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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 28 October 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 23 October 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

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

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

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

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

Posted on 14 October 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

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

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

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

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

Posted on 7 October 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 1 October 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

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

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

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

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

Posted on 23 September 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 19 September 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

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

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

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

Posted on 9 September 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

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

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

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

Posted on 2 September 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

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

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

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

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

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
Yeah KT, watching the two together has not come out favorably for AMB for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

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Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

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Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

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Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

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Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

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Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

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Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

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