Posted on 10 March 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Durarara


In reflection I think Durarara may have been a poor choice to blog. The reason being that when I sat down to watch this episode I was fully intent on finding something I could comment on. Then as the end credits roll I find myself at a loss to what to write about. With something like Death Parade it comes naturally but here I just come up blank. I could of course bring up the events of the episode itself such as Verona chasing after Celty with glee or Shizuo avoiding fighting the yakuza because he’s been framed and doesn’t want to raise any more problems. Yes, I could say it was funny when the yakuza underlings tried to explain Shizuo’s absurd fighting style to their boss. However that’s just me summarizing the episode, not reviewing it.

The cogs are in motion and something is coming but I cannot formulate an opinion on it. I do admit that this season has so far been inferior than its predecessor now that nostalgia factor has long worn off. We are now 35 episodes into Durarara and yet characters are still being introduced and the story feels like it’s setting up stages. Many animes would be moving on to getting the main event started and those shows are lucky to even get a second season. Let alone a two cour one. In the impression, I warned people not to expect progression with this series. Now I find it hard to follow my own advice. I am sorry for the lack of episode review here but I recommend trying to review just the events of this one episode in the comments. I think you might understand why then. All I can really say is this. Mikado better have made made a choice by the end of this arc as his indecision would test the patience of Buddha. I am hoping the next episode will give me something to work with as otherwise I will be forced to drop this and maybe replace it with kaleidoscope. Or an one post impression on another ongoing series.

Posted on 4 March 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Durarara

No animation issues this time around thankfully. Really like the touch of Irelands flag on the cup Shinra gave the girl at their apartment. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Celty is indeed Irish. Probably one of the few Irish characters in anime. And here we learn that the one who told the little girl to kill Shizuo was in fact Izaya. (No surprise there) Shizuo reaction to this is the most unexpected and pretty funny scene. A ridiculously off putting smile as he goes off laughing to kill Izaya. Naturally Izaya goes to lengths not to face Shizuo directly. Even framing him for murder and getting a gang after him. Izaya’s plan looks to be coming to fruition. With him even taking Masaomi out of town so that he doesn’t mess up his plans for Mikado. He is currently suspicious but hasn’t caught on to the real reason Izaya sent him to the countryside. Verona’s gearing for a rematch and Ladies man is picking a fight with Kadota. Things for this arc look to be coming to a head.

Mikado’s section basically involved him being offered the position of the leader of the blue squares. The impact of this scene is lost on me. Because it relies on Mikado denying his desires and having someone else point them out. The problem with this is that Mikado is not unaware of his desires. They are the very reason he moved to Ikebukuro in the first place. He himself pointed this out to us in his flashback. So having him deny this and claim he wants an ordinary life is just out of character. Why does he need someone to bring up something something he already knows? That Izaya brought up with him only an episode ago. I like the idea of Mikado taking up a position of power. I am just not fond of the execution.

Posted on 25 February 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Durarara

I think the problem with this episode was evident right from the opening scene. I had to do a double take when seeing a very poorly drawn Simon. I even questioned whether it was a new character entirely. But no, the animation budget took a nosedive. Or the guy who was to do the inbetweens got sick. The animation in this episode was bare bones. Movement to an absolute minimum. I mean damn, at several points there was no inbetween frames at all and you were graced with magic teleporting statues supposed to represent characters. It wasn’t done out of artistic sensibility. Of that I assure you. The fight between Vorona and Anri was really hurt by this. With the two portraying the furiosity of two mannequins in a staring contest. Even Vorona’s backstory had moments where the only background was a colour gradient.

That really did ruin the episode but truthfully the episode wasn’t that eventful. It was yet another backstory of yet another crazy character. In another story Vorona’s character might be a main antagonist or anti-hero. But here she’s the goon picking a fight with characters she is greatly underestimating. A one note conflict. So really it’s just a waiting game of seeing when she will discover what the audience already knows. Meanwhile Mikado looks to be disregarding every warning he was given about Izaya already and letting the guy play him like a fiddle. Though it is good to see the issues with Mikado’s indecision regarding his position in the dollars being pushed into his face. Speaking of which, it looks that the dollars conflict seems to have reached his doorstep.

Posted on 18 February 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Durarara

Turns out that assassination attempt got Celty to see her life flash before her eyes. I suppose taking a tumble off a moving motorcycle is a fatal thing. But well in the last arc we saw two people survive getting blown away at about the length of a football field. So I cannot say I was worried about Celty in the slightest. True to that, Celty is fine and ready to get payback. The time leaping is getting a bit out of hand with things happening in this episode that take place in the middle of last episode abound things happening around the same time as other things and past is future and future has past and ouch…my head. I would have better luck mapping out the Doctor Who timeline. Our new characters this time are a cold analytical assassin by the name of Vorona and her eccentric boss who gets hung up on odd questions which the girl then answers. So that’s why men have nippiles. Honestly wondered about that one myself. They have an interesting gimmick but thats about it. The would need to bring something new to the already bloated cast. Vorona though seems disappointed in how easy it was to take down Celty and is annoyed over the job of abducting a child. There’s some visage of a heart in that impassive exterior.

