Posted on 19 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, The Reflection

This week The Reflection continues on towards its finale. Finally all of our characters are in one place and raring for a fight.

Reflection starts off right back with the Idol group, being unable to decide between beef or fish. Apparently an episode named for the dilemma wasn’t enough. Reflection quickly cuts back to Elen and Steel Ruler though, in the street where we left them. A van pulls up and Elen quickly gets in, riding away with Steel Ruler and her group. Right behind them however is the Government woman and her squad, tracking them. I am curious if Elen knew about this and set it up, or if this is happening without her knowledge. I would also like to know what assurance’s Elen has that the hostages will be released, since she so meekly stepped into the van.

With Elen on her way, Reflection cuts back to X-On, Lisa and the Detective. Its very quiet as Lisa is “asleep”, X-On is brooding and the Detective is drunk. Its a pretty weird scene that hangs for awhile, panning from each character doing nothing. Suppose we deserve to know what everyone is doing right now. We cut back to Elen and see the Government Woman tailing her, very very closely. Its almost ridiculous, as no one could fail to notice them. Steel Ruler tells one of her lackeys, Conman we learn, to do something. We saw him in action briefly before, and it appears his ability is to cause illusions. He fills the Government truck with fake snakes and it almost causes them to drive off the road.  Unfortunately for them, the Government Woman holds out and takes control of the wheel, keeping them on the road.

With that plan foiled, Steel Ruler tries something else. Using the ability we have seen before, they begin to phase the car through buildings, driving as if they weren’t there. This allows them to completely ignore roads. However, somehow, the government managed to put a tracker on their car and through clever driving manages to keep up with them. Somehow in all this, the streets of LA are empty and not a single person sees any of this, but hey, budget concerns I suppose. Eventually Steel Ruler and the Government are driving along a large storm drain. With all of her previous plans foiled, Steel Ruler only has one thing left, raw power.

We see the Lightning man, from Vy and Michael’s first episode, leap out the back of the moving van. The Government smashes into him and goes flying, no doubt because of his electricity. As he approaches the wreck to finish the job, Vy arrives to hold him down. Its a quite fight, before the helicopters and such appear. He steps into the water and zips away, using his power intelligently. Before we continue however I have a quick question. If you had helicopters and that large a group, why not use them to track Steel Ruler? They clearly weren’t being stealthy about it already and a squad of helicopters is much more difficult to take down. If flown high enough they are also difficult to notice. It all seems rather poorly planned to me.

The helicopters arrive and take Vy and Michael away. We cut back to the motel and find it surrounded, with X-On and Lisa taken into custody. They are escorted to an underground base and briefed on the situation. The entire time X-On hasnt said a word, yet everyone here seems to know who he is, whispering his name as if hes Voldemort. We are given a quick repeat of a few scenes and some more explanation as to the Darkness and the “Brightstar”, but none of it is particularly interesting. During all this, we see Lisa and Vy wanting to leave, though for different reasons. Lisa just hates the whole situation while apparently Vy is being “drawn” to Steel Ruler/Wraith. Deciding that’s a good thing, X-On tells Lisa to let Vy go and she escapes through the ceiling. Apparently the military wasn’t prepared for giant robots and metal monsters.

Soaring through the air after Vy, they are seem by Ian who is driving along looking for more punks to smash. He diverts course to follow them, meaning he will definitely be at the upcoming final battle. While driving away, Ians fancy new car passes by the Idols school bus, marking them as finally being in LA. The episode ends with Elen arriving at a nice house and meeting evil Stan Lee. Apparently, Wraith is ready and waiting.

Not much happened this week, and little of what did was interesting. Lots of bad shots and weird directing, but the car chase at-least was nice to watch. A good amount of action and some nice animation. The Lightning Man in particular, with the flat blue shades, looked great. Most important of all this week though, the Idol group is final in place to actually do something. Will we learn their names? Maybe their powers? Will we get to see them do anything near what they have been hyped/built up for? Find out next week, on The Reflection.

Later.

Posted on 12 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, The Reflection

This week, The Reflection opens on a young girl with black hair, running through a ruined town. She clutches food to her breast and hides in a broken down car in some rubble. From the picture of her family to the trash lying around, we can assume this is her home. Later she walks through the bleak streets, everything around her sad and forlorn. As she looks to the sky, asking for help, we finally see her face and the scene cuts to last weeks end card. Elen and Steel Ruler, same skin and hair color as the little girl, stand apart on a street. It would seem we are going to start getting some backstory on our villains.

After the OP, we see a Reflected biker gang claiming some turf from a rival. As expected, super powers go a long way against normal people. As the conflict ends, a car approaches and I-Guy hops out. Wearing all black armor, Ian has transformed from Tony Stark to Batman between the two episodes. Still upset about his team, Ian has no time for these fools. Hes breaking bones and running people into the pavement, looking for Wraith. Nice to see there was real effect on him, but sadly this is all we get of him this episode. Instead, most of this week focuses on Elen and her relationships with those around here.

After Ian’s only scene, we cut back to Elen and Steel Ruler. A short chase scene ensues, with Elen using her ability to teleport and run away. Eventually, after some interesting metal bending scenes with Steel Ruler, Elen finds herself on-top of her opponent. Apparently, Steel Ruler is unable to kill Elen, as Wraith wants/needs her for something.

Throughout this whole thing, ham-fisted dialogue is being thrown back and forth, awkward pauses still occasionally there. During on of these exchanges, we get a flashback of Steel Ruler before the Reflection, after she had been mugged. Dying in the street, the black smoke falls on her and saves her, giving her the power she has today. Naturally, the first thing she does it kill the guy who knifed her. Once this is over, we get the core of why she is here. Wraith wants a trade, Elen for the swamp hostages.

To help Elen make a decision, Steel Ruler hands her a USB stick, said to have information on X-On. After some more back and forth, about how Elen can actually save people this time, they agree to meet again at dawn. Elen is quickly found by the government woman from episode 1, who has apparently been spying on them. During this Elen sticks the USB into a government computer, with absolutely no one trying to stop her, and opens it up. Inside are files detailing a laboratory explosion, with one survivor, presumably X-On. With this little tidbit though, we cut to our favorite idol group.

Really, these idols are doing nothing. We only have 10 second clips of them and no character development, we don’t even know their names. I have no idea how The Reflection is going to introduce them and make us care about them in the time remaining. Who even knows when they will finally meet our main team! All these little cuts do is distract us from the actual things happening to our main cast. If I cared about any of them besides Ian, it would infuriate me.

The pop idol group aside, soon Elen confronts X-On, who once again refuses to say anything. We know that the lab event couldn’t have caused the Reflection, as it happened 20 years ago, yet there isn’t much else to go on. Their little tiff over, X-On returns to their motel to talk about what has happened with the government woman and his detective friend. While they are talking, we pan over and see little Lisa wide awake, hearing everything. We cut one last time to the Idols, before seeing Elen step into the plaza with Steel Ruler. Cut to ED.

As it currently stands, there are few things to like about The Reflection. The story has its moments for sure and is clearly building to something, but the majority of the characters simply are not likable or very engaging. The few that are, such as Ian/I-Guy, get little screen time and the random cuts to the Idol group isn’t helping. With Elen joining the bad guys in exchange for the hostages, maybe we will get some more time with them. An opportunity to learn why they are doing what they do and to finally learn who Wraith is. Should that happen, The Reflection might end on an upswing. We shall see.

See you next week folks!

 

Posted on 5 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, The Reflection

For the first time this season, while watching The Reflection, time just flew by and the ending arrived with my noticing. This week, The Reflection stepped up its game. Lets jump into it.

