Posted on 25 December 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Sword Art Online



Um yeah. Sword Art Online. While it doesn’t beat Guilty Crown as “trainwreck of the year” for me, it still is a show I had very mixed feelings about. In order to explain why, I’m going to have to diverge a bit from my normal spoiler policy, though. I won’t outright spoil things, but I do have to say things about the plot progression here and what happens at certain stages. Because Sword Art Online has for me been the prime example of jumping the shark for the past half year.

Like Guilty Crown, SAO is what happens if you focus your series way too much around your male lead. Thankfully, Kirito is an actual character. A bland one, but an actual character, rather than a plot device. It’s nearly everything around him that’s a plot device instead though. The first half of the series however thankfully has enough to make up for it.

I mean the setting behind this show is fascinating: you’ve got an MMORPG that traps its own players. Wonderful! The despair of the people who are trapped inside it for an incredibly long time was great. A unique culture evolved that was really interesting to watch. Add that to great fight animation and a great climax, and you’ve got a very solid story. For the first half.

The show’s problems already shine through in the first half, but not bad enough. By far the worst issue I had was the harem element. Picture this: you’re on an mmorpg server. The females are in a big minority. And yet, nearly all of them end up falling for Kirito, the lead. He’s the first who truly cares about them when he meets them, he’s the first who makes them feel comfortable, even though he’s a completely antisocial guy. Yeah, this is wish fulfillment that is pretty thinly veiled. Kirito’s sole salvation here is that he actually ends up in a very good couple, and that the chemistry between him and the female lead actually works. The lead female is strong, and they complement each other quite well. The combination between action and romance works out quite well as the first half goes on and gets to its climax.

So yeah, the second half… it took about two episodes for me to completely give up hope on this series afterwards. That arc is just so inherently wrong on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to really start.

But imagine this: the bland male lead is happy in a couple. Then the female lead gets kidnapped for an entire season, and he starts flirting with his cousin (who he grew up with believing her to be his sister), leading to a completely pointless romantic quasi-incest subplot that doesn’t really go anywhere. Seriously, nearly the entire second half of this series is dedicated to just that, rather than the much more interesting other things aobut this series.

The second half is also littered with plotholes that this show just pulls right out of its ass, just to be more convenient and make the plot go as intended. It’s just too spoilery to go into details, but items appear from out of nowhere, the games in this series are riddled with design decisions that just boggle my mind, characters act irrational for no reason, and half the time this show doesn’t know whether it’s in a virtual world or not, which gets really annoying. Oh and the villain there. He’s one of the most stereotypical evil villains I’ve seen in a long while.

Thankfully this is an A-1 production, so the graphics look good and the fight animation is very creative. Yuki Kajiura behind the soundtrack is also solid, although with this series she really starts to reveal that she has run out of inspiration and that all of her music is just starting to sound the same.

Sword Art Online gets a lot of love. I don’t think that it deserves that. Sword Art Online also gets a lot of hate. And I also don’t think it deserves that either. Sure, its second half is pretty bad and all, but it does have its things to make up for it. Its setting has its traces of brilliance, and the first half was pretty solid there. Nevertheless. There’s better out there. It’s just too flawed to really recommend. The only thing I’m really angry at this series for is how it disrespects its female lead in its second half. That’s the one thing that I really find unforgivable. Apart from that the second half is just bad storytelling. Nothing more, nothing less.

Storytelling: 6.5/10 – Good build-up, but waaaay too many plot devices.
Characters: 6.5/10 – There are some interesting characters here, and the lead couple is quite good in the first half. This show completely disrespects the female lead in its second half by having her kidnapped, making her do nothing and have the male lead head off to a pointless incest subplot.
Production-Values: 8,5/10 – Great animation. It’s overall a very solid looking show at the very least.
Setting: 7.5/10 – The show gets some points for being interesting and having some really nice ideas. It loses points for not making any sense. Especially in its second half.