Shinra has got to be given credit. I don’t think there’s anyone else with the courage to openly mock Shizuo to the face and not end up in a hospital. Other than that we have the Dollars kicking up trouble without Mikado’s direction. This is something that I find odd about Mikado. The plot has clearly shown that he desires a more interesting life. Hence why he moved to Ikebukuro in the first place. Yet he seems to actively avoid using his power over the dollars and keeps preserving his normal life. His actions seem contradictory. He wants the excitement of the unknown and unusual, yet avoids and fears the consequences of such and sticks to a normal routine. It would be good for the series to push him into making a decision about this. The episode ends on the note of someone attacking Anri. I would be concerned if Anri didn’t happen to be the possessor of a sentient sword and didn’t have a legion of loyal followers to get her out of this. If it was Mikado then this might hold weight but Anri? It may be a better option than picking a fight with Shizuo but you still get beaten to a pulp. Or in this case, slashed to ribbons and turned into a mindless zombie.

Posted on 12 February 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Durarara

We have yet another new character entering the show. A motorcycle gang leader who has a massive fondness for woman. Personally I am not a fan of him. His brand of female overprotective crazy just seems like a downgrade from the shows already huge cast of crazies. He looks like a character whose introduction serves only the purpose to bring another conflict to the city. However he did spring a change to one of the characters. Shizuo, whose purpose up till now was to walk in and start beating people up, is getting some attention. It is good to see Shizuo express emotion beyond blind rage. Seeing him treat someone with respect for challenging him directly and admitting that he got jealous when the man remarked that he had a cute girl who would help nurse him back to health. Even shrugging off a taser attack from a little girl trying to kill him. Shizuo getting the spotlight at last.

The three plot threads we have this time is a motorcycle gang planning a all out attack, a little girl who is trying to kill Shizuo and Celty being tasked with finding said little girl. The only carryover was the motorcycle gang leader challenging Shizuo over the guys he beat up last episode. But even that is tossed aside pretty fast as he learns why one of the towns rules is to never pick a fight with the man dressed as a bartender. We also have yet another new character who ends the episode by trying to behead Celty. A fruitless task to be certain. But Narita, seriously. Keep adding characters like this and the opening won’t have time to cover them all. A fun little tidbit I noticed is with the Orihara sisters. Strangely when posting on the Internet, Mairu(the talkative one) writes very little. Yet Kururi(the quiet one) posts walls of text. Wonder what dice they rolled to get these traits? It’s too early to say where this is going but if this is a story about Shizuo then thats always welcome in my book.

Posted on 4 February 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Durarara

The current story arc ends abruptly and unexpectedly. I am rather surprised that it came here. From how this was portrayed it felt this would be a longer arc than it turned out to be. So with its end I must think back and wonder. What exactly did this arc accomplish? We got introduced to new characters and they did get integrated into the cast. But other than that this arc didn’t really do anything. The bounty on Celty disappeared as fast as it appeared. The biker gang have been wiped out by Shizuo. Hollywood and the russian hitman have no loose ends to cover.(Well unless you are interested in Hollywoods family. Or the budding love between her and Shizuo’s brother) And the Orihara sisters were introduced and that’s about it. Really this was a story of how Celty lost a lot of money and unknowingly reclaimed it thanks to a little plotting of the Orihara sisters, featuring special guests. Because Hollywood, the Russian hitman and the Orihara sisters did more or less nothing despite getting a significant amount of screen time.

And here is one of the major problems with Narita. Here we have a story that was by all means self contained. Because in truth Narita is an episodic writer. By arcs end, everything returns to zero. Yet Narita always seems to try and present this as “only the beginning” Like this arc was just setup for a greater overarching plot. However if previous experience says anything it’s that the only thing that lies in the future is a weak climax and a return to zero. Yet here he is again building up a conflict within the dollars, Saika growing out of control and Izaya plotting something big. But I know how this works. These things will get wrapped up quick and then other things will be foreshadowed which also will get wrapped up quickly and unceremoniously. If you want to write episodic stories Narita then do so. But stop trying to tease the possibility that you will move beyond that. It’s a pet peeve really. Even if Durarara is essentially the daily hijinks of the eccentric cast it would still be entertaining.

