Posted on 29 November 2016 with categories: Aquarion Evol, Currently Watching:, Drifters

It looks to be a trend of drifters to follow a high action episode with a cooling down period. Though it does leave me with little to comment on. Scipio meeting Kanno and neither being able to understand each other lead to what may be one of the few jokes that actually hit with this series. Albeit one of the jokes that requires some knowledge of world war II to get. It certainly got a big smile from me though Kanno seems like the type of character who is perpetually pissed off. Meanwhile Hannibal has gone senile without Scipio around to keep him focused which makes me wonder why Murasaki didn’t pick him up from a earlier time in his life. Though considering how he reacts to Toyohisa it could be that his senile status is a just an act though for what purpose I couldn’t tell. The dwarves look to be next on this liberation campaign and I really wonder when it became commonplace that elves live in forests using bows and that Dwarfs are underground and are great metalworkers. In some ways Tolkien cursed the fantasy genre by giving it a standard template.

Abe no seimei brings up a certain concern I had regarding the drifters in that none of them seem to really care about the effect they are having in this world. I don’t quite agree on his assessment that Hitler was trying to help in his own way but considering that Hitler was after his time it safe to assume that Abe doesn’t know just what Hitler has done. Oda’s clearly lays out that he has plans that go beyond just beating the ends and Abe more or less has to go along with it as there really isn’t a better way to defeat the ends. However it’s clear that the Drifters and ends are altering this world beyond repair. The ends have followed with the old saying that if life gives you lemons….kill everything. Meanwhile the Drifters are introducing concepts much earlier than intended, with Hitler creating a second WWII germany and Oda pushing to create modern firearms which would throw the power scale all out of whack. Though we do have the issue that just because Butch and Sundance use guns, that does not mean they know how to make them.

They seem to be getting there though as Oda is making gunpowder and it seems the transvestite count will help with creating the primer later down the line. But man, Oda’s reaction when the cowboys started telling him about modern firearms and how he knew it would change everything about war. So both the heroes and the villains don’t actually care what happens to the world  and for that matter I am thinking that Murasaki and EASY don’t care much either. We don’t actually know why they started this game in the first place but considering the overly familiar approach EASY takes with Murasaki it could be that this game is just a matter of passing time for them. In truth perhaps the Ends are not the actual endgame of this series but instead the final bosses are these two. Who treat humans as mere playthings to entertain themselves.

Posted on 25 June 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Aquarion Evol



There is one director out there for which I’m ashamed to admit that I’m a huge tsundere: Shoji Kawamori. No, it’s not Shinbo, because with him there is a well distinct line between his good stuff and his bad stuff. With Kaawamori though, I both love and hate his works. I know his tropes, I know wow he’s a huge troll, and yet I nearly always end up blogging his series. And this time he’s working together with Mari Okada!

The result is a completely bizarre mecha-epic that is chock full of sexual context. I mean, romance and mecha have been done plenty of times before, but this show really takes it up to eleven: everything in this series is about romance: the mechas in this series can fuse by having three characters enter orgasm mode, it’s chock full of love triangles and subplots that all have their own storylines, and there is a ton of symbolism in this series, everything relating down to some sexual context in one way or the others. This series really is about men versus women and the tensions between them and it does all of this over the top.

The result is a really fun and often bizarre and cheesy series that definitely has plenty of entertainment value. It’s got a solid script so everything fits together very well, and the themes connect well with the characters, the plot and vice versa. the plot is well built up, but has a few issues: being incredibly cliched at times, and making no sense whatsoever. The cliches are often played straight with a very conscious purpose, but this does lead to a bunch of cringe-worthy been-there done-that episodes, along with a completely useless female lead who fails to do anything throughout the entire series. The plot has a few nice twists, but ultimately it’s just too stupid and corny to really stand out.

This show will most likely be remembered through some of its bizarre symbolism, though. This show can get completely crazy at times and it has some of the most wtf-inducing ways of introducing new powers or have characters learn something new. There was a slight danger of the creators turning this too much into a formula, but this was neatly avoided with a plot that did keep changing.

