage and Gridman franchise like myself.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh wait...Uchi no Musume isn't an isekai...the genre has become so big that almost any time I take a glance at a fantasy tag I jump to the assumption its isekai.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I know you played YU-NO and I'm aware of your problems with it, is it actually possible for any adaptation of it to work, to be salvageable?
Kaiser-Eoghan
That is the officiaal English translated volume that currently goes beyond the currently available English scans.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I was wrrong totsukunai's 6th volume is actually out now .
Kaiser-Eoghan
*series with the daughter isekai
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, isekai genre, attempting to trick me into watching the genre with the daughter isekai thing, I won't fall for your scheme...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Interesting typo there, spelling Beastars as Bearstars, the typo still makes it sound animal related.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I want my Gunka no Balthazar anime and I want it now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Reminder that the new volume of totsukuni is out in April. So far its an ova adaptation we're getting but Magus bride also started out getting an ova and thats from the same magazine.
AidanAK47
Re:Zero season 2 baby. It's about goddamn time.
Amagi
Without thinking much Shiori Experience, Dedededestruction and Atelier of Witch Hat are the only running manga series I really like without annoucement. There are more, but not that many.
Amagi
I can barely think of manga I like and read that didn't get announcements yet. Years ago people still had these lists of fake anime annoucements of manga everybody wanted to see animated, now it's reality.
SuperMario
and Bearstars announced for this Fall 2019. Cool
Amagi
@Kaiser: Man I hadn't heard about the Totsukunai no Shoujo adaption yet that's awesome. Really love Mori too, these series could be fantastical if they get a good ost.
Animosh
And Cells at Work is getting a second season too apparently. So many announcements in the last few days.
Animosh
Oh, nice! It has its problems, but it's definitely one of the better isekai out there. Glad it's getting a second season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm more interested in somali to mori getting an adaptation aswell as totsukunai no shoujo though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For those who happened to enjoy it Re: zero is getting more ovas and a second season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know often young male characters get female voice actors in Japanese, but i tend to veer more toward male voice actors for male characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although I'd say going back the old adv dub was probably very dated. Though Spencer really got the patheticness of Shinji right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: MUH Windee Lee MUH Spike Spencer, MUH old dub.
Anonymous3576667
So Evangelion (probably Netflix's biggest anime this year) is rolling out June 21. New English dub, all 26 episodes and the films (sans the Rebirth ones) all at once.
Amagi
From time to time there are Index-verse antagonists I am kinda interested in but in the end I am never willing to watch 50+ episodes or so to get to the point where said interesting characters may appear. I just don't care about the protags of these series.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Some things never die. Sonic, Fast and Furious, James Bond, Godzilla, Mario, Pokemon, etc. The only way these things truly die, is lost of interest, less sales, eventual ceasement of talking about these things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet another Index anime announced, this franchise refuses to go away.
Vonter
In regards to Shield Hero, I still find it enjoyable, but like with the Slime Isekai, my issue is how it becomes a one-man show. I do wonder if they'll delve into Raphtalia's backstory in this season.
Vonter
That's the issue with genres, sometimes a story can turn into a comedy, a harem, an action shounen, a mystery thriller, a surreal fantasy, or a slice of life. It has to shift to keep some degree of uniqueness. Most series stick to a trope in the end.
Vonter
@Amagi - Most anime and manga fall after the premise alone, especially the gender bender genre (yeah it's a thing (*^.^*)). The thing is that after that point you either stick to an established formula or you have to turn your story into something else, the adventure, the romance, the wacky comedy, because that's what will stick.
Animosh
True that. Maybe Re:Zero is an exception, since Subaru seems to keep his supporting role (as the weakling with infinite lives)? Although it has plenty of tired tropes of its own, of course.
Amagi
@Animosh: That's the problem with almost all isekai. They usually try baiting people with some new premise, be it MC being a slime, weakling, support role, old or whatever only to ignore it a few episodes or arcs later and turn into the same run-of-the-mill like the other isekai.
Animosh
It's a shame Shield Hero seems to have largely abandoned its premise of making the shield hero a purely defense-oriented hero who can only play a "supporting" role. If he can single-handedly take down (mini-)bosses, in spite of his low level and the fact that he can't use any weapons, simply because he's, you know, angry, then ... he's really no different from the other heroes, just more broken.
Animosh
Thunderbolt Fantasy will get a new movie / OVA / whatever centered on Lang (the bard) and his past. It'll take place in Shang's old country (Xi-You), so we should see what it's like for the first time. Anyway, if it's as good as the one focusing on the Screaming Phoenix Killer it should be fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the idea of dlc was something that annoyed me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do remember getting a kick out of playing old N64 multiplayers, lol bunch of then 13 year olds not knowing how to play goldeneye multiplayer properly or stealthily , so it basically turns into a Hong kong style shootout.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"We're in the middle of a battle! You have to stay logged in"
"GODDAMMIT I need to eat I can't stay!, Godammit nature calls"
Kaiser-Eoghan
When my friends got into MMOs and online shooters, I simply didn't have the time commitment or patience for the prior in particular.
Amagi
A person will only play one or two of such endless games, people won't start new ones just because they pop up everywhere, but nobody seems to get this.
Amagi