Reflection opens up right where last week left off, with I-Guy bursting in through the ceiling. A short exchange of dialogue, and then the fight begins! There are multiple battles spread through this first half of the episode. I-Guy versus Dead Wing, X-On versus the Fire Witch and Lisa versus Steel Ruler. All in all some good stuff. Aside from some curious still frames when Elen is teleporting, this was the best animated episode yet. The fire during X-On’s clash. The metal from Steel Ruler when she was flinging cars around. It all looked very nice with the flat color style. Well done Reflection, though the projects from I-Guy looked rather out of place.

As the fights wind down Nina and Margaret, the old woman from Texas and her daughter, are caught by the unnamed man who can slide through objects. While being taken, Nina is teleported away by some unknown force and Margaret… dies. Unexpected to say the least. There is some quick dialogue between Elen and Steel Ruler before the former flees the scene, their job done. Meanwhile I-Guy is on his way back and arrives to have a chat with our heroes.

As it turns out, X-On is not happy. I-Guys performance turned the whole event into a mess and X-On calls him a lighthouse rather than a hero. This hurts I-Guy, the man who know only wants an audience. The whole thing spirals down into a quick fistfight between the two and what a fight it is. Short, only a few seconds long, but the animation here was great. X-Ons duck, I-Guys lazer, and then the burst of fire. The subsequent throw. It was easily the best animated shot Reflection has had this whole season. With Reflections artstyle, it looked great in motion. Now just give us that for a whole 30 seconds.

Animation aside, this punch shows us things are starting to crack among our heroes. I-Guy flies away pissed and we see later on Elen is getting fed up with X-Ons attitude. Both head off to spend some time on their own. Elen wanders a bit, but I-Guy, also known as Ian, heads on home. X-Ons words clearly struck him, as he grabs his guitar and heads out to perform on the street abit. We see once again his need for attention and recognition. We see some flashbacks of his career. His first demo, the success of his song, and let me say real quick here: I want all 3 versions of this song. During his time on the street though, Ian is confronted by a very mysterious figure, Wraith.

Wraith shows up and simply dumps money into his case, congratulating Ian on a job well done. She calls him a lighthouse, a fool, a “Hollow King”, parroting X-On a lot. Pointing out that he’s nothing without his team. She drives his inadequacies home, before disappearing. Ian runs back to his home after this, only to find something terribly wrong. His entire team, lay dead in their control room. This was completely unexpected. I wasn’t expecting anyone to die this season, yet not only did they kill Margaret, but I-Guy’s team as well. The red light flashes, tinting the entire scene, harsh black lines over everything. The art is used well here, it really works. Ian is the best-written character so far, and this is exactly the impetus he needs to better himself. The Reflection is giving us a hero’s journey for Ian and he isn’t even the main character!

All in all, a solid episode. I am excited for what is to come. Elen looks to be considering other options, Ian is preparing to go Punisher with a new suit and renewed drive and X-On is lost with nowhere to go.

Last week I mentioned how The Reflection was starting to feel empty with its episodes, but I can see now it was still working on setting itself up. It took awhile to do so and it wasn’t perfect, but we have a compelling story ladies and gentleman! See you next week!

Posted on 29 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, The Reflection

Hello everyone, apologies for the joint Reflection review, but driving 1400 miles from Texas to DC made for a busy weekend. I ended up late on episode 5 and just decided to bunch it an 6 together. Shouldn’t happen again and with that said, let’s jump into it.

Alot happened during these 2 episodes, of varying levels of quality. First, lets talk about episode 5. We start with an introduction to some of those staying with Merchant and Trader. As suspected, they aren’t selling Reflected, but rather protecting them. Some of the scenes here are odd, with the lack of eyes and the silence, but I get its purpose. After this we jump to Lisa, searching New Orleans for Elen and real Jazz. Sadly, she doesn’t find much good Jazz. Eventually she finds a bar, where the child Elen saved is playing however! A bar fight ensues and the child manages to get Lisa out of there.

Little did either of them know however, Steel Ruler and the Racist Cop from earlier episodes are meeting on a balcony. Looks like the Cop does have much love for Merchant and Trader. As we see later on, this is all building to a final confrontation. We cut back to Merchant and Trader, who we now learn are named Vy and Michael. We are gifted with some nice backstory for the two, revealing their abilities and how Michael is blind. Loving the handicapped cast so far. We get some exposition with Elen about the types of Reflected, and some warm words towards Vy. Sadly not everyone is having a good time right now, as we jump back to Lisa.

Turns out, people are still after her and the child. A truck comes by and swipes them up, taking them who knows where. Taken to a construction site, it looks like they are being interrogated about Michael and Vys location. The child, of course, spills the beans and reveals their location in the swamp. With this info, the Cops gather a group and head out. They get on their boats and head towards the swamp, where they are intercepted by Vy, Michael and Elen. What follows is one of the more disappointing fights i’ve seen. Vy has her armor destroyed quickly, Michael is useless and Elen is the actually the most useful for once. As well, in the middle of the fight Vy is miraculously cured and able to control her powers!

All in all a disappointing episode, and Reflection doesn’t do much better in episode 6. We continue investigating the Allen family, finding more and more are kidnapped. Along with that, everyone in the mansion got taken behind their backs. How? No idea, but it happened. We do get to see more of the Japanese Idol group though, as we transition from one burger scene to another. Looks like they have been fighting their own battles and will soon be having a trip to America. Suppose they had to get involved in the plot somehow.

For the rest of the squad however, they next stop is San Antonio Texas! Nice place, but expensive to live in. Just as they arrive and track down some Allen’s, Steel Ruler and her group of evil Reflected arrive as well. Battles over the Allen family members occur, with our group losing each one and public perception going down. One amusing scene in all this is Lisa’s inexperience though. She pops her robot in the middle of a crowded shop, unable to move without destroying it. Love it when characters aren’t immediately competent.

With all these losses, X-On decides to call in a favor to try and even the odds. He calls in Jim, a private investigator and a friend of his. In just a few seconds on his computer, he tracks down one last Allen. An old lady in a barber shop named Nina. Some old texan lady banter occurs, Nina refusing to budge, before eventually being taken anyways. Our heroes give Steel Ruler the slip and head off to California to find Nina’s daughter. Once they do however, they realize their mistake. Steel Ruler was using them to find this missing Allen and now wants her for herself. But whats that? Whats that song playing?! Its I-Guy, the best character in the show!

He smashes through the roof, challenges Steel Ruler, and we end on a cut of grimacing metal headpiece. Am I excited? Alittle. For the plot? Hardly. But I-Guy is back and we get some more great music and a better character.

All in all, some packed but ultimately empty episodes. There were many minor things I could have pointed out, but with 2 episodes in a single week and my tendency to write more than I should, I wanted to keep it short-ish.

Expect a single episode cover next week! Talk to ya later!

Posted on 15 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, The Reflection

The Reflection shows its strengths this week with strong character arcs, a deepening overall plot and some subtleties with its setting. Only thing left to fix is the frame count, but i’ve beat that horse to death, so let’s just jump right in.

Reflection opens up the episode right after the end of last weeks. X-On, Lisa and Elen sit in Elen’s pickup truck in the middle of nowhere. Not sure where she’s getting wifi from, but that’s a small matter. After some banter, where X-On once again shows himself to be a lovable jerk, we get to see what happened after they flew away. Turns out Lisa has a limit to her power, as they power down in mid air and plummet to earth! It’s a fun scene and makes Lisa seem a lot less powerful than she did before. Cutting back to the truck, Elen has found that the women of the Allen family are going missing across the country. Furthermore, each was hit by the Reflection. Apparently Wraith and our band of villains have a plan, kidnapping Reflected one by one. Their next stop? New Orleans. Let the race begin.