Suggestions:
– .Hack//Sign
.Hack//Roots
Amatsuki

Posted on 28 October 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

This show is starting to piss me off now. It makes no sense! My suspense of disbelief is gone! What the hell is it doing!?

First of all the details in this episode that made no sense: isn’t flying the core mechanic of the game? In that case, why did that blond girl (otherwise known as the cousin) not find it strange that there was this guy who was awesome at fighting, yet a complete newbie at the rest of the game? On top of that, the races are all supposed to be hostile to each other, signified by how that cousin and that friend immediately wanted to attack Kirito for being a different race. That’s nice and all, but what about everyone else? I mean I don’t know whether this has changed in the past few years… but there were a lot of assholes in online gaming who just basically attacked anything they could. This is not Sword Art Online anymore, so nobody dies or anything.

Second of all, there is a very big flaw in the core mechanics of this game. I”m referring to the main quest of this game, in which the world tree needs to be climbed. This episode heavily hinted that two races need to work together in order to get there. That’s probably another reason why Kirito is special, because apparently he is the first guy who will probably try that.

Now, there were a few years in which I played a lot of MMORPGs, and what really surprised me is that the creators overlooked the possibility of using multiple accounts. Like, just create a team of different races, and when the world tree is cleared everyone can just start playing as the race that got the wings.

Those were the plotholes. What pissed me off the most though, was the main villain. The really annoying thing is that there really is potential here: using gaming technolgy as it further evolves to more and more take control of people. There is so much awesome stuff you can do with that if you put some thought into that, but this episode comes and just turns it into an excuse to keep Asuna hostage. What kind of oversimplification is that?

I mean, this is like Fractale: the setting was fascnating. I’d still love to see a properly done series about a society in which touch is non-existant. But the points that the series decided to focus on… why?! My big problem with the new arc is that there still is very little to make it worth watching.
Rating: 3/8 (Mediocre)

Posted on 23 October 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

Before I start, I want to say the following: I’ve gotten tired of assholes right now. If you want to criticize the series, then be my guest. I’m doing that too. But from now on I reserve the right to delete any comment that insults people for liking or hating this series, and depending on my mood I’m going to ban the posters of those comments from this site. I want this site to be a place in which we can just peacefully discuss these anime. Not hate on each other for having different tastes.

Anyway, Sword Art Online: the new arc has really started now, and my suspense of disbelief is being tested like no other. I’ve got a background in computer science, and I just cannot believe some of the things that the programmers included here. Why on earth was half the game of Sword Art Online copied to that elf game? Who on earth bothered to transfer all that data. That doesn’t just happen by accident, you know? The most baffling thing is that Yui is suddenly back though. Not with her admin powers, but instead as a random program. She was supposed to be there for maintaining player’s mental health. She’s useless here because people can log out now. The image of what she’d be like in real life is just bizarre. Can you imagine being in a marathon-session of World of Warcraft with suddenly a cute little AI-programmed girl approaching you and comforting you?

The episode ended with that elf girl appearing, and Kirito kicking everyone’s ass now that his character still is the same. My impression of her is… “meh”, but that could be because we hardly got to see anything of her. This was all about Kirito getting the chance to impress another girl again by being at the right time at the right place again.

There is one good thing about this arc: it’s different. I like variety, but it’s a double edged sword. If you want to be different you of course need to also be good, otherwise this misses the whole point of variety. This arc furthermore has another big disadvantage: there is very little tension in the fights now that death has become a momentarily annoyance. The end of this episode for example: it made such a big deal of what? Losing a bit of experience?
Rating: 3.5/8 (Enjoyable)

Posted on 14 October 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

What the hell kind of episode was that?! No. Just, no. I’m beginning to fear that this series is heading in a very unpleasant direction here…

First of all: why the sister? Yeah, I know that she’s not a sister and actually a cousin and all, but that makes it even worse: it’s the same kind of twist you see pulled in all of those other bloody incest shows in order to pretend that it’s supposedly “okay”. I mean dear god: anime creators: most siblings out there can get along with each other just fine without any romance, you know? Why does every show with a brother and sister have to have romance between them!?

