Posted on 20 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Thunderbolt mixes things up nicely this week. This week, the overpowered Princess has a fair shot of killing off our Shang Bu Huan, but predictably leaves him so that he can suffer. As often the case, when you’re too powerful you tend to act arrogantly, and… stupid. Thunderbolt is one good set piece piling up to another right now, as it often pairs 2 members from the main cast and let them bouncing off each other. First, I’m glad to see how the Dirty Cop Xiao Kung Juan (which for now I’ll refer as Dirty Juan) manages to catch Gui Niao off-guard. The table has turned quickly on that side and for now, Gui Niao works under the command of Dirty Juan. I know Gui Niao will eventually finds the opening in a matter of time, but it’s nice to see a battle where sword isn’t directly involved in Thunderbolt. It’s certainly amusing to see that Dirty Cop loses himself for the ‘charms’ of Seven Blasphemous Deaths and kicks the pile of woods uncontrollably. Boy, the campy sense of fun is still going strong here.

Second, we have a meetup between our Hero and the nihilist monk Di Kong. He’s still pretty much a wildcard here since I still can’t put my finger on his role in the grand scheme. Will he become an ultimate villain? Will he join up with the good gand to repress the evil sword? Will he change at all? Everything is up in the air now and he remains as mysterious as ever. Shang Bu Huan seems to agree with me on this, as he’s still baffled on the Monk’s mindset. He shows no remorse on learning the fact that the girl he saved runs amok and kills everyone on sight. He even comments on how pointless he was as trying to save people just so that they were killed in the end. Shang Bu Huan remains too soft, as always, given he tries to reason with the guy, to no avail of course. I love the way how Shang Bu Huan already meets all kind of eccentric personalities, but his “are you for real?” expression is still refreshing and never gets old.

Third, we have a total unexpected match between Cruelty Princess Xie Yinglou (with a feminine-talking sword) and Red Hair Musician Lang Wu Yao (with a masculine-talking instrument). Damn, along with the real battle between Princess and Musician, it’s also a battle of wit between two talky instruments right there. It’s clear that Princess Cruelty has taken something much more than she bargained for, and now she’s slowly consumed by it. The dream sequence where she meets and destroys her boss, apart from some stunning background designs here, suggests how Seven Blasphemous Deaths keeps manipulating her deepest thoughts, even turns herself against her goal for living. In addition, it marks the first time Thunderbolt experiencing with its puppetry form visually, as it uses special negative color effect to illustrate Red Musician’s unique technique of fighting by hearing sense. He even has an edge towards Cruelty Princess until our Gui Niao and Dirty Cop poke their noses in (Really. What do you expect from the Enigmatic Gale but poling his nose where he doesn’t belong?). Thunderbolt is, to put it simply, unstoppable right now.

Posted on 15 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

My apologies that I missed a post last week, it’s not due to the lack of interest of Thunderbolt given the show is as exciting as ever, but more about my hectic life. These past two episodes have many game-changing events, and many Gui Niao’s wittiest lines and expressions to boost. The moment the Vapewiz puts his finger to his cheek I know the show loses none of its charms. In episode 6, the monk Di Kong becomes more prominent into this whole affair. As we predicted, the monk can prove to be an interesting villain, given how immoral he is. That is not to say he loves to wreak havoc or seeks out for fame and power like the villains in the first season. It’s that he has no sense of judgement and justice and has no value of human life (even his own), and that could prove very dangerous if he falls for the wrong cause, or simply, if he can’t find the right path to lead.

When he meets our team Shang Bu Huan and Lang Wu Yao who are in pursuit of Princess Cruelty (more on her later), he decides not to help out our guys. That sets off the evil-detector of Lang Wu Yao, and he’s in killing mode again – or as Gui Niao puts it, it’s hard to deal with a person who doesn’t talk. Well, he might be right to assume that Di Kong will be dangerous, but there’s no way he can just blast off and determined on destroying people like that. Later on, he “sweet-talks” our Princess Cruelty (more like completely destroy her ego but you know what I mean) into re-access her whole philosophy of life. Well played, dude.

Speaking of the female assassin, she’s vulnerable in every possible way. Beaten down by her enemy Shang Bu Huan, backstabbed and got sword-stolen from the corrupted cop, and now the monk mind-fucking her ego, she does what a loyal dog would do: bring the antique sword back to her Master. For a ruthless villain who only has a single mission of killing our hero, strangely I really feel for her struggles there. And that’s important that we feel sympathy for her because it justifies her action much later, which moves the plot in an interesting way: she’s drawing the Seven Blasphemous Deaths and ho boy, what a sword!! It enslaves the wielder and draws everyone’s desire once they look at it, and gain ultimate power with the blood it slays. While now, it proves to be the ultimate hazzard for our heroes, I still kind of feel bad for Scorpion girl. She won’t get out of this alive.

On the other side of the battle, that cheeky Gui Niao has his next target, the glassed cop. Curiously enough, that Dirty Cop has gained some valuable information about the Enigmatic Gale, which honestly make this game way more interesting now that they are on the same level. My biggest pleasure is to see Gui Niao fishes the information out of Shang Bu Huan, and honestly seeing their vibrant chemistry as they bounce back and forth it brings a warm feeling to me (and that fishing scene is pretty awesome too). This mind game between two unpredictable figures could prove to be as interesting as the devil Sword. Also special shout out for weapons that not only can talk, they make much more sense than the human counterparts. Thunderbolt is charging ahead in full gear now. There’s no stopping this puppet train now.

ps: why do people still hesitate on regarding Thunderbolt as anime?

Posted on 2 November 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Now, things escalate pretty quickly. In a Thunderbolt Fantasy fashion, the moment Lang Wu Xiao gets a hand of the dragon’s horn and the formula, he double-crosses Gui Niao. But I can’t hate this guy, given his motive is purely because he cares for his partner Shang Bu Huan. The allied from the other side of the war is also bound to be broken very soon, as it’s clearly the Catching Fox is manipulating the Princess of Cruelty now. It’s one of the rare moments where we see Shang Bu Huan is vulnerable. It’s also one of the rare moments where we see the Princess of Cruelty having a conscience. The Monk’s words last episode clearly affects her and I would love to see her go through some sort of character arc. Now all that is just the beginning now that Shang Bu Huan has an antidote and is now “a hundred times more alive”.

