Posted on 22 May 2008 with categories: Allison to Lillia


Okay, that’s it. I’m dropping this series. I’ve had enough, the climax of this episode was just painful to watch. I’ll still continue watching this series for the Lillia-storyline, but I don’t want to blog this series anymore.

Owen Nicht is cornered. He’s about to get arrested, so he takes Fiona hostage. Okay, fair enough, I can live with that. HOWEVER, one of the main guards tries to stop Owen by charging directly into the guy. Owen stops him, not by pointing a knife at Fiona, but freaking stabbing the guy’s knee from such an awkward position!

And then it only gets better. Owen manages to escape (note how he didn’t retrieve his knife). The guy is screwed, so he needs to escape. So, where does he run to? The roof. The freaking ROOF. The highest point possible. Obviously, Benedict is the first to get there too, and Owen abandons Fiona to stab the guy, with another dagger that looks exactly the same as the one he just left into that officer’s leg. But here’s the best part: Benedict blocks it with his freaking watch. He didn’t evade the dagger, he didn’t try to disarm Owen. No, he moved his arm in such a risky position so that his watch would stop the dagger, with the danger that if it was only off by a few angles, it would bounce off and still hit him.

After this, I completely lost interest. I knew that this series wasn’t good, but I never imagined that the creators would resort to ZAIZEN JOTARO-plot-twists.

Madhouse, you’re a strange one: you’ve managed to concentrate all of best staff-members on Himitsu, Chi’s Sweet Home and Kaiba this season, and the worst on Kamen no Maid Guy and Allison to Lillia. It’s interesting: usually madhouse series are a strange combination between awesomeness and a bit of laziness. In this season Himitsu, Kaiba and perhaps to a lesser extend Chi’s Sweet Home are pure awesomeness without any apparent weaknesses, and Maid Guy and Allison to Lillia are among the laziest Madhouse Production that I’ve seen so far.

Ah well, now I can blog one extra series this summer, and it’s looking out to be quite a good season. Farewell Allison to Lillia. In a way, I do hope I’m wrong when I fear that the second half won’t be much better, but I don’t feel like finding out.

Posted on 15 May 2008 with categories: Allison to Lillia


Oh, just great. I’m losing interest in this series, as much as I hate to admit it. It’s not the only series that started out rather unbelievable this season. Heck, Nijuu Mensou no Musume had a far worse start, but at least that one has been showing potential. At this point, the sense of adventure just isn’t enough anymore, and the way Allison just stole yet another plane didn’t sit right with me at all. Thankfully, at least the last parts of this episode seemed interesting again.

But then again… a peek at the preview showed how Owen Nicht shamelessly kidnaps Fiona IN PERSON. I have no idea how the creators are supposed to get a satisfying conclusion out of that. The guy has been horribly underdeveloped, and it doesn’t seem that he’s about to receive a huge amount of depth. I REALLY hope that this series won’t continue this pacing, where Allison and later Lillia will keep saving the world n forced manners.

It’s a shame. I expected much more from the director, but it turns out that he still needs to learn a lot. His style was perfect for Mokke, where every episode was quick and yet powerful. It seems however that he just isn’t as good with continuous story-lines.

Still, I’ll continue with this series for now. The thing I’m interested in is its future potential. What will happen once Lillia takes over? Will this series change entirely? Let’s hope that this series can keep me interested until that point…

Posted on 8 May 2008 with categories: Allison to Lillia


So, this series is never going to become a classic; it’s a bit too sloppy for that (remember that girl from the last episode? Well, she happens to be a princess). Still, it knows how to tell a story and it’s got a charming cast. That’s enough for me. :)

This episode concludes the angry village-arc. I didn’t quite catch why they were so hostile in the first place, but the most likely reason seems to be that they just hate outsiders. A lot of secluded villages seem to have something against people from the outside, and this is apparently just a very extreme case.

