Posted on 14 October 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

This is a big week for Vinland. One of the best episodes, not just of the season, but the year for me. So many things just came together to really nail it. As this week Askeladd makes us question who we are rooting for, and really throws the brutality of war in our face. Let’s just get right into it though.

Right off the bat, I think this episode looked fantastic. Wit really nailed the snow effects. Especially the wind blowing off the hills, flakes of snow scattering in the air. The lighting of the torches in the dark night, all of it really helped to fully realize and base the world. Which was very important for the actual contents of the episode. Vinland Saga also really upped the detail throughout the episode. Such as on the axes, characters faces or their hands. Really trying to ground it and push how real the characters are. I think Wit succeeds here, dialing in on the life of a peasant and focusing on them more than our leads. So that by the inevitable end of the episode, you are more connected and care more about them than our villainous leads. And boy, are our leads the villains this episode.

(more…)

Posted on 8 October 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Hello again everyone and welcome to a double feature for Vinland Saga. Apologies for the missed week, but even I am not totally immune to sickness. So this week we cover episodes 12 and 13. Where we learn quite a bit about Askeladd, Canute finds his voice and winter starts to turn. In we go!

Starting off, since its a 2 for 1 this week, let’s talk production. Across both the episodes, I thought the music was fantastic. Still very unique for most anime I feel. And they really accentuated each scene they were used in. I do think that it was a tad loud at times, though. Sometimes drowning out the conversation and such of the scene. Part of me thinks this was a conscious choice though, as Vinland Saga was putting a lot of effort into showing how much noise an army makes. With stomping boots and chatter and all that. Seemingly to setup the Ear’s little listening to the ground trick. But as a whole, while I really like the music, the volume mixing just felt a bit off. Over all though, the presentation was solid. Great presentation of armies and the changing of seasons and backgrounds. Onto the meat though!

(more…)

Posted on 24 September 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

I want to say this is a more philosophical week for Vinland Saga. As we spend half of it bantering about religion, the foolishness of war and what it does to a person. Yet Thorkell moving like a meat-blender across the screen sort of takes away from the statement. So instead, how about we just dive right in like we always do? With production.

This week had some nice scenes going for it, with even the CGI seeing a bit of an improvement. Of course the environments stayed top notch, but specifically I want to talk about how the characters interacted with it. The small things, like the soldiers stomping on the leaves, Thorkell blowing one or them falling around him during his talk. It’s small things sure, but they are things that help the great backgrounds feel like more than just window dressing. Going back to the CGI for a minute, while it wasn’t perfect, there was an improvement for the large battle. Some of it was hidden with clever smoke, fire and camera angles. But if that is what they need to do, then I don’t mind much. I think the opening shots of the big battle looked fine. Still, you can see all this with your own eyes. Onto the meat.

(more…)

Posted on 2 September 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Welcome all to another week of Vinland Saga. Sadly while it was filled with spectacle, this week shows that Vinland’s pacing doesn’t always translate well into anime form. But let’s take it slow as we walk through Thorkell’s fight, Canute’s army and Askeladd’s new plan. Let’s dive in!

In general, I think the episode looked fine. The CGI was of course the usual. Very noticable, and while not offensively bad, it still stuck out like a sore thumb. That said, we did get some beautiful cuts from Arifumi Imai, the man behind some of Attack on Titan’s best cuts. I wasn’t expecting him to show up honestly, I assumed most of Wits A-Team would be working on Kabaneri. But I am happy we did, because that log jump was beautiful. From Thorfinn running across the ships mast, to his almost floaty jump. Really, almost the entire Thorkell fight was a treat to look at. It makes me optimistic for some of the more emotional or action oriented scenes in the future. If nothing else, Vinland gave us some sick animation this week, and that makes me happy. Now though, onto the story.

(more…)

Posted on 26 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

I hope everyone had a better weekend than Thorfinn, because Vinland Saga was not kind to him. This week he gets his duel with Askeladd, a peek into Askeladd’s worldview and finally Thorkell makes his anime debut. Let’s dive in!

