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
There was a troll review or at least I hope its a troll review (because I don't want to believe it could be true) review on imdb from some Christian nutter who disliked it for religious reasons.
Lenlo
@Masky, yeah the portrayal of the church was very one dimensional in this. Probably a victim of the short run time, but possibly not.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am as a thirty year old man shamelessly shamelessly looking forward to Nanoha reflections when it comes out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the film's from the guy who directed GitS SAC so yeah I will give it a watch if I have a chance
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Do we care about this? : https://myanimelist.net/anime/33204/Hirune_Hime__Shiranai_Watashi_no_Monogatari its being screened over here next week I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I will read Crecy and plenatary then.
Masky
Anyhoo, I did like netflix Castlevania too, but I can't help but feel that Warren Ellis seems like sort of atheist who let's their opinion on christianity out in tract-y ways :D I mean, not that medieval catholic church wasn't corrupt, but that element isn't really from the games so it gotta come from him and it feels weakest aspect of the show.
Masky
@AidanAK47: Castlevania's story would make for good children's action show or cheesy action movie though :D Like, yeah, games are rather story thin(when they aren't melodramatic) but concept of Castlevania's story isn't that bad for a series.
AidanAK47
@Anon, with luck that new KonoSuba anime project is a third season. I didn't realize the Season 2 OVA just came out.
Anonymous1290766
Kono Suba ftw
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, there are some good moments even after the Shark jump but yeah, all downhill from here.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: it was a captivating jump, wasn't it?
Lenlo
I think I hit the shark jump in Kado.
reaLjustified
Koi to Uso....kind of as vanilla a romance story can get, and that premise doesn’t do anything for me after Sakura Sakura. Honestly the star-crossed love worked better with Nisekoi.
Lenlo
Well they were a good series of episodes, so guess it was a success
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Already has got one. Second season with 8 episodes is coming. Honestly makes me think that it's really the rest of season one and these four episodes were gauging the audience.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it has been re-newed.
Lenlo
@Aidan, yeah. Its way better than I thought. The VA for some characters is just great, I actually liked Belmont alot. I really hope it gets a 2nd season, because Dracula was also great
AidanAK47
@Mario, Well you do write for STAR CROSSED anime blog. Maybe that's a factor.
SuperMario
@Aidan: "What is a man" huh? It's fun to listen to actually :)
SuperMario
I can't believe it myself... but I get sucked into the story of Koi to Uso. Yesterday was reading the manga until 2am (and I hd to wake up at 6.30 for work). SINCE WHEN FORCED CONTRIVED STAR-CROSSED ROMANCE BECOME MY THING? I blame those big eyes.
AidanAK47
I mean the best game in the series has dialogue like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMTizJemHO8
AidanAK47
@Masky, Castlevaina games are never played for their story. If anything the story is usually the weakest element. When I heard of this series before I thought it was ridiculous because the story of the games was too weak to make into a good story.
Masky
Better than any right to be? Like I know that video game adaptions usually suck, but surely that doesn't mean that being video game adaption itself is qualification for being bad? :p
AidanAK47
I will see if I can do a write up on Castlevaina tommarrow but yeah for a video game adaption it's better than it has any right to be. I think the reason for that is Warren Ellis.
Lenlo
Castlevania actually has good action scenes too. Very pretty.
Lenlo
The Netflix Castlevania series, one episode in so far, is actually pretty good. It does justice to the old series, more than any other videogame adaptation ive seen.
SuperMario
And I know this is way off the mark but whenever I hear Baltimore I'm thinking of Beach House band
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I feel you that the action scenes feel no weight.
Lenlo
Three degrees of Nazi. We always get there somehow
Lenlo
The story seems setting up to repeat to me as well, with the mutant/normie racial problems. Hopefully the Reflection event/mystery over takes that though.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Vatican's mysteries have gotten to a ridiculous level. This week throws up sexual abuse, drug use, corruption and somehow Nazis are involved as well. It's just too much for me
Lenlo
They could have kept the comic book feel though by doing what Ping Pong did, with the panel layouts. I feel the low framerate did nothing but hurt it. Had the action scenes been done differently it could have worked, but it was a traditional fight scene so it didnt work.
SuperMario
Speaking of 18if, I still consider that show an experiment wreck, but a fascinating wreck it will
SuperMario
I don't really mind the low frame rate in the Reflection. I think the choice is deliberated to resemble the comic motion. I'm more worried about the story as they have some random fights that I feel even more dreamy than 18if
Lenlo
@Kaiser, I quite liked the Reflections art but the animation, or lack thereof, held it back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Once again my anime taste falls in with Marios =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you can only imagine if shinbo or Yuasa were to work on 18...if.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although I do think 18..if is exactly what I need right now, I am not certain it will top flipflappers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The premise for ballroom is of no interest to me.
I’m hearing Vatican is quite silly in a campy horror way
which appeals to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While visually the show seemed to improve with episode 3, I wasn’t all that emotionally invested with that story.
I would take this protagonist over IdiotMCx100 any day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
18..if is the most interesting thing I’ve looked into so far, largely due to it being the most un-conventional/abnormal, the concept interests me and poor as the animation is , the worlds it shows/creates, the imagination of the show gets close to forgiving that, as it was the most macabre, episode 2 has been my favourite so far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I’ve begun (at last)checking out some of the series airing this season.