So, basically Allison and Will escape and run into Benedict. They then get saved by that princess and Benedict’s smooth talking. Inside her house, the princess reveals her identity and says how she’s been living with her grandfather, though he died a number of months ago. The next day, as they try to escape (interesting tactic, by the way) they are found out, and the princess saves everyone by protecting Benedict, Allison and Will against the guns of the villagers.

This just shows how easily the villagers can trust someone they know. They just throw down their guns like it’s nothing. Ah well, I guess that it does mirror villages in real life in a way, though I wish that the creators would have spent a bit more attention to fleshing out these villagers. The thing I especially liked in this episode, though, was when the princess noticed Benedict’s gun, and asks him to teach her to use it. Benedict, however, refuses like the gentleman he is. Afterwards, when Benedict and the princess started arguing over the use of beds (there were only three of them for four persons), and Allison and Will just ended up sharing their bed was pretty fun as well.

I also only realized this with this episode, but the OP actually foreshadows the different arcs of the first half. The next arc will take place in a large city, probably where Will is studying. The final arc will then deal with some kind of train (am I the only one getting Baccano!-vibes from this?)

Posted on 2 May 2008 with categories: Allison to Lillia


With this episode, I guess that we’ve reached the second novel of the original “Allison”-series. It does worry me a bit that the creators are trying to stuff 10 volumes of light-novel material into just twenty-six episodes (For the sake of comparison: Soul Eater with its 11 volumes has 52 episodes to work with, and Saiunkoku spent 78 episodes for 12 of them). Apparently, there are going to be six story-arcs in this series, with the latter ones taking up two volumes. This means that each arc will be about four or five episodes long.

While the chance for a rushed story is quite big, this short format does keep the story fresh. I’m really wondering whether the director will be able to pull it off. I think the biggest reason for this short series-length is the budget, which you can also see in the animation, which has always been not that special for this series. In any case, at least the director has already shown that he’s very good at characterizations, which should be more than enough to keep me interested.

In this arc, it’s not likely that Allison and Will will board some kind of airplane, and the story is actually quite similar to a random arc of Kino no Tabi: Allison and Will end up in a hostile town, in the middle of winter. This town seems to be very afraid of outsiders (especially if they come in a military car). In the meantime, Benedict follows them, because he’s worried that Allison and Will might have run into trouble due to an unexpected blizzard, after which he meets the mysterious girl we see in the ED. Also, throughout the episode, we can see Allison trying to find courage to confess to Will. She’ll probably propose properly around the end of this arc.

Posted on 24 April 2008 with categories: Allison to Lillia


This was definitely the best episode of Allison to Lillia yet. I’m really surprised and impressed by it: I thought that the entire Allison-arc would revolve around the war and the search for the treasure, and yet both storylines get resolved in just one episode. It really makes me wonder what the rest of this series will be about.

I think it’s clear by now that the plot-twists in this series take a lot of liberty, as symbolized by Allison’s whimsical nature. In this episode, Benedict also changes sides really easily, and the war is over before you know it. There’s not even a scene where the important people see the treasure; it just ends and we can only guess the real reason behind it. But I think that that’s one of the charms of this series, and it manages to keep its combination between a light-hearted mood and serious themes this way. I’ve been a rather large advocate of realism lately, but this series shows that you can be good even without a huge focus at realism.

Also, that airplane-fight in the first half of the episode was very impressive. It’s been a while since I watched a fight in mid-air that didn’t involve mecha. The music also showed some of its best sides so far in this episode. Overall, if these four episodes gave away a small taste of what’s left to come in this series, then I’m in!

Posted on 17 April 2008 with categories: Allison to Lillia


Such an eventful episode for this series. I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised by it. The screenplay in this series could have been better, but to make up for it, the creators have managed to tell a great story up till now. The question is now: how are the creators planning to fill in the rest of this series, now that the introduction-arc is over?

In this episode, Allison and Will head to the nearest military base of the enemy, in which the old man has apparently been taken to. We also get introduced to Treize, who’ll probably play the large part in the second half of this series. It turns out that he and Allison were acquaintances when they were young as well, probably when they were trainees for the military.