The problem is that everyone is only looking at how much money the few big ones make and think they can imitate it when the whole thing is actually just a bubble, just as with gacha games.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I actually enjoyed classical coops but yeah, MMO not really. Especially not when it feels like a game was created for single player and they shoved the MMO stuff in or when a game gets less story heavy and less content to make room for the lootershooter/pvp/whatever MMO stuff.
Amagi
I am doing this too right now. Will probably marathon a few shows I skipped so far in case that they're good till the end. More into playing right now
Kaiser-Eoghan
You might say I was keen on the idea of being in the same room as someone after I defeated them in a fighting game =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
*going on
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its far more easy to remember whats going in that way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*the habit
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I've gotten into he habit of only watching a few shows each season, then later on catching up with others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Back in my gaming days my idea of a multiplayer was with a group of friends in a room, but it all shifted into massive online multiplayer mmos and fps games.
Amagi
Sadly, the OPM PV looks weak, I will miss the great animations of MP100.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Have to admit that I like Mob more than I feared, it's the show I enjoy the most right now. Otherwise I'd go with your ranking, maybe with an added Neverland.
Amagi
Man I hate how every game has to become more and more multiplayer'ish just let me play games as loner again.
Amagi
I already dropped it during episode 1. Considering that the manga has ~120+ chapters I guess it's another eternal status quo thing too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Wooper: I read a couple of volumes of the manga, its hit or miss and eventually gets repetitive, it could be often funny in certain parts but I'm bored of it now. I saw some bits of the anime and didn't laugh.
SuperWooper
>not watching Kaguya-sama
I seriously hope you guys don't do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose now that its near the end of this season I should rank what I've been watching: 1. Run with the wind 2. Boogiepop 3. dororo 4. go-toubon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: And there thats the other thing, out of it so long there's a massive buildup of games , increasingly difficult to catch up and get back into.
Vonter
At the moment I'm playing Guacamelee 2. Which I had my doubts since the first game got a bit frustrating do to the backtracking. This one gives me a Super Paper Mario vibe in the villains departament.
Vonter
@AidanAK47 I'm not even mad anymore, but still disappointed Western Games can't give closure to their over 10 million dollar games. I think you can have a self contained story and maybe tease the story is open to more adventures or something.
Vonter
I suppose if I'm curious for the story I'll watch an edited Let's Play.
Vonter
Yeah, I agree, it does feel like indie developers and Nintendo make the games I like. I don't know maybe I'm just getting old to catch up with the recent trends most ambitious projects tend to follow. Also how most of these games take a lot of time to get going and I don't have that much free time to spare waiting for the game to let me play it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I got into watching letsplays for a while some years back, it was a decent way to re-live an old game without playing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whoring out sequels is pretty much the bane of most things, just continually dilutes the original and in some cases can even ruin the original for you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I can still remember that very moment when I first played a 3D game and how unreal that felt .
Kaiser-Eoghan
And there isn't time to give to absolutely every medium.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunately I think I've been so long out of the habit of gaming that I've gotten used to and familiar with not being part of that scene , to where I kind of simply just don't pick up a controller anymore.
AidanAK47
Not to mention that they are gonna milk it to death. They already got about 5 sequels planned and put in a thing showing how they could milk it. To me GOW 2018 is an incomplete game, a part 1 of a needlessly long franchise. Whereas the old games had stories which felt complete.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I would say it's more that despite the fantastical settings both Hoizon and GOW 2018 make use of tired sandbox game mechanics. GOW especially annoyed me as I feel they stripped out everything that made those games there own things and replaced them with game mechanics stolen from other games. GOW lost it's very essence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Futaro
Kaiser-Eoghan
Fuataro is best girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I just read that the new Orphan anime is a prequel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Back when I played/watched people play videogames, it was moreso Jrpgs and old Nintendo and sega genesis games.
Vonter
IMO making something more complicated than it should ends making something less enjoyable to play.
Vonter
Why not just watch a Let's Play. I suppose is an overreaction, but I felt very mixed how God of War 2018 was a good Father and Son story, but really annoying to play. Constant walking and climbing sequences, combat that I think it's less involved than the ones from the other games, and constant looting that lost it's charm by the 30th chest.
Vonter
I don't know why but I've been feeling that I'm enjoying more playing on the Switch than the PS4. While I enjoyed RE2 and will likely replay it, other high tech games like God of War, Horizon and the like don't do much for me. Most of this realistic games have very slow starts, make the playstation fans sound like it's struggling, and if the best part of these games is the dialogue and cinematics.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Genuinely a very good sign when a 20 minute episode feels much shorter than it is and its rewarding to see an anime series possess such a degree of confidence in its direction.
Lenlo
Just finished it. Seriously, Kaze Fui has nailed this segment of episodes. Just homerun after homerun. Its ridiculous. I love it. Kurahara tapping into the freakin speed force
Animosh
Now only Haiji is left. When there were five episodes remaining I was wondering whether there'd be enough content to fill them all, now I'm wondering how the show is going resolve everything in one episode. But the show has barely made any missteps so far, so I'm sure it'll nail the ending too.
Animosh
Kurahara's segment was also good. He's fallen in love with running, and now that he's pursuing running for its own sake he runs faster than ever. It also helps that he's crazy talented, of course.
Lenlo
I want to be excited for OPM 2... but JC Staff