The reflections style is complete push away/turn off for me. I feel made in abyss could grow into something and I’d like it to actually properly get going/start, the buildup is slightly dull.
K-Off
@Vonter Graces is nothing compared to the pandering mess that Symphonia 2 was. Just embarrassing.
SuperMario
"There's a white house waiting for us in Casablanca" haha, can't help but laugh at its wordplay
Lenlo
Im planning on mentioning it, but yeah. Alot of the combat didnt really have an 'impact' to them. There are other shows, like Ping Pong, that I think do this sort of style better, if alittle differently.
Anonymous1283104
I think the main issue was the animation being kind of simple, the scenes didnt have 'motion'
Lenlo
@Anon, yeah The Reflection moved at the pace of a glacier. The art style was unique and should have lead to good looking fights, but instead it moved at the pace of a glacier. Ill have a write up on it later today
KTravlos
very nice episode of Virgin Soul. Really liked seeing Favoro look like Favoro again.
Vonter
Tales of Graces sadly might have the most childish, and pandering story of the series.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - Tales of Graces worked around having to both attack and defend to continue attacking. If just attacked you made less and weaker attacks. It was a way of cooldown that was more reliant on the player thinking about the attacks it used. Later games followed a more typical cooldown and combined special attacks with the regular ones.
Anonymous1282493
Reflection was kinda painful to watch, I didn't expect anything in the first place and was disappointed nonetheless.
Lenlo
I cant snowboard or ski at all so its ok.
SuperMario
I did hit my head on the ground (for the first time) but I was lucky that I was wearing helmet. I curse S turn
SuperMario
@lenlo: it's fun but it's a lot of pain as well.
Lenlo
Sounds like fun
SuperMario
I'm literally covered in snow right now with my butt numbed. Will get back home in few hours to catch up on 18if
Lenlo
Havnt had the chance to watch it yet, but Reflection apparently looks like a comic book but has weird fight scenes? Ill get that write up tomorrow once I watch it tonight.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*hear
Jesus Christ what happened to my spelling
AidanAK47
That's one of the things that mainly turned me off. The battle system is essentially button mashing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The regular complaint I here from Tales of naysayers is a dislike of the battle mechanics/system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I avoided the anime adaptations of the tales games mostly because I assumed they presumed previous knowledge of the games. I actually only saw Phantasia due to having been familiar with the games story when I was younger.
HelghastKillzone
No Re:Creators this week. I get a week off which is good since I'm stuck on an army base.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, A lot of people say Vesperia is their favorite as well. I only have played Abyss so far and was really not impressed with it.
K-Off
@Kaiser Damn, Detective Conan has a long way to go then.
K-Off
Phantasia was my first Tales game (and its anime is the best amongst anything after) but Symphonia really did take it to another level. In general I think most fans will agree with Symphonia, Abyss, and Xillia in their favorites.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe Kochikame is the longest running manga of all time 1,960 chapters, 200 volumes, actually does have a record.
K-Off
@Aidan I remember you saying how it's funny that no two fans of Tales will have the same favorite title. But that's definitely because Tales has changed very little over the years, and they've always been solid games, and so for most fans they'll remember the first title they played.
K-Off
@Vonter With you there. The art direction in Tales hasn't been really that exciting since Xillia, and as a long time fan of the series I finally got sick of the gameplay after Vesperia.
K-Off
Jeez, detective Conan is reaching its 1000th chapter. Pretty sure it's a milestone for some Guinness record.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Embarassing
**Here
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also agree about complaints made about the mumbled dialogue when it does occur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thin red line is a good thing to bring up hear as throughout much of Dunkirk I was thinking about how much more Mallick's film did for me, how I should have been re-watching that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet at the same time I couldn't connect with it, it became repetitive, disjointed and the shots/Zimmer score towards the end were embaeassing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There were definitely aspects to praise, to be fair there is no shortage of action, it eschews exposition and tries to visually immerse the viewer to make them feel as if they are present.
Lenlo
Im ready. Reflection comes on tomorrow, so heres hopin its worth it
Anonymous1279803
it was trash. just british propaganda
Vonter
I finished Tales of Berseria. And I'm conflicted. I really liked the story and the characters, essentially a Tales of were the story is told form the perspective of the villains. I also saw the episodes Ufotable made of the beginning of the game, and I want moar. It's was a waste as game, considering the archaic and dull game design. It mainly came up to buying time in regards to things to play.
KTravlos
I also watched it. I thought it was a great war film. Very intense and unrelenting, but still at points the images reminded me of Thin Red Line. My only quip was the end. The film did a great job in getting me to feel the hopelessness the soldiers felt. So great that the attempt at making a "happy" end was forced and fell flat. Beyond that I liked it.
Anonymous1279184
I already lost interest when I saw Inception which I didn't really like. My favorite Nolan movie will always be Memento.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, saw Dunkirk, I think at this point I'm done with giving Nolan any more chances, this like his other works, I can appreciate them to some extent but come away honestly not giving a damn.
SuperMario
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
Total users: 35

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