Second of all, you actually did it. I so kept hoping for the creators not to do it after all that sappy build-up but instead of killing off Asuna, she was just put on a bus. Completely changed from a strong female character to a plot device to get Kirito back playing the game, and she seems to be reduced to a trophy that he needs to save. So much for feminism there.

What’s even worse though was that completely unpleasant and nonsensical marriage subplot that was thrown in. I mean holy crap, what kind of sense does that make? Why won’t Kirito try to contact the police on that matter? I know that technically it can make sense, but it’s a completely disrespectful twist on Asuna’s part. Not to mention, how the OP treats her, shoving some kind of weird elf in her place.
Rating: 3/8 (Enjoyable)

Posted on 7 October 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

I must say, I had been spoiled by that thing with Asuna, but I did not expect this show to go so far already. For a midway climax, this felt more like it was the end of the actual series with all the things that happened here.

I actually like the twist of the creator also being a player of the game. It makes perfect sense, because if I made a game like this, I sure as heck wouldn’t want to sit around for two years doing nothing. His whole proposition of ending the game definitely lead to some interesting developments, giving Kirito the responsibility of 6000 people over just one fight.

After that followed a bit of an anti-climax. First with Asuna sacrificing herself, just like the build-up previously hinted at: every time there is a happy couple, someone will die to break it up. What? Is it that uninteresting to watch a healthy couple here? Well, this show apparently thought the same and pulled some deus ex machina so that Asuna didn’t die after all, and Kirito somehow was able to override game rules with his angst.

The whole talk he had with Asuna and the game creator at the end of the episode was very good again, and Kirito waking up was entirely awesome. That was the moment we’ve all been looking forward to, and it really paid off. The episode ended at right the exact moment: there was no cheesy runion, just Kirito limping through a hospital.

But really… how on earth are they going to follow this up? I mean after this, nobody is stupid enough to start playing these games again. Sword Art Online is dead now. What’s next?

Although, a killer idea would be to indeed drop the entire series, and instead focus on tracking down the creator of the game. I mean, it’s been two years and his servers still haven’t been found. His body still isn’t recovered. That really would be awesome. But knowing the nature of this game, it probably won’t go so far.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 1 October 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

Now I also understand why Asuna is so incredibly popular: she’s literally the only female in the army. Seriously: this episode had the largest party gathered that the army could muster, and she was the only female that I could spot. Is this normal, in MMORPGs? That there is like one girl for every 50 guys? That makes it even weirder for so relatively many of them to fall for Kirito by the way. With so many others they can choose from, I mean.

But I digress: this was a very good episode for Sword Art Online. Due to the fast-paced nature of this series the first half was completely different from the second. The first half was about fishing, the second about encountering a really, really strong boss. Not as strong as the one we saw last episode, but still one who decimated the army with no sweat at all. I’m not going to deny that: that was an awesome fight scene.

A strange side-effect of this was that the rather silly part about fishing also had quite some interesting animation. It really was something that I’ve been waiting for a long time now, because it just showed some people living their lives without all of the drama: they consented to the fact that they won’t be able to beat the game. There also finally was someone who talked about his life outside of the game.

Just one thing. Don’t you dare to pull the “Asuna dies”-card next episode. I mean seriously, this episode contained a lot of those cliched hints right before such a thing happens…
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 23 September 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

Oh come on, Sword Art Online. Are you really serious with this episode?

This isn’t Phi Brain, which has built itself up as being completely crazy.The setting you’re trying to build is a fairly believable one, so you really don’t get away with pulling such ridiculously stupid episodes like this.

So let’s see what all happened in this episode:
– The soldiers with no will to live of a few episodes ago came from the first floor and were sent there by this maniacal tyrant. Ok, makes sense.