Also I cant wait to watch Kaze Fui when I get off work. Sounds like it was good
Animosh
Yeah, King's segment was better than expected. Pretty relatable. His issues did come a bit out of nowhere though. His segment could have been even better if there had been some hints that he has been struggling with this earlier. It's also a bit strange that there wasn't any development with his job hunt, since that what basically his defining trait throughout the series.
Anonymous3563660
The developments from the first cour are absolutely paying off big time and it's amazing to see how far this cast has come since the first episode. And now it's time for Haiji's segment next episode. I can't take waiting another week for this!
Anonymous3563660
Well. Bravo Kaze ga. That was an amazing display that Kakeru showed. I loved his segment. King's backstory really hit me close to home as someone who recently graduated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now on Boogiepop phantom episode 16....a discount Godzilla!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I liked Densetsu no yusha even though no one did and Record of Lodoss war, always wished there had been more of both.
Animosh
Yeah, that trailer ... does not look promising.
Anonymous3563292
Just as MP100 s2 takes its bow, there's going to be a lot of people expecting OPM to be as amazing as that or s1. Oh boy.
Anonymous3563292
A reminder to temper your expectations for OPM s2.
Anonymous3563001
After a messy start, that Prince of Smiles show has largely settled for okay. Not terrible, not amazing, but largely above-average and rather forgettable. I'd compare it to that Record of Grancrest War show from last year.
Anonymous3563001
This apparently isn't like that other Doga Kobo show where the pedo bait was persistent throughout.
Anonymous3563001
So uh, has anyone tried to go back to Wataten and see if the pedo bait has subsided since the first episode? Because it seems like it has for the time being.
Animosh
@Anon: no, I mean a continuation of the main story. I read about it on the anime subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/b26yj1/shaft_producer_mitsutoshi_kubota_confirming_that/
Lenlo
@Anon, I love Mob Psycho, but the series does have some iffy stills. Thats not an issue though, because this is an animated medium. Its meant to be viewed in motion and holy shit, does it look good in motion
AidanAK47
However my main issue at the moment is the feeling of them dragging things out for the sake of having that be the finale. Right now episodes just don't have much content and I feel it's too dragged out for it's own good.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Nervous isn't really the word I would use. As far as adaption is concerned I feel the series has done quite well for the most part with the only big misstep being the shows reluctance to have any inner monologue whatsoever which has lead to questionable choices to alternatively present information that was usually spoken in mind. I say the end of the arc will be done well.
Anonymous3560732
@Aidan As a manga reader, are you nervous about how they'll adapt the end of the arc in Neverland?
Anonymous3560839
mob psycho was amazeballs this week. It's the show that just keeps on giving. On a side note, I've seen some comments floating around about how the show has terrible still shots and I'm going to dispel that erroneous assessment in this week's discussion
SuperWooper
Search bar is in the upper right hand corner, in case you're still searching.
Anonymous3560732
@Animosh You referring to that Madoka mobile game tie-in?
Anonymous3560739
That’s not the search bar
Anonymous3560739
Mob psycho
Kaiser-Eoghan
They decided to adapt mushoku tensei apparently. I might aswell see what all the fuss about it is as being one of the "better" isekai.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't imagine how the polar bear isekai or vending machine one would handle the harem aspect.
Animosh
As for Slime getting another season, I personally don't mind. It's obviously not a masterpiece, but I don't watch isekai for enlightenment. If they can offer me some relaxation after a day's work, that's enough for me.
Animosh
Some nice announcements in the past few days: Oregairu is getting a third (and final) season, and Madoka is rumored to get a sequel too (maybe focusing on Sayaka?).
Anonymous3560293
Cross Ange is not trash tho, way better than those others
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm wiser nowto certain types of story telling, making an overly long show that keeps throwing endless gotchas at you, eventually you get tired of the show trying to play with you instead of actually moving things forward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I've enjoyed many a trashy show/film in my time, but guilty crown, cross ange and Valvrave I couldn't finish, there are certain cases where the brain begins hurting/aching.
Anonymous3560221
While different in settings and genres, they obviously have Okouchi's writing full of shock value and swerves.
Anonymous3560221
Guilty Crown and Valvrave are like his most explicit attempts to recreate Geass, and look how those two fared. Kabaneri also falls into the same traps as those too.
Anonymous3560221