But the absolute peak of this episode (and the whole season so far) is the battle of wits between our Gui Niao, Lang Wu Xiao and the one-wing dragon. It has everything that I want from Thunderbolt DNA, and then some: it has absurd dragon’s design, it has the sheer ridiculousness of the whole situation, it has campy quality, it has the grand visual spectacular and most of all, it has one of Gui Niao’s wittiest lines. Just imagine the ridiculousness of a giant fire-breathing dragon raises from below the ground (how on earth does he hide underground in the first place? To sleep? I think not), or that he’s powerful enough to speak human language (consider how there’s no human in the Wasteland of Spirits). This quality proves to be his fall from grace, as Gui Niao is an expert of deceiving everything by his words. It’s certainly charming as heck to see him politely asks the dragon for his horn (more than mocking based on his tone of speech), before runs like a maniac in a very quirky manner that only puppetry can produce, and finishes with a line: “doesn’t matter how nice you ask, anyone would be angry for that request”. Damn you, Gui Niao

Also only in a puppetry show that you can see a dragon throwing up flames that absurd. It mixes nicely between Thunderbolt’s trolly tone with how it takes itself seriously enough. If that isn’t eye-popping and ridiculous enough, we have the climax where Lang Wu Xiao has to sing (the fact the he admits his singing beyond hopeless make it way funnier, too) to attract the Dragon’s attention so that Gui Niao can set his favorite illusion trap. How the show transform for the usual two swordsmen fighting the monster into singing and talking while dodging wall of flame is nothing short of a stroke of genius. And don’t forget how Gui Niao isn’t in the least surprised when Lang Wu Xiao double-crosses him. Ridicule everyone has been his lifelong passion, so it’s only natural that he just gets used to people turning against him. I don’t care how Thunderbolt will go from here, as long as it maintains its quirky, campy nature like this dragon battle I’m more than happy to follow it everywhere.

Posted on 24 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

I’m glad to say that Thunderbolt Fantasy slowly goes back to its own charms, namely the witty banters between all the cast where they bounce off each other to reach a sort of agreement. This episode has two such cases. First, the villain side decides to team up together since they have the same goals: destroy Shang Bu Huan. Second, the allied side decides to cooperate because they also have the same objectives: to save Shang Bu Huan’s ass. The injured Shang Bu Huan is in the middle of all this and lurking behind the scene is the monk Di Kong and whatever his goal is. My suspect last week is proved wrong as Di Kong and the Princess of Cruelty don’t know each other, but there are two other takeaways from their meeting. First, Di Kong is far superior in terms of combating than the female assassin. He just decides not to. Second, what the hell happen to the Seven Blasphemous Deaths? I mean, is it still there? What if Di Kong is in possession of it? It’d be cool to see a guy who is adept of channeling toxic handles the ultimate toxicity sword. The more I think about it the more I feel he’s the only person who can control that evil sword.

My biggest enjoyment from this episode comes from the interaction between Xiao Kuang Juan and Cruelty-Hime. It’s the moment where their true personality is clearly presented. And in this case you can see how corrupted and how much of a bastard Xiao Kuang Juan is. Basically, his idea is that he wants to Sword Index returns to his hometown so that he can enjoy the luxury life he has. So teaming up with Cruelty-hime, they could potentially kill Shang Bu Huan and have a full control of the Sword Index. Regarding this ally, I’d say thay the assassin girl gets the shorter straw here. This guy is wise and I’m sure the moment Xie Yingluo has her hand on the Index, he’d double cross her to have it all by himself.

The not-as-bad side (Note: there’s no such thing as good side in thunderbolt Fantasy), on the other hand, is formed through the ever-curious Gui Niao and the reluctant Lang Wu Yao. I pretty enjoy the bits where he test the toxic (such refreshing method, mind you) and the way he comes up with the solution feels as effortless for him as walking on water (I love his train of logic here). So in order to get the antidote back to Shang Bu Huan, they need to retrieve the horn of the dragon, whom they happen to cross in the Wasteland of Spirits. It’s also hilarious to learn that the said dragon’s wing was chopped by Shang Bu Huan in a manner of us catching a fly. Gui Niao, being surprisingly honest in his intent, says that the reason he’s in is because he’s curious about Shang Bu Huan. He also tries to test the Lang Wu Yao, which the latter in turns test him back. Such bombastic energy and the newly formed allyship that you aren’t quite sure if you can trust the others are what essentially make Thunderbolt Fantasy such a fantastic show to watch. Thunderbolt Fantasy is officially back, in full force!!

Posted on 19 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Now that’s more like it. Until you see the puppets’ blood-squirting and head-rolling you know that Thunderbolt Fantasy is back in full force. On a narrative side, this season has been more straightforward than the first. The hero’s and villain’s sides are pretty clear-cut so far, and with this episode the last member of the promotion art claims his first appearance. This dude Di Kong is a saint. Well, nearly since he’s a travelling monk who help cure the toxic for no gain, even putting himself in danger. He makes one hell of an impression, but my gut tells me that he’s the guy not to be taken lightly. There’s still one missing piece in the grand scheme so far, and that is Cruelty-hime boss, Kasei Meikou. He’s the guy who is so fearsome that Shang Bu Huan had to cross the Wasteland of Spirits in order to protect the swords index (okay, official term Sorcerous Scoll Index) from him (guess crossing the Wasteland of Spirits becomes trendy lately, huh?). Really, I believe this yin yang monk fits all the bill as the final boss for this whole affair.

At first, I took it that Princess Cruelty (I might stick to that name to avoid confusion) and the sneaky Xiao Kuang Juan are on the same team. This episode makes it clear that they are on different agenda and don’t necessary see each other as an ally. Well, they do have a same goal for now (kill our poor Shang Bu Huan) but their super-ego prevents them from seeing eye to eye to the matter. Thunderbolt Fantasy also makes damn sure to let us know how cruel this General is. He blames all his killing to the innocent villagers to Shang Bu Huan, the cruel thing is how he sees his actions as “justified”. That action even ticks our “always cool” Gui Niao off. But so far, it’s interesting to see how much of a wild card Gui Niao is. Unlike the people in this side who already acquainted to the legendary Lin Xue Ya, these villains from Xi You know next to nothing about him and thus, the more arrogant they act the more they become Gui Niao’s plaything. One thing to remember, always keep this guy amused. Who knows what on earth we would do if he gets bored.

