Posted on 2 October 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Ao no Exorcist




Shounen isn’t my favourite genre, but I have enjoyed plenty of the better series in the genre. Ao no Exorcist is a sneaky one though: at first it first seems to avoid a lot of the overused cliches that plague the genre… only to fall into them anyways.

What sets Ao no Exorcist apart is that it’s typical shounen, but done well. The main character is a hot headed brat, but he’s well fleshed out and has good development and reasons for his actions. The show inevitably ends up at an academy, but school assignments that the characters have to do are fun, interesting and lead to quite a bit of character development.

The big problem is that this series is way too epic for what it wants to be. On one hand it aims for high school hijinks and a look at exorcists in training, and on the other it is involved in an international plot involving to purge the strongest demon known to man: Satan. The main character may be Satan’s son and all, but the two parts don’t mesh at all and leave a terribly divided series.

The part of the series that suffers the least is the one that focuses on the high school. It’s not ambitious, but it’s fun, the characters are genuine and they have a great chemistry between them. The plot against satan unfortunately is horribly rushed, with in the end Satan magically forgetting to use a lot of his powers in order to actually prevent the main cast from not instantly dying. It’s full of bland twists and unoriginal plot devices that are way too constrained with trying to go for a “by the books”-ending. This series is based on a manga, but decides to go with its own storyline for its final third. While that isn’t immediately a bad thing, it just doesn’t work here.

A-1 has made sure of great animation, but in the end there are just many better shounen series out there. Ao no Exorcist was a nice attempt, but it lacks vision.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Does not know what it wants to focus on and ends up half-hearted. Tries to subvert shounen cliches only to fall into them.
Characters: 8/10 – Saved by a good chemistry and good development. Bad villains, though.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Solid action, though nothing amazing.
Setting: 7/10 – Tries to deliver a solid setting of exorcists, but in the end there is hardly any gap between the best and the worst of them.

Suggestions:
Shikabane Hime
Soukou no Strain
Pandora Hearts

Posted on with categories: Ao no Exorcist



Well, there you have it. The only way for this episode to not have been bland is if the creators ignored Satan’s existence all together. They didn’t, and went for a predictable and very run off the mills ending. The only good part of this episode was the ending, which thankfully went back to Rin and Yukio’s parents. Although the runaway truck that followed after that… what was that supposed to be? That part was rather brought down by the random banter inbetween.

In any case, this episode portrayed Satan as a wimp, just as expected. He’s the most feared demon in the world, he’s killed thousands of people, and in the end he’s beaten by a bunch of kids who happen to be able to fly and lodge a sword at the right place. If they were able to fly, then most adults in this series would have been able to do it if it was that easy. This was a problem that was apparent with the series from the beginning, and I have no idea how the manga planned to even handle it. By making Satan too powerful in the first two episodes, they already wrote themselves into a corner. There was no way he could be a good villain.

Overall, this series suffered from modern anime’s fear of fillers that has been very apparent for the past years. I know that the final third of this series was entirely filler, but that’s exactly what I meant: the writers of the fillers seemed scared of what they had to write, and were too afraid to really think outside the box. You could see that their intentions were there with the episodes that were dedicated to just the main cast. In the end though, they just kept going back to the epic action and Satan, which just didn’t work. Compare that to Hunter X Hunter, whose fillers were an excellent and mature addition to the story and characters. This unbalance is something that I noticed with a lot of other series of the Prime Time slot.

There is a very nasty legacy from the Prime Time slot, that everything needs to be epic and action. I had hoped that it would have been broken with Sengoku Basara II, but unfortunately both this series and Star Driver would have been way better if they just took some more risks. Unfortunately the legacy of Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi still shows. For those who haven’t seen it: it was attempt to open up the prime time slot of anime to an older audience, with mature storylines, complex characters, and imaginative concepts that thought outside the box, and that for 52 episodes. Only for it to get canceled and cut to half its length. Before that series, all shows on the prime time slot were 50 episodes long. After, everything aside from FMA was split up in seasons of 26 episodes. Ao no Exorcist and Star Driver were the ones who could have done something bold and daring, especially considering that Gundam Age next season is only going to lower the target audience even more. Unfortunately, A-1, you let me down.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 25 September 2011 with categories: Ao no Exorcist



I could have sworn that this show was only 24 episodes long. Ah well, with the state that this series is in now, an extra episode doesn’t really matter. And I know that I usually try to avoid spoilers in the screenshots, but this episode just had too many things that made me raise a proverbial eye brow.