But even he ends up letting his worst tendencies slip in with examples like Princess Principal, particularly the last episode.
Anonymous3560221
Which ironic that the best shows that he's written are the ones that are not trying to recreate those Geass days like Lupin the 3rd Part V or that Devilman Netflix show.
Anonymous3560221
It's amusing to see that Okouchi's worst enemy is essentially himself. Trying to recreate that Code Geass magic with ass pulls, shocking swerves, and shock value without realizing that it's never as shocking the second time around. And that has basically ruined almost every work he's attached to.
Amagi
I always find it funny how almost everyone agrees that it was Biba who ruined Kabaneri. I liked that show so much before he appeared, damn. Will watch the movie but my hype is killed and I fear the movie will just be about another random human antagonist instead of the actual Kabaneri problem.
Anonymous3558784
mongatari
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo@Wooper: At least we have the Tanya movie to look forward to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Even though I know its going for something fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh COME on Japan, just give me by communist isekai mecha show so we can be lovers again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Biba fucker ruined the show and it stopped allowing me to enjoy Kabeneri as a shitty ova throwback.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Couldn't even make good on a stupid re-incarnation premise on the ones you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or better yet, find some old proto-isekai and adapt it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"Could be worse" I suppose I win by default by bringing up Parallel paradise and ruining everyones fun by reminding them of its existence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think my brother in laws reason for liking trashy isekai is because he sees them as an anime equivalent to exploitation films, I should just tell him to watch old ovas.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we're doing the re-incarnation thing, just give me a full please save my earth adaptation or bokura no kiseki or that other re-incarnation thing done by Spirals artist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not an isekai, but a LN adaptation, Index keeps popping up again every so often, I fell out of the series a long time ago and got exhausted with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel the same way about konosuba, I wish I found it funny but I don't because I know it is going for that "fun" thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think, especially with a second season, I'd eventually get fed up with it aswell and that it would get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My brother (and probably my brother in law too) seem to enjoy Reincarnated as a slime as a casuals show and find it funny. I saw clips of the dub, the voice actors sounded like they were having fun and I think some people found the slime/dragon interactions at the start amusing. I'm just left thinking that the show is something my younger self might have gone for but I'm indifferent to it now.
AidanAK47
Or the vending machine isekai
AidanAK47
Or the polar bear isekai
AidanAK47
It could be the hot spring isekai
AidanAK47
Well guys it could be worse.
Lenlo
I sense a disturbance in the medium. I fear for the future.
SuperWooper
That's fantastic news, as series set in the real world give me diarrhea. I assume that the majority of Japanese otaku suffer from the same issue, given the number of isekai manga and LNs that are slowly polluting my favorite art form. :^)
Anonymous3556601
As expected, that Slime isekai show has been renewed for a second season.
SuperWooper
@Anon3540676: Hey!
Anonymous3542644
And despite all of these recent announcements lately, IG still hasn't announced a release date and release model for DNT s2 yet beyond theatrical screenings. =(
Anonymous3542320
https://youtu.be/cxjXEIDbBxAInterestingly, seems like Banana Fish (technically not BL) did well enough for Noitamina to consider having an adaptation an actual BL manga on their block.
Anonymous3542320
I would really love to see that Kabaneri film get things back on track after the second half nearly derailed it (pun intended).
Anonymous3542320
Huh, well that didn't take too long for a release date regarding Psycho-Pass 3. It's slated for October.
Meanwhile, Beastars is going to be Netflix-exclusive, and interestingly, the Kabaneri film is going to air simultaneously on Netflix and Amazon alongside a limited theatrical release.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Did you ever read beast complex? I haven't done so yet, it seems like like the beastars authors prototype for it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hadn't known that, thanks. Also, I read the most recent 20 or so chapters Amatsuki, all has finally been revealed.
Amagi
Q's (Dorohedoro) new series started, Dai Dark. It's basically Dorohedoro in space (therefore, I am completely fine with it).
Lenlo
This adaptation of Dororo is adding a lot of new content to its story in its adaptation. It's taking what was a much more one-dimensional story in my opinion, and giving it layers.