While they travel to the South, we jump over to best-man I-Guy who having a crisis of confidence in the West. Turns out he’s not some boy-scout, but a thrill seeker who only wants a stage. Saving people is not his priority, but rather getting seen saving people. While talking all this out with his crew, I-Guy learns of a gang gathering in a warehouse. Not one to leave such a meeting alone, he flies out and crashes the weapons deal. Rather than waiting the gang immediately shoot at I-Guy, which I appreciated, before being taken down. The real threat however is the sociopath businessman selling them the guns. Every blow explodes, marking him as a Reflected. Looks like we are in for a fight!

Or so I though. The fight ended as quickly as it began, as I-Guy grabs him and flies away! Dumping both of them in the ocean. Always one for flare I-Guy makes it another show, ending in a pose for the camera. From that pose we transition to a newspaper, which Ian Izette the man behind the mask of I-Guy, is reading. Ian is not a fan of how popular I-Guy has gotten, upset that people aren’t focusing on him and his song. Its interesting to see a man try to compete with himself. Im curious if Ian will give up on this and become I-Guy in full, of if the persona of I-Guy will start to take some hits. Either way its intriguing to see a man hate himself, while loving himself as much as Ian does.

To deal with this attitude, Ian decides to go out and write a new song! Only for his producer to shut him down, instead wanting to work with I-Guy. Upset and in a downward spiral from this, Ian visits a club and jacks the mic from the current band. He soon gets hit with stage fright and backs down however. Its an awkward and very vulnerable moment for the character, as he slowly falls apart. After running away however he reappears as I-Guy, blaring the song and being a true sky show. Even through his helmet he seems sad. We can see from this that Ian gains confidence from the armor, that he is afraid of being judged as Ian Izette the One Hit Wonder. I really hope this arc continues into future episodes and isn’t just a one-off event, as Ian is currently the most interesting character in The Reflection. Sadly that is all we get of Ian this episode as we jump back to X-On, Lisa and Elen, but I look forward to seeing him again.

Now in New Orleans, our group sets out in search of the Allens. Lisa is loving the trip, exclaiming how beautiful the ocean is only to have it pointed out as a lake. That was such an unexpected comedic moment for me, I actually laughed. Soon after arriving in New Orleans though the comedy dies down and we learn something is very wrong. Reflected, or refs as people here call them, are being kidnapped by a duo known as ‘Merchant’ and ‘Trader’. They kidnap and ‘scrap’ the Reflected, feeding into the racism of the city. Turns out when racism based on color is outlawed, the south will just find something else. We see this throughout the town even, as a group of children pick on another child who hung out with the kidnapped Reflected. Being the beautiful idiot she is, Elen can’t let this stand. She pops in, saves him, and pops out only to be quickly snatched up by ‘Merchant’ and ‘Trader’. Boy these guys are fast with interesting designs to boot!

X-On and Lisa later learn about Elen’s kidnapping, Lisa being determined to save her. X-On seems to not care, only to be guilted into it. Once again we see that our heroes are not perfect. Ian is arrogant, X-On is uncaring, Lisa is naive and Elen acts on a whim. Its good character moments as we head into what appears to be our first running arc. Elen wakes up in a fancy house out in the swamp, filled with what I can only assume are all of the kidnapped Reflected! ‘Merchant’ and ‘Trader’ are bad guys, posing as good guys! Kidnapping people to keep them safe in this swamp. I am legitimately interested to hear from these guys, their plans and ideals, to see where they go. They could side with our heroes or, since they want to defend Reflected, side with Wraith. They really are 3rd party right now.

All in all, a plot packed episode. Characters got fleshed out, the story progressed and everyone has their own goals and are actively heading towards them. The only complaint I have continues to be the animation quality/frames. Its a shame that so many people will write this series off because of this issue.

At least we who watch it to the end will have something they wont. Japanese pop-idol magical girls, which got hinted at through the entire episode. My body is ready Stan Lee, don’t disappoint.

Posted on 8 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, The Reflection

Another week and The Reflection continue to improve. This week we get introduced to another character, more information on the Reflection and more stylish action. Lets dive in!

We open up right where we left off last episode, with Elen investigating the mysterious individual known as ‘Wraith’. During her search, she finds something and X-On appears over her shoulder! Curious how he got there. Has it been a day? Same night? Didnt he leave last episode or did she call him there? Confusing to say the least, and the silence as Elen clicks on the computer makes the scene rather akward in places. We soon hop into the OP on the image of a cloaked figure on a security camera. No doubt this is the enigmatic Wraith, the villain of our series?

Once the OP wraps up, we head back into Elen’s apartment. Presumably this is after X-On has left, after a few days have passed so she could research. Being oblivious to her environment, Elen fails to notice her entire apartment is on fire until she touches a hot soda can. I’m no expert, but I don’t believe fires work like that. Oddly, X-On is outside when this occurs. Either this is the same night as episodes 1 and 2, or he’s psychic. Considering they talk about Dayton, I believe this is all the same day and The Reflection is simply failing at conveying what is actually going on. After a brief argument, X-On agrees to take young Elen with him to Dayton in search of Wraith, if only because she has a car.

Before heading to Dayton, there is a brief interlude as our Japanese Idol group is getting interviewed. For some reason, these scenes are actually some of the most interesting. The still speaking scenes work well with The Reflections art and the voice acting sounds very natural. With them being a thousand miles away, I am legitimately curious how this idol group will become relevant to the story. They arn’t the only ones getting interviewed though.

We next cut to Lisa, the character the episode is named for, being interviewed just like the idol group. Makes me believe there is a connection, if only between the purpose of the interviews, but its a nice cut. Lisa says little here before we cut to X-On and Elen in the car, but only a few minutes of exposition laden banter later, our heroes collide! Quite literally in this case, as Elen almost hits the wheel-chair bound Lisa with her car. We learn a lot in these scenes, even if its thrown at us unabashedly.

We learn that the Reflection, the even that dolled out super powers and killed people, came in 2 forms. Green light and black smoke. Green light changed people internally, giving people like X-On and Elen their powers. The black smoke however changed people externally, resulting in people like the Lizard-man and the Water Skeleton. Apparently this smoke also effected their minds, causing them to become violent, making those hit by the smoke the obvious bad guys for our story. Simple but its good to get some more explanation of the even, fleshing it out as the season goes along.

Going back to Lisa, I have to call out Stan Lee. This is pretty lazy. Lisa is almost a carbon copy of Barbara Gordon from the Batman comics. A woman, trapped in a wheel chair, with an obsession on superheroes. Her father is even a cop, just like Commissioner Gordon from Batman! Similarities aside, Lisa is taking her condition better than Barbara Gordon. She competes in sports events and refuses to let her father coddle her. Its good to have a strong disabled character, who get little representation in anime. Lisa and her father wrap up their scene and we jump back over to X-On, who tracked someone to a junkyard. Surprise, its female Magneto! Another surprise, X-On isn’t stupid, has he points out a junkyard isn’t the best place to fight someone who can control metal. A rather dull fight, but an improvement in frame count once again.

What hasn’t improved though is the music, or in this case the lack there of. Aside from ‘Sky Show’, the best song of this season, there has been next to no background music. Nothing exists to augment the scenes. Lisa and her fathers kidnapping hits very weakly because of this, as there is no buildup. It just… happens. At least the kidnapping itself is interesting though, as the villains also bring out a new character. Apparently Lisa is a Reflected! Not surprising, but the villains strategy to use her powers is. They want to force her, through trauma, to awaken her powers and no doubt attempt to recruit her. Not a well thought out plan, but points for trying. As it is, the whole event seems almost comically designed to force Lisa and X-On/Elen into a team.