– A woman who saw last episode’s display of swordsmanship requests Kirito and Asuna to help and save one of her comrades who is stuck in a cave without any weapons. This also is fair enough for a power struggle.

– When they arrive they find that he is trapped by some incredibly strong level 90 monster. First of all: why is that one guy still alive? Did the guy who took him there serve as a shield and did he find some sort of place to hide out in? I mean, that monster could have easily killed him in one swipe so I find that hard to believe. Also, what was that monster doing there, contradicting just about every rule established so far. There had better be some very good reasons for this. Also, why on earth did he take so long to warn Kirito&co. He started with that incredibly long greeting. Instead he could have yelled “watch out! Trap!”. And for that woman to not listen or even react to that was quite cringe-worthy.

– But the worst came when Yui suddenly pulled out god-mode powers and instantly deleted that thing. Let alone having her regain her memories at a very convenient time, the story of her being an AI monitoring program for player health just makes no bloody sense. Why on earth would you want to give her emotions like that? What on earth was the idea behind this? If people go crazy just show a cute young girl to her? What on earth?

– The biggest insult however was this: the story that Kirito and Asuna changed her because they shared some happy moments together. And apparently were the only ones in the ENTIRE GAME to do so. Are you really serious here? Are you really serious that they are the only successful couple in the bloody game? Did nobody else hook up? I mean heck. I knew that this show looked down upon the players that aren’t Kirito or cute girls, but I didn’t think that it was this bad.

– And Kirito, what on earth were you doing hacking into the server? How did you get a GM account, why didn’t you use this before and why are you powerful enough to override admin actions? Why did he know exactly what to do and why didn’t Asuna question this? And come on. The heart of an AI? Really?

For christ’s sake, if you’re going to have these twists, build them up or something. Hint that it’s possible. Don’t just randomly introduce them from out of bloody nowhere.
Rating: 2.5/8 (Disappointing)

Posted on 19 September 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

This episode made me realize something: there is this unwritten rule in Sword Art Online going on that everyone abides by: never talk about the life you had before you ended up trapped in the game. It’s like, everybody is too scared to remember those days and instead their lives turned to be just their lives in the world of Sword Art Online and nothing else. In .Hack//Sign in contrast, I actually loved how they dealt with this issue: most of the time the characters were characters in an mmorpg, and yet once in a while it would drop hints to their real identities. Now, I do wonder why Sword Art Online went with the route it took: to completely remove any life that the characters had before being trapped. I mean, nobody is reminiscing about those times. They only talk about getting out.

In any case, the new girl thankfully is different from the other girls in this series, in that she doesn’t immediately fall for Kirito. She definitely is the big mystery in this show and will likely be very important in solving everything. She’s got like “I AM MYSTERIOUS” written all over her, but with the right development she can bring a lot of good stuff to this series.

But come on, Sword Art Online. Stop using these overused cliches over and over. The scene in this episode that pissed me off was the one with the thugs. It’s something you see in a ton of different series, and I nearly always dislike how it’s done, and this episode was no different. It’s the standard type of scene that creators go for whenever they need some extra tension, but here it was completely pointless. The kids and the nun are likely never going to matter again after this and there would have been better points to show Asuna’s magic sword. I also always really dislike how stereotypically these thugs are portrayed. I mean, these guys are full grown men. I’d like to see a bit more detail on how they became that way, and who they are. Stop using them as excuses to make the main characters look cool.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 9 September 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

My memory with these kinds of things is not the best, but if I’m not mistaken, then this was the first time in which Kirito actually killed a person, right? I mean, not indirectly like what happened with that one guild of his, but in which he was actually forced to strike down and kill a fellow player. This episode was stuffed with character-development, of which that was only the tip of the iceberg: Kirito was forced to join a guild and he and Asuna officially became a couple (including the two of them sleeping together, which is something you rarely see outside of the outright porn shows). But I do feel that this episode was rather forced…