And yeah, Run with the Wind was great. Sure Kurahara has been the most emotional, he is the lead, but I think everyone in the cast has done a decent job
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although while I did enjoy last week, I didn't think it captured the impact the manga had.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dororo upped the ante this week to its benefit. This episode also showed how the series can succeed even with the protagonist having a minimized screentime. I don't remember Taromaro going up against a demon in the manga, this is an advantage of this adaptation adding stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...because there will be that sense of saying goodbye.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: And thinking it over, I've been beginning to get the feeling that this will be one of those took me on a journey shows, one of those shows where I felt I really spent alot of time with everyone in it and after it ends/in the last episode, it'll get me feeling something...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: While so far in the series I thi7nk the stuff around Kakeru has been the most emotionally rewarding, the middle of this episode crept up on me , the tension of the race itself was never interrupted by the flashbacks and they were well stitched into the narrative.
Lenlo
Just watched it. I love this show so much. How is a show about running so damn good
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Featured Posts

Paranoia Agent – 9 [Etc.] – Throwback Thursday

Hello all, and welcome to a very… odd episode of Paranoia Agent. Which, knowing this show, is saying something. This week we tackle public gossip, the inconsistencies that come with it and if there is any truth to it. Lets go! Starting off, let’s talk about the execution. Normally here, I talk about animation and […]