Starting off, let’s take a look at the major themes of Vinland Saga this week. Thors’ philosophy of nonviolence has permeated the series since he was first introduced. It is something Vinland will be revisiting time and again. This week though we see it contrasted with what Thorfinn has become and how conflicted he is because of it. Wishing to live up to his father’s ideals, but also his own desires. This of course ties in to another theme of the episode from Askeladd, IE Freedom. The idea that no man is truly free, that everyone is a slave to something. We will focus on this the specifics of this later. For now though, it’s important to note that Thorfinn is currently caught between two competing ideals, those mentioned prior. And this idea of peace and violence for personal satisfaction is something every character will explore in a different way.

(more…)

Posted on 20 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Welcome to the true start of Vinland Saga, as this week adapts what was originally the 1st Chapter of the manga. This week Thorfinn hits puberty, Askeladd makes bank and the French get laughed at. Lets jump in!

Starting off, this week was a series of highs and lows for Vinland’s production. I said it before, but the CGI is really starting to stand out. You need only look at the ending shots of the ships sailing down river to see that. With how beautiful the backgrounds are, the CGI ships just don’t fit. Alternatively look at the CGI soldiers on the battlefield. There are splashes of good there, and it cuts to 2D when it matters. But it’s very noticeable and doesn’t fit the rest of the art style. That said, Vinland did have some good CGI this week. The first person cut of Thorfinn fighting his way through the soldiers looked great. They kept the detail on the planks and decided to make the soldiers in the first person shot 2D. So as critical as I am of CGI, its very much a mixed bag.

(more…)

Posted on 13 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Another week, another dose of Viking murder, courtesy of Vinland Saga. This week we watch our baby boy grow up, learn a bit about Viking history, and get into the series proper. Let’s dive in!

Starting off, as always, the production aspect. This week showed us some of the cracks in Vinland’s production. For while the backgrounds still looked great, and I enjoy the lighting, the CGI was… obvious. It’s not unexpected, large battle scenes in anime like this seem to always get relegated to CGI. However it really stands out amongst the beautiful backgrounds and character work. With a horde of CGI vikings in the background walking around or fighting. Still, it could be a lot worse. None of the CGI was in the foreground, we didn’t have CGI Thorfinn fighting CGI goons. Wit only used it for background work, so as ugly as it looked, it was never really the focus. Except for maybe one shot of them all walking through the forest at least. Sadly its just something we will have to accept moving forward, because the cast isn’t getting any smaller.

(more…)

Posted on 6 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Welcome to a surprising week of Vinland Saga! This was completely unexpected, but it looks like we have a week of anime original content to look over. We get a look into Askeladd, Thorfinn’s first few weeks with them and the life of a viking. Lets jump in!

Starting off, like I said, yes this week and seemingly next week is all anime original content. This was a big, but not unwelcome, surprise to me. If anything, this was the best place for Wit to put it. With how they reordered the manga chapters, this is the perfect place to add original content to fill out series a bit, ensuring they don’t have to stretch other content farther than it needs to be. Most of all though, these two episodes will stand as the first true test of Wit’s understanding of the source material. Normally, anime original content is not… the best. As nothing is allowed to change, so as to not change the main story. In this case though, Wit doesn’t have that issue. As their content is just expanding upon a period of time left a mystery in the original story. So, how does Wit do?

(more…)

Posted on 29 July 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Vinland Saga

Welcome all, to the grand return of Vinland Saga! It’s been 3 weeks since it first aired and we finally get more, so allow me a moment of release before we start. Ahem, VINLAAAAAAAAND HYYYYYYYPE. Thank you. Let’s jump in.

Starting off, as much as I love Vinland, production wasn’t perfect. Part of this has to do with the fact that a vast majority of this episode was a single scene in the same location. There was very little variance or interesting switchups on screen. And the CGI water also suffered a bit this week. Seemingly passing through the boats at the end. However, there was still plenty to love in Vinland this week. Now I could talk about the artstyle, or the dynamic faces of Askeladd or Thors. However, I want to focus on something Wit does very well. The action. In particular, Askeladd and Thors fight was small scale and beautiful. Wit focused a lot on their swords, full body movements and the tactics, just like the manga, and I loved it. So basically, if Vinland stays the course, I’ll be happy.