A guilty pleasure? I wouldn’t really call Aquarion that. Aquarion knows exactly what it is and what it isn’t. It’s a show that’s heaps of fun to watch as it explored the sparks and chemistry between men and women. And for this, its main plot had to be incredibly corny and it refuses to make any iota of sense. the result is a series that is overall very entertaining, but does have a number of lesser parts when the script is trying to make sure that the plot and characters actually remain strong enough to carry the series. This show has plenty of creativity in any case, but it definitely could have balanced this out a bit better.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Silly, corny, creative and strangely enough well built up and really fun to watch.
Characters: 7.5/10 – Mikono… even for a Shoji Kawamori female lead she is useless. This show excels in its chemistry, but the characters remain two-dimensional.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Tons and tons of eye candy, plus a godly soundtrack that is the best of the year so far.
Setting: 8,5/10 – Excels in its themes that are often completely bizarre.

Suggestions:
Basquash!
Ben-To
Cobra the Animation

Posted on with categories: AKB0048, Aquarion Evol

AKB0048 this week was all about challenging the suspense of disbelief. I mean, the show makes no sense, but that is no reason why it doesn’t have to worry about it. The thing with this episode wasn’t its realism, but rather how ridiculously incompetent it made the people from Des look, which is a pretty major issue for this series. They just barge in with tanks and fail to hit anything, they get outsmarted by a bunch of kids like it’s nothing. The kids who spoke two languages were a nice touch by the way.

Also, the difference between this series and Eureka Seven is HUGE. This stands out, because the two series do sortof touch upon the same themes. However, where Eureka Seven is all about protecting children while using them as a necessary evil, AKB0048 is completely reckless. They send out out girls who are barely able to stand and the competitive atmosphere is so bad that this seems to be the norm, because nobody finds this strange or peculiar.
Rating: * (Good)

So Mari Okada has been known for her completely screwed up endings and dark themes; just look at Lupin and AKB this season. Shoji Kawamori meanwhile loves trolling romance endings. But yeah, Aquarion Evol just had to end with a happy ending. This series is all about letting love sparkle. Any other type of ending would have made no sense. And indeed we here have an action-packed final episode that resolves the main romance, introduces a new one (Kagura and Zessica), resolves an eon-old romance. Oh, and Mix got her boobs back… why?

The two planets moving together was definitely reminiscent of Basquash and its huge moon. Beyond that this ending was fairly standard: definitely fun from start to finish, but the only special part was the music. That godly music definitely didn’t disappoint here. I do want to yell at Mikono, though. In the end, she really was a typical Kawamori female lead: never really doing anything and only being important by being the male lead’s crush and having mystical powers that happen to be central to the plot. This episode sealed the deal: she finally tried to actually use her powers (like what she should have done ages ago), and here Amata comes and ruins everything by going “you can’t change him by yourself! Let me help and protect you!”
Rating: *+ (Great)

Posted on 18 June 2012 with categories: AKB0048, Aquarion Evol

AKB0048‘s episode this week caught me off-guard with how good it was. I thought that the building up could continue for a while longer, but this episode very harshly returned to the theme of how competitive the idol business is, especially when the girls involved are still so young and pushed to practice almost non-stop.

What I especially liked is how this episode was about the relationships between the ones who made it and the ones who are still struggling to get a place as a successor. The main cast isn’t bothered by this yet because they are relatively new, but seeing the older generations being broken up like that due to the system of AKB really makes me wonder what the creators have in store for them later on in the series. The battle at the end of the episode worked really well because of that and I hope that that was a great hint for things to come.
Rating: *+ (Great)

Aquarion meanwhile had this one scene in which Amata had some flashbacks of Mikono. And Okada, Kawamori… who of you got the idea to make one of the first scenes for him to remember that one time in which he landed with his face in her crotch? The first half was incredibly sexually charged by the way, thanks to Andy and Mix having their own over the top finale.