Posted on 29 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Durarara

If its one thing you to can credit Narita for it that just when you think he cannot possibly make a stranger character, he then does. So the monster that Shizu smashed into the air in the last moment gets their story told and I am sure there are not many who would have guessed what was under that makeup. Yes not only is the serial killer Hollywood female but she also happens to be a famous idol called Ruri Hijiribe. Really question how she fits killing into what is most likely a packed schedule. My issue with this is that on the episode in which she is introduced is also the episode she essentially reached the end of her character arc. Her problem was that she felt like a monster that couldn’t be understood. Only to find that this town is filled with monsters living normal lives. I really don’t see how her character can evolve from here. At most she’s now just a love interest for Yuhei. Yuhei is also quite the character having reacted to his guest trying to kill him with the same apathy one would reserve for a school play. Well according to him he was actually quite scared but is bad at expressing himself. Saving his life by weirding out or potentially charming Ruri. The dialogue between these two was so off that you can’t help but feel they are strangely made for each other.

The time jumping is getting rather confusing now. Seeing as this episodes beginning takes place at the start of the first episode but jumps to the middle of the second episode and it turns out the Orihara section of the second episode took place before the beginning of the first episode and…like I said. Laying out the timeline is likely an endeavor. On one note it’s a little unbelievable that the guy who was previously dying in the last episodes ends up fine with some bandages. It’s true that if he did die that would mean that Shizuo murdered someone under false pretenses but it’s a little hard to believe that this guy survived a hit like that. But then again this is a world where a man can pull up lampposts to use as makeshift baseball bats. The Orihara sisters still manage to be endearing despite their incredibly messed up personalities. Just what kind of childhood can create monsters like this? They seem to have taken on the job of the injured Russian and look to be getting wrapped up in what looks to be this arcs climax.

Posted on 22 January 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Durarara

If this episode had a focus then the stars would be Celty and the Orihara sisters. Though there were other events such as Anri and Mikado going to karaoke with Erika and Walker but it wasn’t really all the important and seemed to be there to foreshadow a new character and set up what looks to be future hijinks. Though we have the standard of Narita storytelling going on, namely jumping around in time to past and future events with little to no context.

Celty truly is a interesting character from an animation perspective.  Its easy to overlook but when you think about it she must be one of the trickiest characters to animate. Why you ask? Well how do you show a character is sad without words? The easiest is to turn her eyes to the ground and give them a frown. Add in a tear and a slight head droop if they are really sad. But in Celty’s case, how would you do that? The girl doesn’t have a head therefore removing the large emotional range a face can provide. Of course they could have easily made her a deadpan snarker but instead Celty is presented as a fairly emotional character. All of this through body language.  I am reminded of the Raimi Spiderman movies where Tobey needed to exaggerate his movements to act when Spiderman. Celty twirls when happy, fidgety when embarrassed and puts her hand to her chin when thinking. In a strange way it makes her seem the most human character in the show. Odd considering that she is by definition, not human. Its this that makes her so likeable. The voice actress does deserve credit but the animators really did a great job.

Though it was the Orihara sisters that stole the show. They certainly prove to be Izaya’s family, being completely strange and insane. If Izaya’s word can be trusted they chose their personalities on the roll of a dice. But ended up with a disjointed disconnect between personality and appearance.  So we have a girl with the look of a quiet library girl being talkative and proclaiming to be a outgoing bisexual. And a girl in a gym outfit whose sullen and quiet. Naturally the two stand out and I sighed as the stereotypical bullying starts. But luckily the bullies a taken care of quickly. Its good that these throwaway villains were just put in to point out that the Orihara sisters are just as dangerous as their older brother. I am willing to bet the two have become fan favorites by episodes end. Though I wonder what their role will be in this particular arc? From the looks of things they are getting involved as near the episodes end they find a dying man that Shizu bashed into the air. Well we have set up two dynamic characters so at least make use of them Narita. Don’t toss them to the sidelines.

Posted on 30 September 2013 with categories: Shingeki no Kyojin

With this I see why people complained that Shingeki no Kyojin went off-track a bit, because the whole cellar has been pushed more and more to the side of things. But in the show’s favor: the characters did have a really good reason to get sidetracked like that, because both the political games and that female Titan put up quite a big wall in front of that cellar. That first needs to be broken down before they can get to it.

But did Shingeki no Kyojin drag on? To answer that question, we need to wonder what makes it worth watching. The fantastic action, excellent acting, really well thought-out scenarios and the setting which really managed to convinced that humanity is on its last edge… The pacing is slow, but I would not say that this was rushed. It always had enough to offer, and the final four episodes were no different. They presented the identity of the female titan so well. It really took me a while before it hit me what was actually going on.

It was a trade-off that the creators made here. The pacing of the manga is ridiculously fast. At a certain point I just flew through each chapter. Instead they opted to pad things, and use the length for extra atmosphere building. And that worked for nearly the entire run. Perhaps only some episodes somewhere in the middle of the series lacked a bit momentum because people were just preparing.