(more…)

Star Crossed Anime Blog

12 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Dr. STONE – 15/16 [The Culmination of Two Million Years/A Tale for the Ages]

This week of Dr.STONE is a double feature, courtesy of my inability to write! Here we cover the conclusion of the Grand Bout, finish the Cure-All and then dive into the history of Ishigami village. So without further ado, since we have a lot to cover this week, let’s dive in. Starting off, first an […]

Beastars – 02

Furry anthropomorphic animals animals are in fashion now thanks to the onslaught of countless isekai settings, but Beastars is here to offer something fresh and different. Indeed, there are many elements from Beastars that we can feel optimistic about. The manga source is penned by Paru Itagaki, which recent news reveals to be the daughter […]

Hoshiai no Sora – 02

Hoshiai no Sora picks up where Mix left off in terms of character-driven sports dramas. Between those two and Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru at the start of the year, we’ve had a strong representative for the genre at all points during 2019. Though it’s just two episodes old, Hoshiai has the potential to be the […]

Mononoke – 11 [Goblin Cat, Part 2] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all to the penultimate week of Mononoke! Apologies for the lateness of this, life is busy busy right now, much like Mononoke itself. As this week we dive into the mystery at hand, our suspects start to talk and the series gets… weird. Let’s dive in! Starting off, what do I mean […]

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These – 13-16

This really wasn’t the best way for me to pop back into blogging for a while if I am to be frank. It’s not hard to shake off the rust but to walk into the middle of a series I watched a year ago which has a cast and political landscape to dwarf a star […]

Fire Force 12 – Eve of Hostilities in Asakusa

Welcome back to Beni town!  After a two week break, Fire Force has awkwardly picked back up with its penultimate episode (for the first cour).  Missed Shinra and the gang?  Unfortunately, there’s some Catgirl this week, but aside from that, we have another solid effort all around.  Let’s get into it!

Vinland Saga – 14 [The Light of Dawn]

This is a big week for Vinland. One of the best episodes, not just of the season, but the year for me. So many things just came together to really nail it. As this week Askeladd makes us question who we are rooting for, and really throws the brutality of war in our face. Let’s […]

Mononoke – 10 [Goblin Cat, Part 1] – Throwback Thursday

Hello all, apologies for the delay, and welcome to the final arc of Mononoke! This is perhaps the most unique one yet. As we skip forward to a modern era, set the entire thing in a single location, and have ourselves a murder mystery. So, lets dive in! Right off the bat, as always, I […]

Vinland Saga – 12/13 [The Land on the Far Bank/Child of a Hero]

Hello again everyone and welcome to a double feature for Vinland Saga. Apologies for the missed week, but even I am not totally immune to sickness. So this week we cover episodes 12 and 13. Where we learn quite a bit about Askeladd, Canute finds his voice and winter starts to turn. In we go! […]

Latest Reviews

Mix: Meisei Story Review – 75/100

Mix is, by my count, the eighth Mitsuru Adachi work to be adapted to animation. I’ve only seen one of the other seven, so it may not be my place to say this, but Mix probably ranks around the middle of those eight. Its main cast is complex, but the non-baseball players among them slip […]

DanMachi2 Anime Review – 40/100

“Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon” burst onto the anime scene as something of a B-tier cult classic.  2015 saw Season 1 massively outperform expectations  – ignoring the occasionally shoddy animation – to bring excitement and mostly fan service (and the cosplayer favorite: the Hestia ribbon).  Now, four years later, the […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba Anime Review – 80/100

It’s hard to find a more ubiquitous genre in anime than Shounen. Maybe romance/moe-blobs, but it’s a close race. With series like One Piece and until recently Naruto, being a constant presence each season/year. Often this makes it difficult for newer series to break into the anime market in a meaningful way. With the recent […]

Youjo Senki Movie Review – 85/100

Outside of a very few exceptions, I have come to despise the isekai genre with its predominantly self-inserted overpowered male protagonists, massive harems, fan-service bait and overused fantasy settings. Youjo Senki is none of those things and it has gained a very special place in my heart where it features the combined arms of a […]

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – II Lost Butterfly Anime Review – 91/100

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically […]

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]