Kemurikusa – 11

At long last, we have an entire episode in flashback and explains much of its Kemurikusa’s rich settings. Even at the risk of over-informed us with details, all the information we learn this week is both unexpected, and makes total sense. Before we get into the details, (AND WHAT A MAJOR REVEAL), I feel the […]

Winter 2019 Summary – Week 9-10

Another two weeks have passed, and Summer Season is coming in sight. It’s the time where most shows get busy as they reach their final arc. Mob Psycho 100 ventures into its shounen roots,  Run with the Wind does extremely well in its last leg, literally, and Kemurikusa girls part way emotionally. Let’s see how these 4 shows below perform in […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 09/10 [The Vagabond Leader/ The Aggressive Bombers]

Welp, Kotobuki is getting really good. Normally this is the time where shows reach its final overarching arc, and sometimes it loses a bit of it magic because of that (like what I currently have with Gotobun), but with its tongue-in-cheek manner and its main storyline that is totally unexpected but weirdly fit to the […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) – 15/16 [Overdrive: The King of Distortion 2/3]

The nightmare never seems to end. During episode 15, we have three separate segments of characters stuck in their own dreams: Makoto’s mother, Sakiko and Kentarou. Play into Boogiepop’s strength, these characters have their own drama and each of their story explores different aspect of this phenomenal, all related to the King of Distortion himself. […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 22 [Embrace Your Loneliness]

Hello all and welcome to the penultimate episode of Kaze Fui! This week we see King’s struggle, Kurahara takes off and Sakaki becomes a little less hate-able. Lets take off running, we have a lot to cover! In terms of animation and production, Kaze Fui surprised me this week. I didn’t think that, after Yuki […]

Kemurikusa – 08/09/10

Welp, I don’t think I have taken that long break before since I started blogging. My life has been busier than usual lately and I also feel a little bit burnt out from blogging lately. Writing can be a pain sometimes. Hopefully this is just a temporary slump because I’m not intending to stop blogging […]

Dororo – 11 [The Story of Banmon, Part 1]

Lets skip the preamble this week and just dive in to Dororo! On this episode our plucky pair explore Daigo’s city, fight some fox spirits and get in a bit of a pickle. Lets go! Startin off, Dororo had some interesting visuals and colors this week. With the Fox Spirits and the Crazy Woman sticking […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 – 11 [Guidance ~Psychic Sensor~]

Hello and welcome once more to the Mob Psycho 100 blog, where I gush about Mob Psycho 100! This week see’s an old villains return, multiple defeats and more of Mob’s growth. Lets dive in! Now, at this point I feel like a broken record when talking about Mob Psycho’s animation. But the fact is, […]

Latest Reviews

A quick and dirty review of Garo: Vanishing Line

What it claims to be about: A secret order of knights and alchemists, the Makai Knights and Alchemists, fight horrifying creatures called Hollows who prey on human weakness .Part of the media franchise spanning anime and live action shows, this iteration is set in modern metropolis and concerns the attempts of Sword, the strongest Makai […]

Planetes Anime Review – 89/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 87/100

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 86/100

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018 Fall) Anime Review – 73/100

In the last few years, it’s great to see P.A Works has slowly created their own studio identity, putting more original works with consistent production values. Just in 2018, they produced 4 shows (quite a good number if you ask me), 3 of them were original: Maquia, Sirius the Jaeger and Irozuku. As I said, […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai Anime Review – 82/100

In the wake of many a school based light novel show this may be the small bits of fresh air was can savor out of this overdone setting. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl(Or by its japanese title above) is a series not about rascals or bunny girls but instead about contextualising common high […]

Banana Fish Anime Review – 72/100

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way […]