Thankfully, when it comes to Shang Bu Huan, Gui Niao’s definitely interested. As for our main hero, he barely makes it with the toxic from Princess Cruelty. The other running thread involves her and her temptation to use the sword Seven Blasphemous Deaths. It has such a strong aura that it tempts her to use it several time. Apart from “it has mind-control effect” and “it’s one of the most badass sword) we still know next to nothing about it. Which is good since now I am hyped. Now that our two leads Gui Niao and Shang Bu Huan finally meet (to the dismay of the latter), things would get more snappy soon. In truth, I kinda miss the characters bouncing-off each other that made the first season a gem to watch, but I hope that now that Thunderbolt Fantasy finishes setting up the new characters and the main conflict, it’ll delve more for characters’ interaction and killer one-liners.

Posted on 15 October 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Fun fact, I had just been to Taiwan and while in their local old bookstores and DVDs, I saw a section of puppetry animation dvds in the corner of the store (should’ve bought one now that I think about it). Apparently wuxia puppetry has a niche market in Taiwan, and so I’m glad that me, along with many anime fans all over the world, are aware about it. Thunderbolt Fantasy plays a huge role of bringing it to mainstream attention. The first season offered a refreshing aesthetic and playful characters that you won’t see anything like it in this medium. This show, I’d argue, help redefining the endless boundary of anime medium. To those of you who complain that Thunderbolt Fantasy isn’t animation, you’re technically right (read my old post how I break down about its technicality), but I’m on the side who consider that this wuxia fool is every inch an ANIME. It’s just not a style you’d see anywhere else.

The first thing I have to note on this second season is that you don’t really need a prior knowledge of the first season, so for anyone who want to go for a ride you can just jump right in. The first two episodes do a decent job of setting up the main conflicts, at the same time they suffer in term of pacing because of it. There’s just way too much exposition with very little awesome battle sequences, which make the story so far a little underwhelming. We pick up some time after the end of the first season, but with the issues we all know will come like a ticking bomb. Our Shang Bu Huan has an index of 36 insane legendary swords (think of flashy-sounding name and weird affect sword in Katanagatari x 36) and naturally it’s just too much of a burden for him to keep them with him. So our lead seeks assistance from the formidable Xian Zhen fortress, known as the most secure fortress in the side of the land. Things go awry very quickly because, as far as action show goes, the moments you leave the treasure to others’ hands, it’s a guaranteed that you’d spend the rest of the series cleaning up the mess. One thing that I didn’t expect is how quickly the tide turns against Shang Bu Huan.

For this installment we have a whole new set of supporting cast, all of them who come from Shang Bu Huan’s hometown and having crossed the Wastelands of Spirits. So far, it’s interesting that they fit in different roles in this ongoing conflict. On the one hand, we have red-haired Lang Wu Yao and his demonic talking pipa who is the blabbermouth that appear to be our lead’s ally. Well, for now they are but I can see the status quo change quickly once we  learn their true motive. As opposed to Shang Bu Huan we have the Princess of Cruelty Xie Yingluo, who tends to use tricks and poison to do the dirty job. On the other spectrum, we have the general Xiao Kuang Juan who (by coincidence) was escorted by our Gui Niao AKA the guy who could not be trusted. Gui Niao is curious as soon as he hears the name “Shang Bu Huan”, and so far this side of the battle is more high mind and conversational than his friend’s counterpart.

One other major development in these first two episodes is that Xie Yingluo manages to steal two legendary swords out from her half-piece sword index. Thunderbolt Fantasy makes it pretty clear that sword-skill wise she can’t compare to Shang Bu Huan. However, with the assistance of The Night of Mourning – a sword of mind-control, she turns all the helpless villagers against him and intoxics him. It’s the other sword (which we haven’t known the name or its affect yet), however, that proves to be more fearsome. I’d say that sooner or later that sword will fall into the wrong hand. Although the trademark over-designed and mannerism help making each of new character stand out, it’s sad to note that so far they’re more like chess pieces rather than full-fledged characters. The campy fun is still apparent, though.

Posted on 8 November 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Sometimes you dread for the current state of anime: high school settings, cute girls, fan-service jokes, idol madness… that you wish for once to see something different, and out of nowhere an oddball like this just pop up: a wuxia puppetry show influenced by Taiwanese glove puppetry written by Gen Urobuchi. The sheer fact that it was greenlit at all was mind-blowing enough, but the most absurd things was the audience it aimed: the anime medium. Because no matter how you look at it: this isn’t an anime at all. Well, not even an animation to begin with. I’m not going to detail about it as I already addressed it in my weekly post. The fact that this is a wuxia puppetry show already makes it a unique show among anime world and all the more reason to watch it. But on top of all that, the show’s writing and execution are really excellent and refreshing. If the show just relies on its gimmick of being a puppetry show, it will fall apart very quickly, but Thunderbolt Fantasy understands that their characters are the real stars of the show, so they spend a huge amount of them talking to each other, explore their philosophy of life and the campy dialogues are entertaining and humorous.

Set in a fictional Eastern Asia settings, the show tells a story of a merry band in the quest to retrieve a legendary sword that was stolen by Mie Tian Hai, a skilled swordsman with a history of black magic. Our MC Shang Bu Huan is a mysterious swordsman who came from another area, that’s why he doesn’t know much about this place and thus got tagged along to the quest by Gui Niao, a cool-head strategist and the bunch of misfits including the naive guardian girl, the One-Eyed archer, the young Spear-wielder, a demon necromancer and the bloodthirsty assassin. The group, each has their own unique appearance and personalities with different set of goals head up to the Seven Sins Tower, and there were double-crossing, triple-crossing, blood-splattering, heads rolling and even demons, undead, skeleton birds join in along the way. Indeed, half of these characters here are easily villains in other story and the fun here is to see their huge ego crashing with each other.

Because this is a puppetry show, there are many elements that you won’t find in other anime. The characters, for example, have very static faces. Especially when they are in close-up, it’s hard to tell apart what they are thinking because of the lack of expression in their faces, but this issue actually works in the show’s favor, for how else would one portrait a group that double-crossing is the norm? Second, the practical effects are truly what set it apart from other anime. There is little amount of action for a true-action show, but when the action kicks in, it’s a feast to the eyes. Bloods squirming all over, bodies blowing up, heads rolling that you can actually feel the weight of the blood dripping are refreshing to say the least. Lastly, I have to highlight the costume designs because they really go all in for the costumes to make the characters as distinctive and stand out as ever.