Kuradeel… I get why he was used, but I didn’t really like him before, and this episode did not change that. I mean, I like that he’d try something, considering that he hates Kirito quite a bit, but I feel that he also could have done that without the overacting. In fact, I think that the points in which the characters in this show go mental are hard to buy and annoying, and it didn’t really help that this was followed by a badly covered “I nearly killed you but because I like to talk to myself your ally arrived just in time to save you”-twist. If you’re going to go with a twist like that: at least deliver it properly, because to be honest, at this point I have pretty much been programmed to exactly point out the moment in which these twists happen due to how bloody overused they are. You could have shown this from Asuna’s point of view, perhaps. that would have spiced things up a bit, and at the same time it’d also show that she actually did something… other than look at Kirito on her personal map. A few weeks ago I complained that we saw her do very little guild-duties, and that’s a problem that still hasn’t really been fixed here.

The direction on was on other points really good though. I mean, ignore the hapless overacting and I got quite a few chills from how Kirito and that one guy were killed off. I also like how the creators succeeded in making the first night between Kirito and Asuna rather awkward. One complaint to this however is that things moved incredibly fast. I mean, the end of the episode moved right from sex to marriage in an instant. Wouldn’t it have worked better if the creators put some time between that?
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 2 September 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

This was actually really good. Thew best episode of Sword Art Online since the first, and the creators are starting to use the build-up provided by the earlier episodes. Due to showing these episodes first, at least we did get a good feeling of who the characters are, rather than jumping right in and this episode made really good use of that. I just have to ask one thing here:

Kirito, for god’s sake stick with Asuna. Become a couple. I really liked that part in this episode, however it will become rather pointless if he’s going to be flirting with another girl next episode. I mean, he can still interact with them and all, but I’d hate to see more and more girls falling in love with him. just focus on his relationship with Asuna. The problem with these earlier episodes was that they showed Kirito developing a relationship with a girl, then moving on to the next, and then to the next… and it just wasn’t written well enough to make all of them count. With more time given to Asuna however, they did a very good job of showing the relationship between them develop.

One thing I missed here was a look into the mindset of that one commander who just showed up from out of nowhere on a place he had no business being on. Him just charging into battle seemed very out of character based on the description that was given of him just a minute earlier. He would have been completely dead by now if he always acted like in this episode.