Once our heroes arrive on the scene, a quick fight breaks out and before I go any further there is one thing I want to talk about. You see the picture above this paragraph? That’s Putrid, a new villain. The man splits in to and turns into a crushing machine. That was the most unexpected thing to occur all season for me, and shockingly enough the art style and CGI make it work. Its still comic book levels of stupid, but visually it works. However he isn’t the only person with a power suited to the art style, as Lisa crawls to her chair and transforms into a giant robot! You read that right folks, The Reflection is actually a mecha anime. Jokes aside, it doesn’t look to bad. In most other styles such obvious CG would look out of place. With this rotoscoped style however, it only looks a little out of place. Some really fluid metal animations and a quick fight later, our heroes peace on out. We close on them flying into the horizon.

All in all a dull, but necessary episode. It setups up the larger story, introduces some more characters and explains some more about the world. The fight at the end had a noticeable up-tick in animation quality as well, which is a good sign. With any luck, our main cast will be introduced and we can leap into our first major arc soon.

Until then, this was Lenlo with Star Crossed anime news. See ya next week!

Posted on 1 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, The Reflection

The Reflection returns, with more frames, some much needed exposition and lovable characters!

It starts 3 years ago, as the Reflection flashes across the globe. Green rain(?) falls from the sky, people all across the world fall unconscious or die to this event. Those that survive, gain powers never seen before! Both the music and the art style do alot to set the mood here, the comic-like art standing out. The animation is still weightless in certain places though, as the falling people all look like dead weight. There’s no momentum behind anything. At lease we get some backstory before hopping back to the present, or near to it at least.

Our story picks up immediately before the events of the first episode, with the assumed President of the United States (Did the flags give it away) giving a speech about the Reflection. He is rudely interrupted by the fiery woman from last episode, who takes the stage to bring attention to her people. Those being the Reflected, those who survived the event 3 years ago. While I am concerned how she got that close to a public figure so easily, I love her animation. The style of the series, when animated properly, really is striking. As her speech progresses, no one moves to stop her, but we do see I-Guy fly through the sky. While there are still a lot of still frames, they added more to the scenes that required it which is all it needed. Praise be to Stan Lee!

Speaking of Lee, I was expecting him to show up in the series, but not as a villain. Using his psychic powers I assume, he coordinates the team of villains. Their plan it seems was to set a trap for X-On, to get him out in the open. To bad they didnt plan on I-Guy. For the next while we get alot of reused scenes and some new ones, all with X-Ons inner monologue. The animation on his fight with Mr.Kung Fu was nice, it had more impact than most shots. After a quick recap we pickup where we left off in episode one, in the Stalker Girls apartment.

We get a lot of X-On in this scene, which is good. His personality is like if Spiderman had more of an attitude. I quite like him. He gives us some information on another character, Wraith, who I feel we will meet soon. Next we get some time alone with I-Guy, another charming personality. They guy is quality, like Tony Start without the demeaning attitude. The singing, the costume, the song, LA, everything about him screams performer and he clearly loves a good show. As seen by his time on the plane, the guys a goofball. He got so nervous from his first fight he puked! As with X-On we are treated to some repeat scenes with his voice over, lazy but they do seem to have more frames this time.

After that, we meet some of his team. Apparently they are all showboats, just like I-Guy. The best part of this sequence though is that we learn all of those effects with the screens actually occurred! It was a legitimate show! Nice touch, I really like these people. Sadly we get yet another flashback, its only purpose to show us what I-Guy was doing during the Reflection. The scene could have been shorter and gotten the same information across. After that, more scenes of I-Guy, this time stopping a robbery. Multi-Armed guy is a bit, crazy, but we get to see more and more who I-Guy is.

Finally, we end on a clip of the group of girls we opened episode one with. The idol group that does the ED most likely, who apparently have a bigger part to play. No doubt they were also hit by the Reflection and have decided to create a pop idol super hero group! Could work. Could crash horribly. Not much happened this episode sadly, but we saw the improvement we wanted and got the exposition we needed. One thing is for certain though, I will be sorely disappointed if I don’t get a new I-Guy logo picture each episode.

See ya next week! Excelsior!

Posted on 24 July 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, The Reflection

Its a bit late in the season, but The Reflection is just getting started. Sadly, it feels like more time in the oven was yet needed. Thought up by Stan Lee and directed by Hiroshi Nagahama, lets dive right in. Because of the substantial difference in quality between them, I am going to break this first piece into 3 sections. Those sections being Art, Direction/Animation, and Story/Characters, so lets dive right in.

Art

If there is one thing Reflection does right, its the art. The style is unique, minimalist and reminiscent of comic books. Lots of bright solid colors with no shading, thick black lines and 3D/Rotoscoped backgrounds. In stills and quieter scenes its quite striking. Simply look to the opening lantern scene for proof of that. Director Nagahama, his prior work including Mushishi, once again brings a unique style to a season. It reminds of Ping Pong, which had a similar comic-like style yet much more faded colors.

Because of this unique, simplistic style, the animators can also use 3D to very good effect. Very similar to games like Borderlands, this comic book style allows for cell shading and rotoscoping on the 3D buildings. The 3D lanterns in the opening scene, and later the buildings while I-Guy soars through the air all look like they belong. They fit with the art and the world, unlike most 3D in 2D anime. If nothing else, Nagahama deserves recognition for what is no doubt an iconic style. If the animation was better, Reflection would be a standout of the season in this respect.

Direction/Animation

Having mentioned it, lets focus for a moment on the animation. Wow. There are things worth praising here but far more to criticize. To start, there are a lot of interesting ideas put into practice here. The opening lantern sequence was beautiful, the 3D lanterns making full use of this art style. Then there was the spin transition, with all of the monitors becoming turning into a space-scape. I re-watched that particular sequence numerous times, because it looked quite special. With this minimalist art style, animation should look fluid and easy to follow. Sadly, shots like these were in the minority and it was anything but fluid, edits and still shots littering the field.

This opening episode was plagued with questionable edits, motionless animation and less frames than your average power-point presentation. It moved at the speed of a glacier. There was a full one minute segment where there were perhaps 5 frames. This caused a number of scenes to look jumpy as there were few smooth transitions between frames. This low frame count also gave almost 0 impact frames, leaving blows between Hero and Villain feeling weightless. A manhole cover floated through the air like it was styrofoam. Couple that with multiple still shots, jumping from face to face, and you would be alone in thinking the episode was buffering. I can only think Nagahama erred to far on the comic book side of “Animated Comic book”.

Story/Characters

With everything in Reflection screaming “comic book” at us, no one should be surprised by the comic book story we have. There was little mention of the over arching story for most of the episode, Nagahama possibly going for the “Show don’t tell” method. What we do manage to learn however is that it has been 3 years since an event called “The Reflection” took place. Now, suddenly, villains and costumed heroes have appeared in public with few having any idea why. The government however apparently has their hands in it, with an official coordinating with X-On and I-Guy. The villains apparently have their own organization as well, as those captured in the first half are set free in the second. This alludes us to some over-arching plan, with some characters comments leading me to think this will be a Magneto/X-Men style story.

I say this because of the sort of racial tensions that were said to be popping up between the Reflected and normal people. In the X-Men, another Stan Lee comic, the villain Magneto constantly pushed for Mutant superiority of regular humans. The Villains in Reflection give off very similar vibes to this story wise, but we will have to wait and see. Hopefully the animation in this episode was a one-off. We still have the rest of the season to go after all.

See you next time folks, and as Stan Lee says excelsior!

Posted on 14 July 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, The Reflection

For years in the anime community there has been a question about what exactly qualifies as an anime. Many argue that anime specifically means animation made and produced in Japan alone by the Japanese. Others argue that anime is shorthand for animation and thus should be extended to western inspired pieces such as Avatar the Last Airbender, Teen Titans and RWBY. But what about those in between? What about pieces created by the West but produced by the East? It is in this middle ground that Stan Lee’s The Reflection lies. The Reflection doesn’t being airing until July 22nd, and because of its unique position, I thought it would be good to take a look at it. To take the opportunity to talk about what The Reflection is, where it’s coming from and what we can look forward to in this upcoming season.