The characters themselves is easily the show’s best strength. Each character is elegantly designed and all of them have their own unique mannerism, assisted greatly by the use of puppetry, something that ordinary anime usually lack. My favorite characters in that vein is the demon lady Xing Hai, as whenever she talks, it feels like she’s singing and whenever she walks it feels just like she’s dancing. Like Mayoiga, those characters all have interesting traits and utterly over the top but here in this show they can actually get loose and carry the story. Like for example, the show spends half an episode for Sha Wu Sheng the Roaring Killer Phoenix challenging Mie Tian Hai (and then loose despite knowing it all), simply because these characteristics are unmistakably Sha Wu Sheng. In Thunderbolt Fantasy, those characters embrace their roles to the bitter end. As a main character, Shang Bu Huan is like our blank-state who unfamiliar to this world (like ourselves) and he’s being the most sensible person in this whole madness. I particular love his stunning reactions every time something absurd happens. Moreover, he bounces off other characters very well, creating a rather great chemistry between them and the dialogues maintain the campy sense that so entertaining to watch. There are pure gold moments throughout the series like when Shang Bu Huan talks to each member of the group to find their real motives, or simple quick remarks like “the temple smells offensive” or even “it’s already a sitting fight before the sword fight” because of course they’re too awesome to fight it normal way. Like a puppetry show, these characters are just there to perform their larger-than-life roles, but they perform it so well that I have a very good time following them.

But this show is not only about characters having fun, there is a theme for the show if you want to look deeper. The notion of the sword is both mentioned various times throughout the series and the show twists that notion around quite wonderfully. In this world, swords represent power of destruction. Mie Ting Hai seeks out the most famous sword because he believes his technique deserved the best. The demon Yao Tu Li was put to sleep for 200 years because of the sword. The characters kill off hundreds of people through their swords… As long as you are good at swords, you have the ultimate power in this world. But not for our two mains Shang Bu Huan and Gui Niao. In fact, the series showcases two extreme spectrums from Shang Bu Huan that go directly against with the above notion. The “sword’ that Shang Bu Huan always carries around is just a piece of wood painted silver, because he doesn’t want to cause more deadly troubles with the swords, but when in needed, he could pull out 36 legendary swords (that he said he was about to expose them, sly guy!) to send the monster to the black hole (quite literally!), Gui Niao also hates using swords as a mean of killing. The legendary sword that everyone seek in the end was destroyed meaninglessly.

Thunderbolt Fantasy is the most entertaining series you will encounter this year. Plain and simple. Urobuchi writing is excellent in this show, both leaving enough room for the group to act, and maintaining the plot that both is fast and unpredictable, but always makes sense and a lot of fun. It appears that we will have an entirely new cast on the second season, plus our mains Shang Bu Huan and Gui Niao and if that’s the case then I’m totally on board. After all, Shang Bu Huan’s only weakness is his trust towards people and Gui Niao happens to be the master of manipulation; so I’m eager to see how our MC get himself dragged into Gui Niao’s little scheme next time. Like this first season already demonstrated, the world is simply too small for the two of them.

Posted on 4 October 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

As expected, Thunderbolt Fantasy ends with a blast. While it does close the arc nicely, I can’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed by the climax. This final episode ties up two main storylines: Gui Niao challenged Ming Tian Hai in swordfight, and Shang Bu Huan faced the fearsome demon god Yao Tu Li, and provides us a nice little epilogue in the end. Well, not the end exactly because it was announced that Thunderbolt Fantasy will have a second season. Way to go anime industry. The world needs more puppet shows. I already feel blessed with the news myself.

Back to where we left of last episode, Gui Niao decides to ridicule Ming Tian Hai on what the antagonist truly proud of: his swordfight. Turns out that Gui Niao is an overpowered badass who not only good at deceiving people, but also a master swordsman. To put it more coherently, because he’s so good at sword fighting he eventually gets bored and becomes a master thief instead. This of course doesn’t bode well for Ming Tian Hai. I died laughing at the ridiculous of it all, so was the guy. Literally. The battle is so over the top that it shook the world, apparently. At this point, Reigan’s voice on the other show keeps popping in my head: These guys are children who failed to grow up. The way Ming Tian Hai felt crushed because he is defeated by Gui Niao, that he has to break down the sword, let the world destroyed, and died laughing. These actions are not unlike those kids who their favorite toys taken away from them, so they just make a nonsensical scene. But Gui Niao actually falls for that. He expects Ming Tian Hai submitted himself as loser, so when things don’t go as plan he loses his cool for the very first time. Oh pride, the most serious sin of them all.

I love to point out how important the swords represent in this series. For villains like Mie Tian Hai or the Screaming Phoenix Killer Sha Wu Sheng, the swords represent power and destruction. Mie Tian Hai seeks the ultimate power in the legendary sword, while the Phoenix Killer mercilessly kills everyone stand in his path. Our two mains don’t see it this way. Gui Niao realizes that using the swords excessively would eventually lead him to the path of killing and villainy, which he despises. Shang Bu Huan witnesses many people misuse the swords, so instead he collected them in order to dispose them altogether. The sword he eventually carries around is a piece of wood that he painted silver, same as Gui Niao with his pipe-sword. The legendary sword, on the other hand, ends up being destroyed meaninglessly. That irony plays very well with both the tone and the theme of Thunderbolt Fantasy. The show never intends to be a straight wuxia show, so it only makes sense that Gen Urobuchi flirts with all the tired cliché and makes something new of it. Furthermore, In the world of Thunderbolt Fantasy, swords are ultimately just a tool for human, as Shang Bu Huan puts it: “Whether it cuts something or protect someone just depends on who uses it.” It’s nothing deep I know, but it’s thematic relevance.

Shang Bu Huan steps up for the climax against Yao Tu Li, the female demon god. It’s interesting that the only two demon gods we see in this series are female. It should make sense though because like a notion of life and death is meaningless among demons, the same could be said for their gender. The way they reproduce is more of the process of replication, right? It is then revealed that not only Shang Bu Huan has a legendary sword for himself, he has 36 of them. When the right time comes he would choose the checklist of his swords’ inventory like you’d choose a weapon on your crappy online games. By the way 36 is not some random number, that number (and its multiplication) have been widely used in traditional Chinese literature/text (36 Stratagems; The Monkey King knows 72 transformations, there are 108 outlaws in Water Margin) and I’m again amazed that Gen Urobuchi takes note of that. While this fight is amazing, I can’t help but feel that all this resolution is way too quick, and thus too easy, for our main characters, especially since last week they built the stake up really high. In the end, both Gui Niao and Shang Bu Huan are just too overpowered that all the suspense is gone through the back door.