Oh, and Yuki Kajiura came with a background tune that sounds actually different from her previous works. It’s still choirs and strings like her trademarks, but the choirs were very different from the ones she used in the past few years, and just that touch gives these songs a very different atmosphere that to be honest, fits this show much better.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
I found their posts informative and sometimes even educative. Always learn something new every time I read one of their post
SuperMario
I know I have mentioned it here more than once in the chatbox, but it bears repeating that if you want to know more about the insights of anime industry and technical aspect of anime, go check out https://blog.sakugabooru.com/
SuperMario
@silver: in that case, I'll link you to the original source. Of course, all the credits go to the source as I was just merely paraphrasing what Kevin said in his post. https://blog.sakugabooru.com/2016/08/29/kizumonogatari-i-tekketsu-hen-oishis-story-part-1/
SuperMario
@silver: Shinbou didn't involve in H&C. Who Kaiser meant was Shinobu Morita, a character in H&C
silver
(con't) I've been considering it again because it shares a mangaka with 3-gatsu and she seems to write very good characters.
@Mario: I'll check out that post tomorrow. I've read some stuff about Shinbou describing his work with Shaft, so I'm glad to learn more about that.
silver
@Kaiser: I didn't know Shinbou was involved with H&C. O
silver
Monogatari appeals to me in a way I can't really enunciate despite the myriad gripes I have regarding its individual elements. Even the excessive fanservice feels appropriate in a story about adolescents and coming of age. Hidamari was a home run for me because the modern style and media diversity fit really well with the cast of art students.
silver
It may well be the folks working for Shaft who have the affinity for the unusual direction, but I haven't seen many of their works that he hasn't directed, so I always assumed that he was the orchestrator. A good chunk of those series derive from LNs, so I like the way heavy dialogue is handled. I can certainly understand disliking it both in style and substance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol imagine if Goddard wrote monogatari.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only haven't kept up with monogatari because there is too much to catch up on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At one point honey and clover was probably one of my favourite anime of all time, I loved Shinobu especially and I remember it hitting on every single emotional note it went for. I do recall the ending being unsatisfactory however.
SuperMario
@silver: I said it in more detail here (in case you haven't read already) about Shinbo's role at Shaft. http://psgels.net/2016/10/17/3-gatsu-no-lion-02-akari-beyond-bridge/
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember in the past getting a real kick out of hidamari, zetsubou sensei, paniponi and Arakawa. EF is the prettiest thing they ever did where the style never felt like a gimmick.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, and indeed Cossette was the latest anime that Shinbou directly directed. it was roughly 13 years ago
SuperMario
Regarding Honey & Clover, I've only read the manga (not even finished it and it was longggg ago) so I would love to watch the anime adaptation of it someday. Based on what I read H&C was a certainly worth following
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He directed Cossette no shouzou which I loved.
SuperMario
I can understand why 3-gatsu is the least Shaft-y work. The source material was very well-defined in term of arts and tone that if Shaft adapted it with more Shaft-style, it will stand out in a distracting manner.
SuperMario
@silver: I'm glad we both share the love for Shaft, but to be honest Shaft is a love-it or hate-it studio. I know both psgels and Aidan hate the Shaft with a passion, for example. About Shinbou, despite his name appeared as a director for most of Shaft's outputs, his real role is nothing more than supervising the projects. Long story short, he's directly involved in the Shaft's works.
silver
@SupeWoop: I'm glad Shinbou decided to diversify his techniques and cut down on the head tilts, cheap 2D animation, and other Shafty stuff. To me it shows that he's maturing as a director. Hopefully 3-gatsu will appeal to a wider audience with its more refined presentation. Take your time and enjoy! Episodic reviews are a laborious endeavor to which I could never commit.
SuperWooper
Hey silver, I'm the bum whose first 3-gatsu post will finally appear later this week. It's one of my favorite Shaft series, so we probably like different things about the studio's output, but I hope you enjoy the review when it gets published.
silver
@Mario: Thanks! I hope to catch up on S2 by then! Looking forward to it; it's my least favorite Shinbou Shaft work thus far, but I enjoyed last season despite finding chess boring and the show's lackadaisical pacing (it's a proper SoL indeed), I still enjoyed its characters. Have you seen Honey and Clover? I've passed on it a few times, but perhaps I should try again.
SuperMario
@silver: Wooper will takeover me on 3-gatsu this season, his first 3-gatsu post will come out propably on this wednesday. So stay tuned :)
silver
Mario, are you blogging 3-gatsu this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*poorly forcing
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that is one of the biggest advantages the show has for me, after being annoyed by so many shows ending up with tonal shifts and forcing cute designs into something more serious it is nice to see that girls last tour avoids that problem.
Amagi
My texts are always too long..
Amagi
It isn't enough to just say "look there is a dark subplot somewhere or a backdrop dystopia and we will get to it whenever it seems convenient". Last Tour is the opposite, it is moe, but the girls are part and product of the world they live in, + the cute and serious parts don't feel like two different series being glued together.
Amagi
Girl's Last Tour is the good type of moe show for me. There are many that have or pretend to have some serious undertone, be it some dystopian setting or politics or whatever. But the difference between the good and the bad shows is that the former are actually connected with their serious part in everything they think or do while the bad shows only use the other topic as cheap way to alure fans.
SuperMario
@Bokusen: I'm not sugarcoating it, but Houseki tends to be the title that split the audience. Give it a try at least. If you can tolerant the first three episodes, chances that you will enjoy the rest
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Now if only someone will translate the side story manga aswell.
KTravlos
Happiness! New chapters of Gunka no Baltazar!
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
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