To start, lets introduce out key players, Stan Lee, Hiroshi Nagahama and Studio Deen. I find it difficult to believe there is someone in this day and age who doesn’t know about Stan Lee but here is a quick primer. Stan Lee is the man who brought us Marvel Comics and is basically the father of western comics, with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko the artists at his side. With the recent advent of Superhero movies, Stan Lee is back stronger than ever and is preparing to make another foray into anime. His previous works in the east include Heroman and the Ultimo manga series made in conjunction with Shaman King creator Hiroyuki Takei.

Next we have Hiroshi Nagahama, a longtime Key Animator and Director. Nagahama started out at Madhouse before eventually going freelance. On his own he worked on the design for Revolutionary Girl Utena and began doing animation direction for Ojarumaru. Eventually, he came to direct his own critically acclaimed pieces such as Mushishi, Detroit Metal City, and The Flowers of Evil. Today, we are fortunate to have him directing The Reflection.

Finally, we have Studio Deen, a place many of you know well. Studio Deen is one of the old hats in animation and have been doing it as far back as the 80’s with pieces such as Angels Egg and Ranma 1/2. More recent examples of their skill include Log Horizon Season 2, Hetalia, and one of my personal favorites Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu. With recent quality like that and the heavy hitters as mentioned before, The Reflection has a good baseline to start from. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much information on how these three came together, but no doubt after his time with Bones working on Heroman, Stan Lee has a few contacts in the industry for The Reflection.

With its pedigree laid out, lets take a look at The Reflection, coming to simultaneous distribution July 22nd. As expected with Stan Lee, we are looking at a Superhero story, though this one is more along the lines of My Hero Academia than Superman. Our story begins with an event called The Reflection (early title card!), after which many individuals all over the world are discovered with super powers. These powers range from our hero Xon who can copy and stockpile other peoples powers, I-Guy who can generate a concussive blast with his voice and Deadwing a man turned bat who fights with ultrasonic waves. With these powers some naturally choose to use their powers as villains, so of course heroes must appear to oppose them. Over the course of this conflict we will no doubt learn about The Reflection, what caused it and if there was a deeper plot behind it.

With Stan Lee as the creator, the man who has made some of the most loved comic book characters in history, and Nagahama as the director, with his experience from Mushishi, I expect we will be treated to more than your average super hero fare. The Reflection has yet to receive a rating and will consist of one cour, airing on Funimation and Crunchyroll starting July 22nd at 11 pm. Be sure to check it out!

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
A question: Do we need to watch Mahoutsukai no Yome OVAs before watching its first episode?
SuperMario
@Amagi: they better have a second season. The way it ends now I don't even have any motivation to write a full review. I'm not really optimistic over it having a second cour because if the producers were confident about its chance, they would've greenlit it already.
Amagi
@SuperMario: Seems like the official radio confirmed PriPri might get a second season if the BD and/or game sales are good enough. - BD sales seem to be around 7k at the moment, but it looks like many only ordered them now, after the last episode, so it might be more.
KTravlos
@Aidan. Oh I did. Thank you for reminding me. I will write the review.
AidanAK47
@Travlos, Just in case you missed it, there is a reply to you earlier in the chatbox.
KTravlos
Kakeguiri also ended. In the end the anime original ending was not really an ending, but just a fan pleasing excursion. The integrity of the manga story remains. It was a good adaption, and I liked it as it brought to life the parts of the manga that make it interesting to me. Also a great Opening and Ending. Good show.
KTravlos
And to sum it up. I think this was a great series. All its episodes were good.
KTravlos
I actually am ok with the PP ending. The 12 episode series is self contained. Sure there are many future potential stories to pursue, but I felt there was enough closure to make the series a good series. This is because the next step of the narrative is really so long term as being more LOGH material than PP (the story of the ascension of Princesss to the throne, and then the story of her reforms)
Lenlo
Alright, I found the read more tag. Now my tendency to write more than I should will be contained.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Got to play catch-up but I am guessing it was very much a non ending?
SuperMario
Gosh, is that how Princess Principal end?
SuperMario
@KAiser: I really have a mixed feeling watching Assayas's films. I always find his works toe touch into pretentious area. Still have much more films from him I want to watch though so that opinion might change
SuperMario
@Kaiser: As Tears go By surprised me a little considering how straightforward it is. It's Wong's most by the book HK romance but it was one of his most commercial success. After this, the studio allowed him to do things he like and that was when he gone banana with his styles
SuperMario
not a fan. Can't even tell the difference between turtle and tortoise
Anonymous1420257
i like turtles
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I hadn't expected some of the dry/dark humour in sils Maria, I liked the themes/aging angst and its comments on hollywood in parts even if it needed to go a bit deeper. Stewart is a revelation in it. That X-men parody scene was fucking funny lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I actually kind of liked As tears go by. Mostly because of my experiences with hong-kong action flicks, much as I like John Woos films, the melodrama he tries to sell between the action never worked for me and left me just waiting around for the action to come round again. Wong was able to put genuine emotion into the hong-kong action film with this one.
Amagi
@Aidan: Somehow. The problem is rather Haruki anyway and it's canonically part of her character. Kei becomes more likeable IMO and the events get much more complicated and/or serious plus there are a bunch of characters getting added to the protag team which makes the whole thing more dynamic. The best comes when some other character joins around the middle though.
Anonymous1416115
Personally, I can digest the emotionless dialogue in the first place since I watch the series with the mindset that the main characters are innately "broken" in some ways.
Anonymous1416115
@Aidan Hmm...one might consider the emotion level increases in main characters' dialogues for Sakurada Reset as baby steps depending on how dramatic one expects a character to act in other animes. (The emotions increase do exist though) There are certainly emotional scenes and characters do develop in ways where one can't just say they're 100% robots.
AidanAK47
@Travlos, If you so wish then you can write a review for Bahamut virgin soul. Just let me know if you are up for it. If so I recommend writing it up on google docs, then when you have it done I can give your account contributer status and you can paste it into a post for us to look over and publish on the site. For screenshots our standard size is H240 X W138.
AidanAK47
Did they ever fix that emotionless dialgoue issue they had going on?
Anonymous1415748
You are not alone. The second half of Sakurada Reset made me so glad that I stuck with the series.
Amagi
Oh and I totally forogt Reset ended now too. Not sure if I am the only fan of that but the whole second half was one of the better things I've seen this year.
Amagi
Okay now thinking three others came into my mind, but that's still not much. A lot of series started interesting and turned out mediocre or cheap after a while.
Amagi
Considering that I love Made in Abyss, PrinPrin, Fate/Apo (so far) and 18if too guess this season was better than I've expected. 2016 was kind of a let down imo, animewise. Off the top of my head I only remember Rakugo, Fune wo Amu and Bokudake I think.
Amagi
I didn't expect to like Virgin Soul as much as I do. Especially the last ~5 episodes got me. The weird thing is that I was disappointed by S1 actually.
SuperMario
@Travlos: I don't mind if you do a guess review on Virgin Soul, but let's me check with other admins first.

On Virgin Soul, I'm not sure if I like the bew development. It suddenly does a 180 degree turn on King Charriot, which I don't feel rewarding.
KTravlos
Kakegurui will have an anime original ending. It might be better than the ongoing manga. We shall see. An enjoyable foray.