But in the end, I had a lot fun watching Thunderbolt Fantasy, considered that I know nothing about its existence up until the first episode came out. Now 3 months later it’s one of the most entertaining anime I’ve seen this year. Well, I will tell you in details once the final review comes up. But definitely you will see me talking about this show again when the second season is aired.

Posted on 26 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Now, we just have one episode left, but things get even more intense and crazy by the minute, to the point I don’t really know how they would wrap it up neatly. At the beginning Shang Bu Shuan was mocked by Juan Can Yun that he should be titled “Edgeless Blade”, because his sword-style is all for show and has no edge at all. The sword that Shang Bu Huan is wielding, as it turns out; is not a dull blade after all. Well, to call it a sword would be an exaggeration. He just takes a piece of wood and paints it over, because apparently if he uses a sword with sharp edge he would cut the mountain in half (just from seeing how he cuts a person in half with this piece of wood). The trick is that he’s a master of using energy flow (Qi) to form force, so even a piece of wood (or his more extreme examples: a cloth or hair) can split flesh if using the right force into it. If we put it that way it feels much more like a martials art than a swordfight, but nevertheless it remains awesome.

After this episode, I’m more convinced that Shang Bu Huan might actually been in the demon realm already. He’s already in doubts that the demon Yao Tu Li was in the demon realm, which pretty much set up nicely to the last half’s development. If the demon Yao Tu Li isn’t in the demon realm, and it has disappeared from the human realm for nearly 200 years; where has it been then? The answer is he has been sleeping under the seal of Tiang Xing Jian sword. The nature of that sacred sword is become much clearer in this episode, that sword is never meant to kill the demon god (because the demon gods can’t be killed, when it’s destroyed it’ll transform to other forms), or send them back to demon realm (because then they will cause havoc again the minutes they come back to human realm), but to put the demon to ‘eternity’ sleep. I can understand that rationale, but I doubt this is the only function that sacred sword Tiang Xing Jian can perform. I’s amused to see how this most powerful sword be handled by Shang Bu Huan (famously known as the man who doesn’t need sword). That moment will come my friends.

Now we head to the clash between demon and human, which I admit that I had never thought it would turn out that way. Xing Hai once again steals the episode’s best moments (or is it just me? I simply can’t get enough of her) as it is revealed that she goes along the plan of stealing the guard back, just so that they can release the demon Yao Tu Li. She even singlehanded strangled her partner Shou Yun Xiao to death, disrupting his plan to seal the monster back again. The most similar comparison I get about those characters are those of Baccano. In Baccano, the writer Ryougo Narita once mentioned that his characters write the plot. He thinks about how those characters would act in that specific situations, and then manage the plot accordingly. As a result, there are many characters who are more active than others, but they would never betray their set of standard. In addition, there’s always a room for those characters to breathe. I have this exact same feeling about this set of characters. They have their own over-the-top way of acting, their worldview, their philosophy and they stick to those principles till their last breath. Sha Wu Sheng the Screaming Phoenix Killer never forgets that he’s an assassin, or Xing Hai always reminds us that she’s a demon through and through.

Finally, to our master thief Lin Xue Ya, I’m amazed that even at this point (when the most fearsome demon is about to wake up), he only thinks of the way to steal from Mie Tian Hai. It comes as rather childish to me. He eventually figures out that the legendary sword Tiang Xing Jian is NOT what Mie Tian Hai treasure the most, but it is his own swordplay. He’s too proud of his skills that he thinks only the scared sword would be worthy for he to wield. As a result, Gui Niao intends to fight him, if he wins the duel then it would prove that Mie Tian Hai’s swordplay is not that extraordinary… you know, that kind of logic. But how well Gui Niao is at wielding sword? Especially that pipe-sword? Thunderbolt Fantasy is getting to an end, but there’s still plenty of tricks up its sleeve and I can’t wait to see how it all wraps up.

Posted on 18 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

This week things escalated pretty quickly. Our helpless MC Shang Bu Huan shots himself in the foot pretty quickly. I already suspected it’s a matter of time before his scam will be exploited by Mie Tian Hai, but I surely never would have guessed it’s that early. Shang Bu Huan, hilariously, is just plain terrible in whatever he’s acting; and curiosity got the better of him that he actually discusses with Mie Tian Hai (already a bad move, but then again these characters in Thunderbolt Fantasy love to chit-chat) on his motive of acquiring the legendary Tian Xing Jian sword. The sword, apparently, is the only sword that can actually destroy monsters, while other “low-ranking” swords can only send monsters back to the death realm, which the only exception is Yao Tu Li. That monster, unsurprisingly, is the most fearsome monster that somehow still got stuck in this world; therefore, Mie Tian Hai wants to attain Tian Xing Jian sword to slay the monster. It’s actual very noble of him when you think about it. But due to the very late nature of this reveal, plus the fact that Gen Urobuchi love to toy with our expectation, I suspect that the monster Yao Tu Li was already slayed by Shang Bu Huan. It’s not based solely on assumption though, judging the way Shang Bu Huan actually understands exactly what Mie Tian Hai implied about the death realm.

For once, the always-sneaky Gui Niao is actually behind everything happening and he spends this episode to get all the clues and try to catch up with everyone. For all the little details that he managed to get, it’s awesome that he actually figures out all the players in play and now plans to getting ahead (he’s no Shang Bu Huan after all). When he realized that the safe was empty, he understands that the main boss has something up his sleeve, the way he confidently carries out the piece with him. Along the way, Gui Niao gave one of the most ridiculous (thus, the best) speech about opening the keyhole is even more delicate and temperamental than a fine lady (whatever that means). When he saw two addition plates on Mie Tian Hai’s dinner table, he immediately figures out that his comrades the Archer and the Necromancer had sale him out. Finally, when he recognized that the lock in Dan Fei’s cell is unlocked from the outside, he understands that Juan Can Yun has helped the girl to get back the real guard. Upon figuring out all that, he decides to head to the temple that hold that blade to set out his traps. Well, getting the legendary sword sure is complicated.