This episode also really showed that this will be an adventure anime, when Allison and Will try to break out the old man. This old man also turns out to be a war-veteran, and he encountered the treasure during one of his missions. Allison cleverly chose a rookie to guide her around the base, and she seems to have understood pretty well that the one thing that you need to be when under cover is to be self-assured, and make it seems like you know what you’re talking about.

The thing I like best about this series is the characterization, though. Allison gives a very interesting dimension to “the strong female”. She’s young and naive, but when she’s in her element, she really shines. Then something goes wrong, and Will takes up the role of “strong person”. In addition, even the small side-characters feel more than cardboard boxes.

Posted on 10 April 2008 with categories: Allison to Lillia


Okay, this is going to be the first series that I’ll be blogging for the current spring-season. At first sight, this series looks rather underwhelming when compared to the rest of this season, but as I watched this episode, I suddenly realized that I’ve actually got lots of reasons to blog about this series.

First of all: the people who worked on it. The director of Mokke, adapting a story from the writer of Kino no Tabi. Of course it’d be interesting to check out to see such a combination. Add to that the art director of Hi no Tori and Madhouse who’ll be doing the animation. It’s pretty clear by now that the animation isn’t detailed at all, but I don’t care, as long as the series looks good. And that’s definitely the case for this series.

Then there are the themes, which lay an interesting parallel to the other series that appeared this season. During the Spring Season of 2007, a lot of series featured a veteran, travelling and taking care or protecting a relatively weak partner. In Seirei no Moribito, Balsa took care of Chaggumu, Wellber no Monogatari featured Tina that took care of Rita, in El Cazador Nadie watched over Ellis and in Claymore Claire had Raki around her, just to name some examples. The current season features a lot of spunky females that have to deal with a guy that’s on a level above them: Itazura na Kiss, S.A, Crystal Blaze, Toshokan Sensou (of which I’ll post my first impressions once Kaiba and Junjo Romantica air) and Vampire Knight.

In all of these series, the male character acts as a sort-of brake. These females do pretty stupid things at times, mostly due to their inexperience, but so far they’ve always been protected by their male companion, to hold them down so that they don’t lose complete control. Allison to Lillia, however, is different. Will is basically a wuss, and instead Lillia is the stronger one, even though she does make naive decisions, just like the other female leads of the series I just mentioned. Where does she end up with this? Well, crashed out of her plane and with Will unconscious for a part of the episode. In Allison to Lillia, there isn’t just one character that’s just “better”. Allison and Will both have their own strong points and their weak points, and so far they’ve complemented each other pretty well.

Then there are the influences by the writer of Kino no Tabi. This series is both subtle, and it makes you think. In this episode, Allison and Will stay the night at the house of a woman who lost both her sons in the war. At the time, Will was unconscious, so she just had to offer them a place to rest, even though she immediately recognized that they were involved in the war. Against two youngsters like that, she of course can’t do anything to stop them, so instead she just lets the two stay the night, while clearly voicing her own opinion about the war. As the episode progresses, her relationship with Allison and Will subtly changes.

Then there are the side-characters. I love it when a series puts time into even the insignificant ones, to make them more than just cardboard figures. I don’t think that this series has featured any character that at least didn’t have some kind of personality or story. So yes, I’ll be blogging this. It’s quite quiet at times, but I like series that are quiet, yet deal with serious topics as war and similar things. With 26 episodes, there’s plenty of potential for this series to work with. There were a few details that were wrong with these episodes (one of the woman’s son’s uniforms seemed to fit Allison a little too well), but this is just nitpicking.

Posted on 4 April 2008 with categories: Allison to Lillia, Kurenai, Some Quick First Impressions, xxxHolic

Allison to Lillia

Ah, the first good series of the season. This episode was pretty solid; it started out as not anything special, but as it went on, it became more interesting by the minute, and this is just the first episode. You can really see the influences of both Mokke and Kino no Tabi, and yet this series goes into its own direction. It turns out that this series will be about two couples: Allison and Will, and Lillia and Treize, who have yet to be introduced. My only point of critique would be that Will’s voice-actor sounds a bit too young for his age, but that should be easy enough to get used to. Another interesting thing is that the female lead likes to ignore rules if necessary. It never really came to me, but you don’t often see people that break rules as easy as she does in anime. One thing I’m hoping for the future episodes is to explain a bit more about the politics of the country that the two main characters live in, but with 26 episodes there should be plenty of time for that.