Virgin Soul is going for a nice explosive ending. If no one writes a review, I would be willing to write one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*kind of
Kaiser-Eoghan
While its very much in the shadow of the first and the protaganist started out kind annoying, I kind of got caught up in the spectacle and sentimentality of gunbuster 2.
KTravlos
Urasawa is preparing a new manga
KTravlos
yes the episode where Julian watched the documentary was fun. The Caligula like character comes from one of the lesser episodes of the series, when Kircheis beats up some rebelling third rate noble in the Empire.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Goddammit, fail, it just changed the colour of the login name...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I declare in the red truth that the next anime I shall watch is Diebuster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From what little I saw, I remember a Caligula like character in one episode.
Anonymous1409409
I remember there's an episode where Julian just goes on Space Netflix and just watches a documentary. I actually liked that lol
KTravlos
yup, a LOGH that run like the Altair anime would be bad. It needs to show the sweep of history
AidanAK47
@Anon, I actually liked that aspect. It made the history of the world feel real.
Anonymous1409027
It's compressible, as there are many episodes of buildup, but that's where so many of the interesting details and depth of planning become evident. Some of those episodes read like a history textbook though, so we'll see how the new adaptation handles them,
Anonymous1409027
*pleasantly
KTravlos
Tytania was ok.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the Amakusa Shiro reference in the fate review, I've seen a film about him from the 50s , theres also an old josei manga where the protagonist ends up becoming essentially regarded as him.
KTravlos
Hi Kaiser. Supposedly this is a re-imagining of the original story. Thus independent of the OVAs (old serieis). What exactly re-imagining means is something I and you do not know. We shall see. But it does mean that you do not need to watch the old series to enjoy this one. The OVA was definetly more expansive than the novels. So my guess is they will stick to the novels.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's another anime, called Tytania based on his novels but I haven't seen that series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As in condensable in the way nothing much is lost? I assume there are fillers in the original?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm indifferent to the aesthetics of the new version. What I'm hoping for is that it will be accessible to newcomers and that I'll be able to jump on to the old series where the new one leaves off. I've seen very little of the original and it was a long time ago, is there any way the story is condensable?
KTravlos
The fact that they stayed away from the disgusting new manga is great. I am not too keen on the CGI ships, but they also did not rankle. It looks like it will honor the spirit of the old series, and I cannot ask for more. I am a massive LOGH fan. And the new video out gives me hope of revisiting one of the greatest sci-fi/historical settings out there. I am happy.
AidanAK47
I hope they are using the old anime as a base and not the new Manga adaption. As that Manga adaption is seriously lacking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I like that they blinged up the space battles which is good because those things could get tiresome. But I really hate the design of Yang Wenli. They made him look so much younger and bishi. I don't think i could take this guy seriously if he started one of Wenli's signature hypothesis.
Anonymous1408919
Thoughts on that new LOGH PV? My expectations were low, so I'm presently surprised. Obviously they made everybody pretty boys, and Mamoro Miyano is voicing Reinhard I believe. But art and animation actually looks pretty decent overall. It's a PV, and LOGH's best quality is it's story and characters, so we'll have to see if they remain faithful or not. But it's nice to see it get a visual overhaul.
AidanAK47
By the way this site has the first chapters but check the other versions to find them.
http://mangapark.me/manga/tsurezure-children-wakabayashi-toshiya
AidanAK47
@Mario, Indeed. It's also a pity that over half the couples in the manga were not featured. We only got a small taste of Patricia.
SuperMario
Or maybe I'll try to read the manga. The last time I checked it online, the site doesn't have its first few chapters
SuperMario
@Aidan: man, Tsurezure Children sure is sweet. Really sad to see it ends
AidanAK47
So that's the end of Tsurezure Children.
....I'm gonna need a second season. Now.
....NOW GODDAMNIT! NOW!
KTravlos
As I said I understand the criticisms to RE:Creator, but ultimately I enjoyed most of the show. It could had been better, and it is a missed chance. But I have seen worse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I gave up halfway through, there weren't even enough action scenes and those that were didn't justify waiting around for.
AidanAK47
Could have at least delivered on the action but that was rendered pointless due to the majority of the cast turning good and Altair being a complete cheat character.
AidanAK47
It would have been really fun to see characters discuss their stories with their creators or indulge in what our world has to offer but they really glossed over that part.
AidanAK47
It really should have gone deeper into the whole meta aspect introducing anime characters to the real world. Like they did with Mamika's powers being ridiculously destructive when outside a kid friendly setting.
AidanAK47
@Puran, I at least like the message of the final episode. But as for the show itself it was just missed potential on a lot of levels. I wanted Anime Genre battle royale and instead got a secondhand Shirobako with a crap shounen anime attached.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have been forgiving of Anno as I've gotten older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also just re-watched gunbuster, I'd previously dismissed the ova after a few episodes when I was a teenager, I'd found it too slow, didn't have that issue with the 90 minute version I just finished. I've never see the sequels.
Lenlo
Ill have to finish Creators... at some point
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been dipping back into the Lupin franchise, Gold of babylon was particularly screwball, kind of ridiculous comedy caper/adventure thing you just have to run with....turns out it was directed by a live action filmaker I especially like who made bizzare noir films in the 60s.
Puran
So that explains why Meteora had so much air time in Re:Creators. It's her story....