Meanwhile, in a Limitless Temple, it turns out that Dan Fei and Juan Can Yun have been followed by the Archer and the Demon Lady all along. And they appear to be who they truly are, a villain. After all, getting the Tiang Xing Jian sword is what they’re after, so it doesn’t matter who they tag along with to achieve that goal. It’s still a very cool way to know about the Giant Spirit tree and its Spirit Veins that lead to the temple (also I feel kind of glad that we finally head back to the sunlight after spending too many episodes in the dark. At least now I can get much better screenshots). I’m also a fan of the elegance of Xing Hai, the way she dances around and proudly announces that her student would have noticed they’ve been followed at least 5 TIMES. The two pairs fight, but it comes to no surprise that the wiser team is a much better team. Still, poor Juan Can Yun gets shot in the eye by his ex-mentor and lose the guard; thus Dan Fei has to retreat. This very action marks the grow in Dan Fei’s character. She used to be the one who fight to death for her honor, but now because she doesn’t want anyone else to get hurt, she’s willing to step back. It’s nice to see her grow more trust to other people, and they really make a good pair if you ask me.

Next week we will witness the fight between our Shang Bu Shuan and Diao Ming, one of the subordinate of Mie Tang Hai. Although we pretty much know the outcome, it’s still interesting to see our MC get into a real battle the first time after the first episode. I’m also eager to see what kind of traps Gui Niao will prepare this time? Are they all going to fall for it? Until then, mi amigos.