Now, as for the ending: it seems that the producers haven’t greenlighted a second season yet, but really: this is one of those cases where it’s just a matter of time. With the sales of both the manga and the anime, there are plenty of reasons to come out with a sequel. My biggest guess as to why it hasn’t been greenlighted yet probably has to do with financing. I don’t have solid facts, but I would be very surprised if Shingeki no Kyojin wasn’t the most expensive series of the year. With all that stellar animation and with all those action scenes, it requires a much bigger budget than usual, and getting the funding for that takes time.

These final four episodes were amazing as usual, but there was also something very freaky going on that the creators very subtly tried to sneak past: the nature of the walls. Especially the last episodes were full of hints that something was really really wrong with them. First there obviously was that huge wall of text at the eyecatch. It may seem weird, but to me, it also seems really important, and there was no way for the creators to otherwise put that tidbit in. Also, how did Annie just jump back and forth between the forest and the walls in the city? The chance of her getting caught while trying to climb the walls would have been pretty high. And then there were the final words of the episode, hinting that it’s the walls that keep humanity trapped. And what the hell was that titan doing in that wall!?

So yeah, I don’t mind to wait for the creators to get the sequel just right. Just don’t pull a Durarara, okay? (Did they ever explain why THAT series didn’t get a second season).
Rating: 6,5/8 (Amazing)

Posted on 28 September 2013 with categories: Gatchaman Crowds

Oh, what a wonderfully glorious mess this was! Kenji Nakamura once again proves that he really knows how to create an ending with impact. And don’t get me wrong: things in these four episodes… did not make any sense when you start thinking logically about them. But as a thought experiment they were amazing. And ridiculously fun as well.

I mean who cares if in the real world you’d never get a prime minister yelling to all of the negative twitter reactions that he gets while making a speech: Gatchaman celebrates the internet unlike any other series has done so before, while also acknowledging the incredible mess that it can turn out to be. It uses these “Crowds” as a took to ask the question of how society would look like if everyone had the power to become a hero. The urge that we all probably have once in a while.

Kenji Nakamura: for god’s sake have your next series be a 2-cour one. Your series are always incredibly original, but with Gatchaman Crowds I feel like you could have done so much more .And with such a length there would have been much more time to explore such a great setting and allow for even more episodes dedicated to interesting ideas, or with creative set-ups.

Heck, episode eleven was half a recap, and yet it worked incredibly well because of how it was set up. At the start of this series I noted that the success of this series entirely depended on the female lead: regardless of the quality of the rest of the series, her annoyance would contribute greatly to whether or not this would become an enjoyable watch. And they actually did it, and that recap examplified it. At the start you’d indeed wonder if the creators didn’t go too far with glorifying her, but that was the entire point of the series: they wanted to turn society completely upside down with these last four episodes. In the end, the Gatchaman just came blatantly out of hiding, and a huge power was given to every single person.

What I also really liked: do you know what lately has been one of the most commonly used motivations for villains beyond just “being evil”? It’s the villain who wants to evolve the world (and in the process doesn’t really care about making a few sacrifices in the process). It’s common because it’s not entirely evil, but it has started to become a bit lazy, and usually I find that these guys are often unfairly demonized or that the sacrifices that they make are just used as plot devices to make them the bad guys. Gatchaman Crowds has turned that trope completely upside down: this time everyone is just evolving society, with Rui and Hajime at the frontline. The bad guy’s aim is just to have fun and create chaos. Perhaps not the most complex of all, but he’s the perfect embodiment of the internet troll, and I think that that served as the inspiration for this guy.

Overall: messy series, but a great watch. Looking forward to Kenji Nakamura’s next work.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)


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  • Masky
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 08:03 AM)
    @Bam: Yeah, but simulating reality applies to certain types of games. Judging EVERY game by how realistic it is is silly xD
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:37 PM)
    Did he actually play the game though? I mean, did he actually discover it himself or did he just heard the spoilers?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:35 PM)
    I had a talk with a friend about undertale and he wasn’t a fan, he prefers other types of rpgs, the choice element also made him uncomfortable and that he felt the game was too punishing.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:34 PM)
    @Kaiser: Puzzle elements, outside of sparing everyone, seem to be mainly just parodying video game puzzles. Like, only place where you actually have to solve actual puzzles is in Hotland, before that pretty much every puzzle is automatically solved, really easy or has some silly twist to it. Like the puzzle you can skip by pressing a switch in tree trunk. Can’t say I’m too fond of puzzles either, but I liked how game was making fun of them
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    Speaking of awful sense of humor and things that dorks like, just wanted to say that turns out I was right about Jitsu wa watashi wa in that main couple does get together before chapter 100(forgot what exactly, some where in 80-90 range I think). But they are such huge dorks that they do everything ridiculously slowly because they are that embarrassed, so they have had like just one date(in chapter 100). Not that I expect anyone to remember what the heck I’m talking about xD

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