I hated the ending and I disliked the anime overall.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was a genuine surprise to see that Assayas decided to make a film framed around hentai =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I loved how incoherent demonlover was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The criticisms I'll give wind river, is a slight inconsistent performance from Renner and that very awkwardly inserted flashback scene.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: on Wind River, I agree it's a well-executed case of the week drama, although there are some plot pregressions that I don't get (how did they find out about the man's corspe again?). About Demonlover, man, the film gives me a chill down my spine. Heartless. And a bit misogynist.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: as much as I loved Wong (yeah I too prefer him over Malick), sometimes I do think Western cinema give him too much praise that sadly overshadow other Asian directors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wong is important to me as a hong-kong filmaker, he offers something entirely different from the whole Woo/Lam Hong komg movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On a more positive note Maggie Cheung did mention that she felt her early work with Wong was when she first truly became a proper actress.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I had no idea he had such a sad background.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*investigation drama
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that film also marked/ signified a rather sad period of Hongkong showbiz. Leslie Cheung badically lived the live of the protagonist and commited suicide in 1997. His girlfriend on screen, during the filming, was kidnaped, raped and taken topless picture. The damnest thing is that everyone knowed the culprit but did nothing, and in the press it was just deemed as "kipnapped and assaulted"
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wind river was a big surprise for me, just goes to show that with the right execution an ordinary police drama movie can be elevated higher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thats the interesting thing, tracking a directors career.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just binge watched the new dominion tank police ovas , admittedly these are kind of reptitive and extremely silly but its hard to hate on something so shamelessly fun that made me feel like a child again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you said it there. DoBW is rather raw and unpolished but that's one of the reason why I am drawn to it more compare to his other works.
AidanAK47
In all honesty, it would be nice to finally see a continuation after fusion as all games after that have just been adding chapters in-between.
Vonter
Finally I wonder, if Metroid Prime 4 will definitely branch out of the main Metroid's continuity. It's curious how an interquel subseries is still going to add things in between the first and the second entries in the main franchise.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - I think is nice we can see both takes. Especially since neither one despite a few qualms are still very solid entries for this franchise. I just hope Metroid moves forward, as IMO this is the only game that really needed a facelift do to the heavy limitations of the gameboy. And I hope the secret gallery at the end is teasing how the producer plans to move the plot forward.
AidanAK47
I thought it might be like that but it's good to know they are at least on a close level. I didn't really want Samus Returns to replace AM2R as the "Definitive" version of Metroid 2. Mostly because a lot of love was put into AM2R andit came at a point when it felt Nintendo didn't give a crap about Metroid.
Vonter
Like Zero Mission there's something added to Samus Returns but I'll just leave it at that.
Vonter
I think both have strong points. Samus Returns have better boss battles, gameplay mechanics and more intense action pieces. AM2R IMO has more atmosphere, takes advantage of elements Nintendo don't even try like the Federation subplot, and the ending portion narratively has more heart in AM2R, while in Samus Returns it feels mostly like "the final level".
Vonter
I also did got lost a couple of times in Samus Returns and aside from the big water section in AM2R, the latter is more linear game.
Vonter
I think the controls in Samus Returns bring more to the table though. The 360 aiming makes for better ways to shoot enemies and some of the bosses take advantage of that. If it weren't for the 3DS giving hand cramps because you're holding L and R at several points it'll be completely the most ideal way to play.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - AM2R is very good, I think it has the advantage that because it uses sprites IMO backgrounds and enemies are more vibrant and easier to appreciate. The Federation soldiers are better executed in AM2R and that secret section with the ship is very eery.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, How does it stack up to AM2R? I bought it and am still waiting on it to be delivered but I have the feeling that AM2R would be the better game when comparing.
Vonter
I took me 12 hours to 100% and I've heard the best ending is beating it in less than 4 hours. I think unlike Zero Mission item percentage don't matter, it's mainly to unlock an art gallery.
Vonter
My main criticism is this being a 3DS game. Small enemies can be hard to see or appreciate. And I think the 3DS wasn't made for heavy action packed games like this or Smash Bros. I got the rubber from the circle pad come off in two occasions. Also unless there was something big in the background, several areas felt lacking in detail. Still Samus and the bosses look good.
Vonter
In terms of difficulty, the game has the enemies packing more damage than in other 2D Metroids. Is difficult in the sense than you can't tank damage as in other iterations, you have to be aware of enemy behavior and bosses mainly get easier do to familiarizing with their patterns, since I did die a lot each time I faced a new boss. And got used to kill them faster as I went along.
Vonter
Ok, so I beat Samus Returns. It's quite good. Unlike Fusion that had dialogue at midst the gameplay. Samus Returns only has a prologue of exposition and any cutscenes mainly accentuate the reactions of Samus confronting a new enemy. The level design is dense, despite having isolated areas like in Fusion and the original Samus Returns, each area is very mazelike.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: =< Awww I kind of like demonlover actually despite all its flaws, it had great sound design and had this cold, clinical, un-nerving mood to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Days of being wild does feel a bit un-realized/un-polished/rough compared to his other work definitely but its probably the rawest I've seen from him and that has its appeal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Haven't seen farewell my concubine come to think of it. Regarding the scifi element I felt I embraced it more further into the film when it started to intermingle more.
While I am more forgiving toward Malick's recent films than most, that decline in quality means I have to pick Wong.
KTravlos
by the way in RE:Creators we probably will be getting a future series focusing on the hunt for Magane :p Meteora probably playing the role of detective. I also bet her novel will be wordy and heavy in exposition :p
KTravlos
i.e his end game might had been a cross-species revolution against him anyway. We will see
KTravlos
In Bahamut Chris proves to not be totally evil, but he is totally crazy. That said I am seeing one of my hunches getting supported, the hunch was that his cruelty towards daemons was with the purpose of bringing them down enough that they would be willing to work with humans as euals (As they are in Jean's army) and thus via that create a more unified world. I
KTravlos
RE: Creators has come to its end. I know the problems everyone has with it, and while it failed to raise to the level of exceptional show, I loved it. As I said, it had been years since a show kept me so excited episode after episode. They blew it at some point, but ultimately for me this is an en-joyful show, and one I would happily binge watch in the future again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: question for you though, between these two directors, which one do you prefer: Wong Kar-Wai or Terrance Malick?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you enjoyed both 2046 and In the Mood for Love, by all mean check out Days of Being Wild. The trio forms a loose trilogy and Days of Being Wild was the first film that Wong began his unique unconventional style. It's one of my personal favorite of Wong and it's a chance for you to watch the late Leslie Cheung acted (you might watch him already in Farewell My Concubine)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: 2046 is indeed a passionate film, and one of his best looking film. He tried something different in 2046 too, experimented with scifi (one of the best part in the film for me)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's stritcly Wong Kar Wai's romance we're talking about, since I don't find the rest of Chinese take on romance that interesting. Romance or melodrama is one of his main theme throughout his career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was slightly overly long however.
I've also seen chungking express, in the mood for love and fallen angels. I think this Chinese take on romance is really clicking with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also thought it was a very passionette film and I love how Kar-wong-wai uses the music in it. I also think its one of his best looking films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I had a look at that Chinese film 2046, very effectively melancholic take on fleeting relationships while also successfully being quite sensual while staying classy and without ever showing too much. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung are two beautiful people =P
SuperMario
for those who still want to catch up with 18if, episode 11 has a huge recap, while wrapping up the show with a new overarching plot. Hopefully they don't pull another Matrix here
SuperWooper
It's shounen-y for sure. The competitions have been my least favorite parts of the show so far. If you're still watching, you might appreciate it more once the Tenpei Cup is over.
Anonymous1399692
Damn Ballroom looks so good. But I really can't enjoy it despite that I want to. It has too many of these typical shounen moments and plot points I can't stand.
Anonymous1399684
Omae wa mou shindeiru
Lenlo
Mononoke is actually what made me find Ayakashi. Also a good show.
SuperMario
Regarding Ayakashi, I only watched the Mononoke segment
SuperMario
"It was a long, long trip, and we're coming finally to the end of the journey. Thank you, Manoyama and Chupacabra. And thank you, 5 EURO" - Sandal-san.
Lenlo
Ayakashi was great for me Kaiser. I enjoyed my time with it
Vonter212
@AidanAK47 - The hard aspect has been commented in several reviews with bosses being able to easily kill you. (Although in my experience it might be just getting a pattern). In terms of length most 2D games can be beaten under 3 hours. This one seems to clock at at least 6 to 15 if you want to collect everything. Then again, we'll see in subsequent playthroughs.
AidanAK47
`@Vonter. It's out now but I don't remember seeing anyone claim it's the longest hardest entry 2D wise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Going to watch new dominion tank police next and read violence action and Oddman 11.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It took me years to get round to it, but I finally watched Ayakashi and as expected like most anthologies, again its mixed, the first is a solid ghost story that improves after a weak start, but that third one with the cat spirit was great, really liked how experimental that looked.
Vonter
Soo a new Metroid comes out this week. It is said, it's the longest, hardest entry in regards to the 2D iterations. Still not as great as Super, and depending on your fanaticism it might or not be as good as Zero Mission.
SuperMario
But they didn't pull that scene off too well. It's just... unmemorable. In fact the whole show is very unremarkable. Now only 1 episode left I might as well finish it but I won't give it a full review
SuperMario
Koi to Uso has been disappointing so far. Episode 10 featured the sequence that i was looking forward the most in the manga: the former classmate tells the one sided crush of the main girl from her POV. For a romance that contrived and manipulated like this one, hearing this from the third person's perspective prove to be more powerful
Vonter
@HelghastKillzone - Good luck with that. I almost had my car's engine damaged since it has been raining heavily where I live. Had to ask for help the next day to pull it out of mud. Still not as bad as the other three cars that did get stuck in the water.
HelghastKillzone
Dealing with work and the total loss of my car really sucks at the moment so I'm quite tied up for this week.
KTravlos
I do agree to a point, but to be frank all the episodes of Princess Principal to date have been so solid I have a hard time deciding. Episode 5 though was still the best from a holistic point (action, direction, music etc) was the one introducing Chise
SuperMario
Agree. Dorothy has the biggest heart out of all the spy girls. Also "help" that her episodes are all melodramatic.
Amagi
This episode of PrinPrin showed again that Dorothy is the best character by far. Not just herself but her episodes as well are better written than the rest if you ask me.
KTravlos
It just hit me. The characters in Princess Principal may be very well working for IngSoc :p
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, in the seven chapters it's only really two of them that contain dark shocking content. Chapter three being the biggest one in that regard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read a comment where someone said subahibi shocked them more than saya no uta. While I haven't played it yet, I have seen some of a letsplay...it lleft me thinking....how many hours until this actually gets good/truly unhinged .
AidanAK47
After Reading SubaHibi, Made in Abyss's dark turn didn't shock me too much. Maybe I just got desensitised. I will have a review of SubaHibi hopefully up in a week though to clarify my feelings on it after just finishing it, It was interesting but disappointing.
KTravlos
well, well. Both Made in the Abyss and Virgin Soul do not hold back. Grim! RE:Creators is warping up. Comparing with these other shows I can fully appreciate the problems people have with it. But still I am glad I am sticking to the end. Altair's voice actor by the way did great.
AidanAK47
@Helghast, And Kings Field was the Demon Souls before Demon Souls came out.
KTravlos
having binge watched several of this season's shows I would say Princess Principal is the most rounded. Made in Abyss is good. Kakegurui and The Reflection as SuperMario said will depend on your tastes. There is also Shouko no Altair. You will like it if you liked Tanya Saga of Evil, or Legend of Galactic Heroes, or Arslan Senki or manga like Vinland Saga, Gunka no Baltzar, and especially Historie
Anonymous1385641
Jesus...me watching this weeks Made in Abyss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ogzsWhZcmM
HelghastKillzone
So... Demon Souls was the Dark Souls before Dark Souls came out.
SuperMario
@anon1385426: the safest bets aside from Made in Abyss are Welcome to the Ballroom and Princess Principal. Kakegurui and the Refection are for more acqurired taste
Anonymous1385426
Aside from Made in Abyss, what's the best anime this season?
Lenlo
@KT, the pacing and the framerate early on are my two biggest issues. Later on the story starts to get abit more engaging, and they start doin things I didnt expect, but the pacing is still there. Some akward pauses.
Lenlo
Look, Berserk and Dark Souls are both amazing. But I only have 3 Dark Souls games, and 38 Berserk volumes. Im clearly biased
KTravlos
I sat down and watched the first 4 episodes of The Reflection. It is an interesting attempt, and I can see the people making it having fun doing so. But I did notice a pacing issue. For some reason the episodes felt like they dragged a bit too long.
AidanAK47
Dark Souls is the Berserk of Video Games.
Amagi
Dark Souls really went all Berserk if you ask me
AidanAK47
I am not one for putting down law but can we never ever compare anything to Dark Souls ever again? Cause it's actually become really tiresome how everything is the dark souls of something.
Total users: 25