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
hello anon, following any anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
My head kind of just floats over the edutainment parts in honda-san.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You read into these shows much better than me lenlo =)
Lenlo
This is the kind of character drama I enjoy. Its so grounded. Kurahara is trying to lead, but only has how his old toxic team was lead to go by. He doesnt see Nico basically killing himself with poor dieting. Yet he has progressed from "Im not on this team" to "I want to win first place with this team, at any cost".
Lenlo
Kaze Fui was soooo good this week. I love it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Air doll is also a manga adaptation now that I remember.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Ending to his film Nobody knows hits like a ton of bricks. I still need to see distance and Hana.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Shoplifters is also screening at my local theatre and I'm asking one of my friend to watch it with me. Such a powerful film. I think My Little Sister is the closest slice of life 'anime' we'd ever get from him, considering that film is based on a manga
SuperMario
Bloom into You is getting better now for me. Lots of good observations about teens coming to term with their feeling and their sexuality. Saying that I still don't like Yuu as a character at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I am seeing shoplifters by Koreeda on Friday. I also just watched After the storm and on a second time round it clicked with me more. I think I'd enjoy a slice of life anime directed by him.
SuperMario
Golden Kamuy embraces its goofy larger than life tones but damn it's entertaining to watch. Then the last few episodes it shows us how it can handle intimate scene and downright effective drama
SuperMario
I'm alright with Run with the Wind so far, still a solid show overall. 2 other shows that surprise me in a good way, however, are Golden Kamuy 2 and Bloom into You
Anonymous3119663
I didnt like this one as much as the others....
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like it that, even though I may not embrace a show as strongly as those who are really into it, that I can still at this stage be surprised by one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
and lol, I didn't expect the ashita no Joe references.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They seem to have dropped Kings job search arc though and the red haired guy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
This episode was particularly funny, and wasn't it great that neither the scene between Hakone and Kakeru or Kakeru's scene with the rest of the group at the start never felt like shitty forced drama? Glad to see Hakone showing another side of him, getting mad.
Anonymous3119182
Getting into arguments with Haiji who actually lashed back at him, and taking his frustrations out on the rest of the team. It looks like his past is catching up to him and he'll need to confront it soon.
Anonymous3119182
Surprisingly from this episode of Kaze ga, I'm now convinced that Kakeru will gets his comeuppance soon because man that reality check from the last episode really hurt his ego that badly for him.
Animosh
It consistently looks good, and unlike so many other adaptations, the staff is taking their time instead of rushing through the source material. In the latest episode they even added stuff to flesh out a certain character, and most source readers seem to consider it an improvement!
Animosh
@Amagi: I'm actually pretty impressed with the slime anime. Sure, the story is nothing special, but I didn't expect it to be. As an adaptation, though, it has far exceeded my expectations: I expected a cheap ad for the LN/manga, but the staff is clearly putting a lot of love into this.
panda
Weirdly enough, I liked the character additions to Bleach even though I know that besides the initial two arcs and the Hueco Mundo arc they weren't as interesting.
>weren't as interesting
Okay it was a disaster but still.
panda
I kind of feel the same way about series adding shit tons of characters to the series. Especially when we know that they're not even going to show up as much later in the series. I had this problem with Fairy tail and a lot of other shounen manga.
Amagi
The only exceptions are series that had a bigger cast to begin with and exactly know what to do with them and give every single character specific, human traits. Kaze ga Tsuyoku or Bokura no are examples for that.
Amagi
Sad but not surprising that the Slime isekai is turning into another generic shitfest after a rather strong start. It should have been about Slime and the Dragon alone and those other isekaied humans later as well as world building I honestly can't care about the additions to the team at all. But it only proofs to me that series will always get worse the more characters are joining the team.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It does prompt me to read the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Furryguy story got too many episodes. I surprisingly enjoyed the time travel one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, Phoneix, the 2004 series is the definition of a mixed bag, the first story gets gritty and bleak in a way that I liked but its the scifi stories I connect with best, the first one for its premise/set up and the second because the last part kind of hit me and seeing Rock, another Tezuka character cameoing in it was kinda cool.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pluto will be something that'll definately hold up for me and i can see myself actually appreciating it more when I watch the eventual adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess I'm reading Adolf then after watching the phoenix anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm thinking more along the lines of wanting a full kare kano adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: And I'm not sure if my tastes would be the same now.
Anonymous3115199
Hope it gets a decent episode count that does it justice. Can't imagine it being another rushed 1 episode per volume adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: But I'm not sure if I'll catch the remake.I've already read the manga twice years ago and seen the original anime twice aswell.
Anonymous3115199
Fruits Basket. Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time. And it's a getting a remake next year that covers the whole manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am old enough to remember watching 2 episodes of mysterious cities of Gold and one of battle of the planets aswell as the 90s gigantor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I happy to see studios finally going back to adapt stuff that deserves adapting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have also read angel no oka. Still haven't read Adolf or dororo.
Amagi
I can't wait for the Pluto anime (that was announced like a year ago?).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I won't spoil it, but MW had one cheeky ending that I loved.
Amagi
Well it pretty much is a ripoff of Kimba, I once thought people were joking until acrually googled it. Simba was even meant to be called Kimba at first IIRC.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A manga adaptation of mein kampf exists.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I used to joking argue with people when I was younger online about Disney ripping off Kimba.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've seen all the black Jack stuff, metropolis, I also read Book of human insects, Ayako, apollos song, MW, princess knight and some of ode to kirihito .
Amagi
I wish someone would animate Adolf one day. Or a proper adaption of Buddha.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring this up because somebody mentioned Phoenix when talking about Spirit circle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must confess to my eternal shame I have never seen Osamu Tezuka's phoenix apart from that one episode with the guy hallucinating that the robot girl was human.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Ah, to be more specific I meant in general.
Lenlo
Im with ya. If your talking about my comment on Ash's breakdown, im not saying I would have prefered to see it. I just think it did its job of disturbing the viewer well.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I would rather the characters speak explicitly of certain things in banana fish, sometimes seeing everything isn't neccesary.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps we should race Yagate and Irozuku, see who's faster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I've had it on hold for about 3 episodes , I'm waiting to see if it does anything before continuing, pretty show tho'.
Niello
It already passed the half way point but nothing happens in irozuku...nothing.
Amagi
Yeah I jsut read it in the thread. I love grandpa.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Seems like a big moment in Chi no Wadachi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Someone is uploading translated pages of the new beastars chapter on 4chan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am behind on some shows, I'm not uptodate with Irozuku or Yagate.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More specifically, I would like a whole side story about old dude and lizard dude before they met Goblin slayer. Also later part of this episode was stressful, such as Priestess bit. I also like that this show isn't afraid to have its MC get their ass kicked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was an anime called ristorante paradiso where all the dudes were old.
Amagi
That reminds me that there actually exists an otome'ish pub VN in which every guy is older than 40. Well I have to admit it's at least setting itself apart from the dozens of male j-rock/pop bishounen harem guys VNs out there. Same with that Pigeon otome VN (yes it's actual pigeons).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Goodness, we could have a reverse harem anime called Amagi-san and the 7 battling ojisans =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I wish the geezer in Goblin slayer would have more to do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Interesting how I hate certain genres, but when they're put through an exploitation lens I end up liking the genre, probably because it shits all over said genres while cutting out the boring parts.
Amagi
Yeah, same here. I also like it when stories are more mixed regarding age, general look, gender and such which is especially a problem in anime where you usually get 10 characters of the same gender, age and body type. Bonus if it's an idol show and they even have samefaces.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course these adult characters can exist outside of a fantasy and also be more relatable to me now, which is also a good thing, in a more serious story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Alot of this has to do with getting older and being aware of that fact, knowing theres a 30/40 something able to do stuff I can't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would welcome an age of pensioner-ploitation films.
Amagi
I always enjoyed movies with old guys for example. Not only that, but I usually like it. For various reasons like the stories they have to tell, the nearing death (for very old ones) or a midlife crisis but welp, these movies were common 40 years ago, now it's teens and young adults since these are the demographies that are most likely willing to pay for the cinema or to buy merch.
Amagi
Yeah same here. Modern hollywood movies are way more mainstream than old ones and try to be the lowest common denominator with the most common tropes and stereotypical characters so unless you have more or less the most common taste and way of thinking for whatever reason you won't enjoy it and only get even more bored with every new movie that just feels like the 1000 movies before that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Wheras I'd delight in anything left field or out of the box, because I love being constantly buzzed or surprised or seeing something do something uncompromising or weird.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*sense of
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I understand that people feel belittled when they watch something they can't make traditional sense or or morally work out .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've accepted that the stuff I really really like is going to be alien to a majority. I'd watch a lurid ova or b movie over any popular shounen or most post 80s hollywood films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There would have been a time where I'd thought I was doing it wrong or that people would just think me some kind of hipster or contrarian for not liking popular/mainstream stuff/what everyone in the same room/site likes.
Amagi
Same with movies. I guess in the end it's always about being able to relate. If there is a strange character only certain people can relate to they'll enjoy it while everyone else falls asleep and vice versa with more typical characters. Hell I have seen a ton of non-stop action movies that literally put me to sleep because there was nothing for me to root for nor any great twists to expect.
Amagi
It's strange but whenever people hate a series for being too boring it turns out to be a series I like which is weird because I consider 80% of all existing series boring, including many series most people actually consider exciting and/or enjoyable as hell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember there was a devil may cry anime, the guy subbing it didn't do a very good job but it was an okay extended advert for the game.
Lenlo
The man has also said that if someone would get him the rights to Berserk, he would do that to.
Animosh
Well, you still deserve credit for suggesting the series, because otherwise I wouldn't have even known it existed. :) But yeah, I like that people here are so open-minded. Anime is great and all, but there's plenty to discover outside of it (though to be fair, I'm lagging behind with many of them: following anime seasonally is great for discussion, but it can eat up a lot of time).
SuperMario
@Animosh: don't mention it. I'm glad you enjoy it. I don't take credits in this case since I myself haven't watched it yet. I love it how this community is willing to try other medium and not exclusively anime
Animosh
Really surprised this isn't more well known. Not that there's been much competition, but it's easily the best (western) cartoon I've seen this year.
Animosh
@SuperMario: thanks again for recommending Lastman! I just finished it, and it was a lot of fun. It doesn't have much depth, but it was incredibly entertaining: it just keeps throwing these bizarrely over the top action set-pieces at you without pausing, it oozes style, and its soundtrack is killer (it reminded me a bit of Hotline Miami). And it can be pretty damn funny too. It even ends strongly.
SuperMario
"I swear if I see some nonsense like her not being able to stay “Professional” due to having a boyfriend then I will have to strangle something" --> is that why you had screenshot of kitties up there?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: little sister has a strong chance to be a protag in the last arc. I'm genuinely surprised that Futaba is the main girl in this arc thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see the little sister looking scared in bunnygirl agrain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yay! Sing and eiji are doing something and Ash's freakout while melodramtic and ridiculous was still bleak, learn a bit more about Blanca which is good. Didn't like the goofy bit with yut-lung.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Not intellectually non-intellectual enough for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl has redeemed itself. Also my favourite part of this weeks episode was 7 or 8 minutes before the end .
SuperMario
I mean, just reading that title alone I might check out what this movie is about. lol
SuperMario
Well, I come across an unusual film title today. A Japanese film called "When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to be Dead"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Lafalle arc (as thematically I probably engaged the most here)and the final arc both elevated this series for me, even though I did enjoy the bit with Vann early on.
I’ve heard people don’t like the ending it hit with me.
Really solid.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dramatically this even kind of clicked for me and the antagonist surprised me as did twintails girl and bestghosts eventual roles, comedy isn’t exactly funny but I did laugh at points.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Apparently I got third time lucky with Mizukami, because I found this a very fresh take on the re-incarnation genre while actually DOING something worthwhile with it, his pacing/story telling style definitely feels a better fit to me in a short manga like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After a degree of indifference to planet with and only liking Biscuit hammers last arc, I ended up approaching Spirit circle expecting to not really have any opinion on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just my kind of weird.
Anonymous3093267
sword eyes
SuperMario
Here's another experimental animated short for you, Kaiser, Tango (1981) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo8O8lYDzIU
SuperMario
@Animosh: yeah the second part was released in VOD earlier this year and I watched it. Prefer the 1st one much better
Vonter
I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about Tomorrowland. That Disney movie that bombed and everyone seemed very lukewarm about. I suppose because I don't know exactly what was the problem with it, didn't see much discussion about it.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
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Featured Posts

Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-San – 7 [Tell Me! Wholesaler-san/A Networking Drinking Party for Booksellers]

Hello and welcome to another week of Honda-San! A quick note before we jump in. Since this is Thanksgiving week, no doubt most of my posts are going to be delayed. I am flying to Texas for a few days and will write when I can. I will try my best, but wanted to let […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 – 08 [The Song That Dooms Evil]

Thunderbolt mixes things up nicely this week. This week, the overpowered Princess has a fair shot of killing off our Shang Bu Huan, but predictably leaves him so that he can suffer. As often the case, when you’re too powerful you tend to act arrogantly, and… stupid. Thunderbolt is one good set piece piling up […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN – 07 [Scheme]

The last two episodes GRIDMAN has cleared up many things and handily suggests the road it will ultimately take for its last half. First, it’s the reveal that the world our characters live in is belong to Akane’s, as she can destroys, and rebuilds again as she likes. Second, it’s a strong hint that she […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara – 07 [The Burden of Venus]

And with this episode, my patience for Irozuku has started to run dry. It’s that, I learn very little about about them this week. The plot is on the standstill and it’s a whiplash that the cliffhanger for last week, namely Hitomi can see in colors, reverses back to the status quo. Which begs me […]

Banana Fish – 19 [Ice Palace]

Another week, another episode of Banana Fish, this time with 100% more depression! This week Ash starts to break, Yut gets what he wants and Eiji steps up to the plate. Lets jump in! So in general, this week was weird for me pacing wise. Certain sections felt slow while others passed at a blistering […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai – 07[Adolescence Paradox]

So we are on to the next arc and the next girl with adolence syndrome and while I give this series credit for breaking LN cliches, I feel like we could have the cast not be predominantly female. Well at least they are not all in love with the main character so I can give […]

Planetes – 9 & 10 [Regrets/A Sky of Stardust] – Throwback Thursday

Ah Planetes, one of the few things I look forward to every week since starting this. This time we have a number of background characters coming back in, Space continues to kill and Yuri gets some character. Lets jump in! Planetes actually managed to surprise me this week, if I am being honest. I was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 – 06-07 [A Poisoner’s Pride/ Bewitching Whispers]

My apologies that I missed a post last week, it’s not due to the lack of interest of Thunderbolt given the show is as exciting as ever, but more about my hectic life. These past two episodes have many game-changing events, and many Gui Niao’s wittiest lines and expressions to boost. The moment the Vapewiz […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 7 [Bear Your Fangs at the Summit]

Welcome one and all! This week in Kaze Fui we meet the final boss, Kurahara gets a reality check and our team runs their first track meet! Lets jump in! To start off, I have to say I loved the feel of Kaze Fui this week. Vague, I know, but hear me out. Kaze Fui […]

Latest Reviews

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 72/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]

Asobi Asobase (Summer 2018) Review – 83/100

In a year where comedy shows gain an unexpected strong showing, somehow a show about 3 cute girls and their pass-timer club emerges as one of the best comedy around. Yep, forget Hinamatsuri, forget Grand Blue, forget Chio-chan, Asobi Asobase delivers some hilarious absurdist laugh-out-loud moments for the ages. It helps that we were in […]

Planet With Anime Review – 90/100

Planet With is an anime that likely leaves many unimpressed when they look at the cover and makes for a solid proof that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover or even by it’s first episode. Many have overlooked this show in it’s season but for those that did give it chance it went […]

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (Dubbed) Review – 84/100

Ah, the movie tie in. A right of passage for all aspiring Shounen series. Some, like One Piece have weathered it and come out Golden, while others are better forgotten (Looking at you Bleach). My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, in my opinion, is closer to former. Animated by BONES , Directed by Kenji Nagasaki and […]

A quick and dirty review of Angolmois: Record of the Mongol Invasion

What it claims to be about: Angolmois (a reference to a Nostradamus prophesy which is rather irrelevant for the show, as he lived several centuries after the events) focuses on the first Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1274. Specifically it focuses on the early phase of the invasion when the Mongols attack Tsushima, which essentially […]

Steins;Gate 0 Anime Review – 60/100

Before I begin this review in earnest, I have to ask, who doesn’t know about Steins;Gate? The amazing, beloved original series that Steins;Gate 0 is an offshoot of. Well if you don’t, if you haven’t seen the original, then stop now. Steins;Gate 0 is not worth it. It is not for you. Without having seen […]

Mirai (2018) Movie Review – 81/100

Watching Mirai, there are two observations that spring right up to my mind: Mirai is Hosoda’s most grounded, personal film and it plays out completely different from what I expected based from the promotional materials. My feeling is confirmed when I later learned that Hosoda based the concept from watching his own children’s react, and […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore Anime Review – 40/100

To many the Fate series is daunting with its numerous incarnations and spinoffs and here in the year of many a Fate adaption we get another one by Studio Shaft which was first thought to adapt the story of the PSP game Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra could basically be considered Fate with a sci-fi twist as this […]

Darling in the Franxx Anime Review – 57/100

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and […]