Kurenai

Whoa! Here’s a contender for the best first episode of the season. You can really see that Brains Base (who did the animation for Baccano!) worked on this series, and the result looks absolutely gorgeous. There are hardly any still frames, characters make subtle gestures, the 7-year old girl really sounds like a young girl instead of a squeaky 30-year old voice actress and the OP has been done entirely in flash. The art style is a strange combination between that of Red Garden and Baccano, which only makes things better. The scriptwriting also is quick and witty. Here’s a potential classic, if the creators can keep up this level of quality, at least.

xxxHolic Kei

What an awesome episode to start off the second season! This episode was exactly the reason why I fell in love with the first season. Watanuki is downright hilarious, and stands miles away from your “typical high school boy”. On top of that, this series has always featured thought-provoking cases, and this episode was no exception. I won’t spoil anything, but if you liked the first season, you just have to watch this episode. Really, this series makes coming up with an entertaining storyline look so incredibly easy.

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  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:29 PM)
    @Kaiser Someone who actually still likes Nicholas Cage outside of his internet memes? To me he’s one of those actors who at this point, I can’t visualize playing a role outside of himself. Similar to how I can’t see any of Steve Carrell’s movies without seeing Michael Scott.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:19 PM)
    @Bam Yup, asking for money online is flawed in almost every way from the donor’s point of view, a lot of my former art history degree friends have taken to Patreon in a last ditch effort to float their poor career choice.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:46 PM)
    With synecdoche it has the benefit of Hoffman’s performance and to get it you just have to “Feel it”.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:45 PM)
    Adaptation is one of those films with Nicholas Cage where you really wish he’d do more of, I wasn’t expecting that to go so off the rails near the end.
    Being John Malkovich, I dug the crazily creative premise.
    Anomalisa felt so human that the characters are puppets you can easily forget that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:42 PM)
    @Bam: I really want to use Urotsukidouji as my reasoning for why more messed up stuff should be adapted, namely kara no shoujo but the industry will just never be that hardcore anymore.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:44 AM)
    In a world where Urotsukidoji gets 3 series of OVAs there is nothing you want to make that is too risqué or edgy that nobody would want to pick up. I get a small startup trying to push their fist film out, but most big Kickstarters are ran by bigname talents that already have a string of hits on their resume. C’mon, just have some faith in your work, it’s just crazy to ask for money upfront.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:37 AM)
    SuperMario: I assume you mean Charlie Kaufman’s new film, in which case he already did pretty much whatever he wanted. Have you seen Synecdoche, New York and Adaptation? Now I’m a big ran of the man, but this creative control card gets a bit overplayed. The Under the Dog producers claim the same thing, but looking at their trailer it doesn’t look like anything that Japanese studios don’t already greenlight.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:01 AM)
    for me though, I only pay for projects that I’m certain to watch (and have to pay for it eventually), so I don’t see the point not to “helping” them out. It’s all the same for me.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:58 AM)
    @Bam I think the core concept is 1) with Kickstarter, many projects that otherwise never could have made is get supported here and 2) creators have more artistic control over their project. Take Amonalisa for example, big studios was very hesitate to fund the film, because of the commercial failure of his first film, but he insisted to get crowdfund and we have one of the more creative animation output last year.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:53 AM)
    A lot of the tech stuff is things you will never use twice; like a smartphone microscope attachment. they’re usually pretty shifty with it too. Yeah I’m sure it takes the price of a house to make a video series about sexism in videogames- right? And it takes almost a million dollars to make a 4 level indie game with three guys- seems legit. Must be pretty nice to basically do business with zero chance of failure.

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