This episode pretty much had the same problem as the Konekomaru arc: it is very difficult to properly portray someone getting possessed, without being overly cheesy. Here though, Rin pretty much ended up talking the monster to death. It worked a bit: the themes of Yukio always wanting to do everything on his own were what saved it in particular. But I have to face it: the suicide scene made me laugh. Just about the opposite effect that the creators intended.

Yukio: if you want to commit suicide: that’s fine. If that happens to kill Satan at the same time, then I can understand why you’d do it… but why the yelling? The thing is that in martial arts, yelling does have a very important purpose: By combining it with breathing, you can really deliver harder punches, et cetera. With Yukio however, he was trying to pull the trigger on a gun. That requires a completely different kind of concentration, so he just looked silly while yelling.

In any case, the final episode: it pretty much was the most cliched set up that the creators could think of. Throughout this episode Satan already got strangely weak whenever the main cast was around (remember: this is the guy who easily scorched the best exorcists around like it was nothing, and yet at those convenient points he simply forgets that he has that power)… but the point where the penultimate episode ends with all of the main villain’s plans exhausted and the only thing that still needs to be done is beating a ridiculously powered up version of him… it’s been done thousands of times before. Yeah, it’s good for the animation team: they can go all out, but can this series really set itself apart with such an ending?

Overall, the anime original material in this series wasn’t the worst. It sure as heck was better than in Yumekui Merry and it did stay true to its characters. But still, the creators constrained themselves too much by trying to go with a “by the books” ending. Instead they should have looked at what kind of ending would fit best with its constraints. Some series that did this well in my opinion were: Hellsing, Bokurano, King of Thorn, Himitsu -the Revelation, Hourou Musuko and Kuroshitsuji. This isn’t compared to their manga, but these are the series that instead of half-heartedly just animating a bunch of chapters until they ran out of time, really looked into how to make their anime adaptation story work best. These are the series that new adaptations who know that they’re never going to be able to fully animate their manga’s story should take a good look at and learn from.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 18 September 2011 with categories: Ao no Exorcist



I do want to stress that the anime original material isn’t entirely hopeless. There’s one thing that it consistently did well: the characters. Even the beach episode: sure, it made no sense, but it was fun.

The majority of this episode was like that episode, really: it was rather far-fetched, but it did delve into the past of Rin and Yukio’s parents. It’s a bit strange to establish their mother as this mentally deranged woman who can’t seem to feel anything about the deaths of countless of people, yet who continues to fight for demon acceptance, although it was an interesting backstory that tied the past together with the present, albeit a bit forcefully. Satan having actual love was a bit awkward, but heck: we have seen so little of him that as a character it’s a twist that could make sense as long as you don’t confuse him with the traditional images of Satan.

The big question mark still is Yukio. The thing is that his character just derailed. Him being the bad guy is the twist that I just can’t accept. It had it coming for episodes now, but I still don’t like it one bit.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 11 September 2011 with categories: Ao no Exorcist



This series still had a chance of closing off well. But the ending of this episode pretty much ruined it. With that, Yukio showed that he was Letter Bee’s Cabernet: the major flaw of the anime original material.

For the majority of this episode, it didn’t feel 100% right, but at least I could finally understand what had been up to Yukio during the past episodes. Yeah, the potential to turn Rin back into a human makes sense for him to completely change in order to achieve this. Not telling his brother anything fits him perfectly, and it’s a good twist that he had been doing all of this behind his back. Him becoming a paladin was a bit forced, but ah well: gramps must have pulled a few strings behind the scenes.