Featured Posts

Kakegurui – 12[Gambling Woman]

It’s been awhile since I seen an anime original ending and honestly I was rather dreading it when I started this episode. Anime original endings don’t have a good track record as of course attempting to tack on an abrupt conclusion to an ongoing story is not going to turn out swimmingly. Even if I […]

Made in Abyss – 12[The True Nature of the Curse]

Today’s topic is the curse of the abyss alongside much needed revenge against the creature that put Riko in a bad spot. We get a rare glimpse of the topside village where one of the orphan kids we saw previously is deathly sick on his birthday. This caught me off guard as I believe I […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu – 13 [Katsugeki]

Welcome to the final week of Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu, where the plot is rushed and the art is at its best. Lets jump in. Ranbu opens this week with the title card, skipping the OP. Looks like they want all the time they can get. Picking up where they left off, Ranbu has Horikawa go and […]

Princess Principal – 12 [Case 24 Fall of the Wall]

Is that seriously how they end Princess Principal? Nothing is resolved at all except Ange breaks down the wall around her heart to welcome her team to the Casablanca’s paradise. Everything screams “second season” and with the sales aren’t that impressive from what I gathered, will they ever get one? It comes hard for me […]

18if – 12 [The Witch Wars]

Let me just say, I’m all in favor for 18if having a proper closure, but I’m wholly disappointed with what happening right now. This episode is just all over the place. For instance, I’m just as glad as the next person to see all the Witches gathering back in real life to help Haruto, but […]

Classroom of the Elite – 11 [What People Commonly call Fate is Mostly their Own Stupidity]

So suddenly, without mentioned at any point before, Horikita can suddenly kicks ass? Or that Horikita has been sick ALL THIS TIME? Or that Horikita still can kick some ass while being sick all this time? Since when the Class-D boys shrink into only Ayanokouji, Hirata and the 3 idiots? On that note, where is […]

Ballroom e Youkoso – 11 [Evaluation]

And so the Tenpei Cup comes to a close at last. It took five episodes to get from the first round to the awards ceremony, and not all parts of the competition were created equal, but I’m happy that my girl Mako managed to claim the Ballroom Queen award. After she received the trophy, there […]

Kakegurui – 11[The woman who bets her life]

So…what am i supposed to say here? Yumeko wins, the treasurer loses and now the show looks to be teasing a matchup between the Student council President and Yumeko. I would say it’s a good thing this shows end looms near as my interest in it has just about petered out. I love seeing smug […]

Made in Abyss – 11[Nanachi]

It’s been an issue I have wanted to bring up before but the previous episode recaps of this series are rather long. Today’s was the biggest offender as the first three and a half minutes was just footage from the previous episode. While these kinds of recaps are handy for those watching weekly to catch […]

Latest Reviews

Sakura Quest (Summer 2017) Review – 79/100

Conceived as a third installment in a loose P.A Works trilogy about young adult girls in working environment, Sakura Quest both knows its target audience well, and has some big shoes to fill. After all, many have considered Shirobako an install classic for good reasons. As it turns out, Sakura Quest is more on the […]

Castlevania Season 1 Review – 70/100

Upon hearing that Castlevania would be getting an animated TV series my first reaction was that of unpleasant surprise. Part of the reason was because of the video games infamous history with adapting their stories to other mediums but my main reason was that being familiar with the Castlevania games, I knew the story was […]

Tsuki ga Kirei (Spring 2017) Review – 88/100

It’s hard for me not to go overboard on Tsuki ga Kirei: out of all the show I’ve followed this season, I resonated the most to this one; but even when I’m judging this show objectively, Tsuki ga Kirei is one of the most perfect one, in a way that it achieved exactly what it […]

Seikaisuru Kado Review 51/100

Seikaisuru Kado was a title which caught my attention for a number of reasons. For one it’s visuals showed not a single teenager in sight and a cast mainly consisting of working adults. Another is that it deals with a premise not often tackled in anime, Philosophical Science Fiction. The story features an alien being […]

ID-0 (Spring 2017) Review – 81/100

Here comes one of the most under-appreciated anime of this Spring season. ID-0 has many hassles that keeps viewers away from watching it: Netflix exclusive, full CG animation and a plot that just plain weird and a bit incomprehensive at first view. I originally took it as nothing more than fun spooky little-seen show until […]

Grimoire of Zero (Spring 2017) Review – 77/100

I remember, back in our first impression of this series, Aidan remarked that Grimoire of Zero isn’t your typical LN-adaptations, but he didn’t know what to make of it. To be honest, after watching an entire cour, I’m still unsure what to make of it myself. This show has some serious flaws, yet despite all […]

Uchoten Kazoku Review – 94/100

(Note: Since psgels didn’t give his final review to the first season, this review is for the entirety of Eccentric Family. If I had to grade the second season alone, it’s 90/100). Doesn’t matter how you look at it, the Eccentric Family is a unique show, in a way it feels and tastes like no […]

Little Witch Academia TV Review – 80/100

The Little Witch Academia series has been something that’s a long time coming. Ever since Studio Trigger made the original Anime OVA back in 2013 I have been hotly anticipating the time when it would be fleshed out into it’s own anime series. I love both the original OVA and the enchanted Parade so this […]

Window Horses (2016) Movie Review – 87/100

In Window Horses, or its full name Window Horses – The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming, many characters keep asking the main protagonist, a Stick Girl in an otherwise fully formed character designs, why is she wearing a chador, in which she’s unable to reply. It’s her first trip to go overseas, so she […]