So let me ask the creators this: why the heck did you suddenly back down? The twist at the end rendered all of his development useless. Having him deceived and turn into a demon himself… what an incredibly cheesy twist. If you wanted to do that, then build up for it. Don’t just indecisively throw a deus ex machina there in order to get a soap opera ending. At this point there was more than enough conflict between the two brothers. Yukio trying to save his brother would have made for a compelling finale. This however, just sucks.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 5 September 2011 with categories: Ao no Exorcist



I’m not sure what happened here. These are just those points in a series that completely do something against my expectations. I’m not really sure what happened here, but the plot suddenly got really, really good.

The bizarre thing here is that I had completely given up on the plot, and here this episode comes and does just about everything right to bring it back to life. Yukio’s angst was largely going nowhere, so here this episode comes and throws in his grandfather. The teacher was boring, and here this episode give s him an actually engaging back-story. Shiemi had been reduced in importance, and here she actually stands up against Rin, proving that she’s much, much more than just another token female.

This episode was really excellent, but in the context of this series, it’s much more than that: it really managed to save this series, and brought it back out of its slump. The thing with the previous episodes was that they had been building up the wrong things: Yukio and Rin’s grandfather should have appeared much earlier, the Vatican should have taken up its villain role much earlier, instead of just returning over and over to an angsty Yukio. Either way though, this episode was better than even most of the episodes that DID come from the manga material. There was just so much packed into it.

As for the ending: the satan problem will still remain. At the very least though, the creators are trying to make it very action-packed, with the entire Vatican declaring a war on the demons. It’s a bit sudden, but heck, I can buy it at this point. Will it make up though for Satan’s complete and utter lack of development? Well, let’s find out!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 29 August 2011 with categories: Ao no Exorcist



The problem with the fillers is that they derail certain characters at times. This time the most obvious was once again Yukio, but Mephisto also acted weird and inconsequential. First this guy gets all serious, and after a really random intervention from the Vatican that he could have stopped easily, he just walks away, abandoning his students that are held hostage. Make up your mind, will ya?

But yeah, Yukio: I still am not buying his subplot. It’s annoying and just feels forced. Like the Konekomaru arc, he’s overreacting way too much and just keeps on angsting about having to protect his brother. That’s just not interesting and gets annoying really fast. It’s not the kind of subplot you’d hold secret for the viewer, especially since they’re being so un-subtle about it.

The rest of this episode had the right spirit, though. Rin’s classmates have been handled quite well in this original story, and this episode solved the biggest barrier between him and them: Rin’s flames. He may have learned to control them a bit too sudden (isn’t it more logical if you gain control of flames like that gradually over time?) and that teacher also was surprisingly interesting. Again pulling his wife in was a bit cliched, but there definitely is more potential in him now than Satan.

Also, why does Yukio shoot with tranquilizers? I mean, with Rin I can understand and all, but against monsters who threaten the lives of his friends. Dude, get a bazooka or something. Anything better than those “it may look like I’m carrying a lethal weapon, but THOU SHALT NOT KILL, KIDS!”-phony weapons.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 21 August 2011 with categories: Ao no Exorcist



Yeah, if this was indeed anime original like I’m suspecting, then it definitely was the best anime original episode so far. This really allowed the characters to shine, and it had really nothing to do with the main plot. It just showed the characters having fun and preparing a surprise birthday party for one of the side-characters. But you know what? That’s all this series needs right now.

Instead of the forced and cheesy drama from last episode, here the drama was really genuine. Birthdays are very personal and we learned a lot of new stuff about the cast. Especially Rin and Yukio’s image of a birthday cake was hilarious, but there were plenty of laugh-out loud moments in this episode and it as all around enjoyable to watch. The drama was subtle, and there even was a good aftermath to the disappointing previous episode (of course Konekomaru would still be a bit cautious around Rin after what happened there).

The big problem right now is that I don’t care about the main storyline anymore. Plot? who cares about that plot? Just fill the rest of the episodes with more episodes like this that just show the characters having fun with each other. There’s no way for Satan to become a good villain at this point. Why should we care about that evil teacher? And Yukio’s health is just forced beyond belief. It’s going to make for a ridiculously cheesy and predictable ending at this rate. So what if things don’t get resolved. Let’s just assume that after six years of training the protagonists become good enough to take on Satan. It’s better than the direction where the show is currently heading at.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 15 August 2011 with categories: Ao no Exorcist



Angst, angst. angst.

I didn’t really enjoy this episode as much as usual. The problem is, like mentioned above, the angst. This was the type of episode that I find very cheesy to watch, unless done really well, though that wasn’t the case. I get the idea: Konekomaru has the right to be scared of Rin and search the power of demons to get rid of him, but if you do this, make him decide consciously. Don’t put in a demon who controls him using angst. The reasoning that demon used was just too shallow and it was just against Konekomaru’s character.

The way in which everything was solved in the end was also a tad too cheesy for my tastes. The power of friendship is of course one thing: the entire series is abut it, but when characters just aren’t able to think straight and they use the power of friendship to solve that… that just doesn’t work. In that way, I like Bon a lot more: he too is very pissed off at Rin, but at the same time he knows Rn better than to hold him responsible for his parents’ deaths.

With this, I’m especially critical on this episode, and because of that I also noticed that characters ran into each other a bit too coincidentally (suspense of disbelief can be a bitch sometimes): for some reason Rin knew exactly when Konekomaru would run away and where he’d run away to, Bon returned just in time to stop Rin from attacking Konekomaru, not to mention how the villain teacher left a gate to a hint about his whereabouts pretty much undefended and open.

With this, there probably are 6 episodes left. As for the finale, all that we know for now is that Yukio is either getting ill, or possessed himself. In both cases, I really don’t know whether that’s going to be the best idea, but at the very least it’s going to keep the drama close to Rin. In either case though, I do hope that whatever it is that’s creeping into Yukio, it’s at least really closely related to Satan, otherwise we’ll really have an inevitable Bad Guy Problem here.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 7 August 2011 with categories: Ao no Exorcist



Ah, yeah. Now I remember again that there was a big problem with the original material of this series: it tends to not make any sense.

Before, the problem with the two filler episodes wasn’t that they didn’t get the characters, or that they weren’t enjoyable, but rather that they were just ridiculously stupid. With this episode.. . you could see the traces of that. Thankfully it didn’t reduce any of the characters to morons: they were fine, and actually quite interesting. Instead… the plot got a bit questionable.

In one shot, we see the blacksmith working hard to restore Rin’s sword. Then we switch to the courtroom scene in which Rin is tried, and there the side-characters just randomly pop up out of nowhere with the sword completely fixed. What happened to the transition here? How did they get there in time? How did they fix that sword so bloody easily?

Then, alter, we see Rin enter the classroom. He then randomly bashes the wall that makes those flying things appear around Shiemi. That scene was just meant to show Rin’s blue flames again, which he uses to get rid of those creatures. The same blue flame which is later revealed to be beyond his control and which burned the clothes of Yukio and Shura. I mean, it was a funny scene and all, but please at least try to be consistent here.

Having said that though I can see where the creators are coming from with the new plot. If I didn’t just hear that they stopped right before the best parts of the manga, I wouldn’t have had any problems with them. Instead of everyone getting terrified of him, the reactions are more subtle, which combines hatred at the blue flames with the acknowledgement that it was Rin’s father who killed all those people, and not Rin himself.

The fight against Amaimon seemed a bit anticlimactic at first, but ah well. At the very least someone actually dies upon getting cut by a sharp sword. Again though: consistency!

And at least, the characters still are quite enjoyable to watch and the chemistry is still there and the new material did not reduce them to idiots, so it’s not like this series is doomed, although it probably will become less good if the creators keep throwing these random deus ex machina in its plot. Whether this series will work is all going to depend on what the creators are going to make out of the finale of this series. There’s this Satan thing which has hardly been explored so far which will become the major problem here: the final villain. BY FAR the biggest pitfall for this series is the lame final villain. This also was the thing that proved to be disastrous for Letter Bee’s anime original finale.
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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