The second half of the episode was standard penultimate episode build-up, although Mikage was nice enough to fill me in about what all happened in the first season of Aquarion. Things were pretty crazy, and seriously: I did not expect Fudo to be the reincarnation of Apollo, though that does make perfect sense on how he managed to stay alive for so long. The creators in any case made things very epic by moving an entire freaking planet for Mikage’s plans. So yes, he’s going to kill off everyone. At least this is a series where that completely fits, with the rebirth themes and all.
Rating: *+ (Great)

Posted on 11 June 2012 with categories: AKB0048, Aquarion Evol

One thing that I’ve noticed about a lot of Mari Okada’s anime original scripts: the one thing she has trouble with is being interesting while building up. Especially in the first halves of her longer series have these flashes of brilliance intermixed with dull slice of life. Take Hana-Saku Iroha’s long wring of random episodes, Aquarion’s boring romantic set-up in its first half, or even Kuroshitsuji II’s first four episodes that were nothing but random hi-jinks. We too are now on that point for AKB0048 unfortunately, but the end of this episode did remember to actually deliver.

And it did so with some very weird succession rules that showed even more what a strange organization this AKB0048 is. So everyone is set to become a succeeding member of one of the founding members of the AKB, and who gets to succeeds is decided by strange flying blobs based on very vague criteria, they are ruled by a strange shadowy figure who writes unnerving lyrics. And also: we’ve seen people talk plenty of times in this series about “graduating”, however nobody has actually explained what that entails to.
Rating: * (Good)

There was so much trolling going on in this episode of Aquarion. Where to start: Amata was consciously abandoned by his parents, causing him to have a bad childhood, Ah, and you finally see them again? Too bad! Seriously, can’t we ever make these people survive and have them take responsibility for what they did? Shoji Kawamori was all over this episode, but the most apparent really was the ending, in which the main source of the conflict turns out to e environmental destruction. I already found it strange that there was so little of that in this series.

It made for a very fun episode though, and I definitely enjoyed it. It’s definitely nice to have such over the top plot twists combined with interesting characters here. They’re not all interesting of course: Mikono YET AGAIN did absolutely nothing, but Zessica and Mikage have really grown on me, Kagura really got his time to shine here, and even Amata has gotten interesting to watch now that we’ve delved into his back-story.

Also, now that we’re near the end of the first half of 2012, I think I can say this confidently: Aquarion has the best soundtrack of the year so far. Yeah okay it was copied from the first Aquarion and all, but still: it blows all of the other soundtracks this year simply out of the water due to its massive size, sheer versatility and consistent epic tone.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 5 June 2012 with categories: AKB0048, Aquarion Evol

Aaand Mikono, you fail at being a romantic love interest for Aquarion Evol. This was supposed to be your chance: this episode delivered all of the background for this series. This was your chance to be relevant. But no, you’re just mentioned once in the entire story as a sort-of afterthought. Your role as a damsel in distress got upstaged by Zessica at the end of the episode, and beyond that the only thing you did was… feel sorry for Kagura.

Apart from that though: this was solid back-story. And to imagine that the big twist of the original Aquarion… was a dog. That was just as crazy. The commander really stole the show in this episode with his trolling, and Shrade also shined here. It’s completely camp and over the top, but good entertainment.

I do wonder, though: if the world split in two, and only men can survive in Vega… then what are they doing on Altair? Based on that same logic we should have an entire female cast.
Rating: *+ (Great)

AKB0048 was about that really strange phenomenon known as “hand shake events”, together with unreasonable fans. I again like the focus on the darker sides of being an idol (having young girls like that listen to death threats like that), but the creators did miss a few opportunities. I mean, this episode did focus on the good fans, but we saw little of the really creepy fans; there was only one scene of that: the obsessed grown man who kept clinging. That could be a hint for things to come though. What probably won’t be treated is the whole commercial farce that idols can be, since with this series, the characters actually have a justifiable reason to get as much exposure as possible.

Also those battles still make no sense!
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 28 May 2012 with categories: AKB0048, Aquarion Evol

Next week’s episode of Aquarion Evol: that will be the time for you to show yourself, Mikono. That will be the time where you need to show that you’re more than a damsel in distress. You have been guided, you have been trained, but so far… you haven’t really done anything. You are very close to stepping in the pit of the generic Kawamori female love interests, and that will be your time to either jump over it or go into a completely different direction. Zessica is about to do it, so you can do that too.

For the rest of this episode: this really was action-packed. Nice action, amazing soundtrack, it all was very entertaining, with the spotlights reserved for Shrade. The tension around this guy is actually much more interesting: he and Amata both have huge powers, but the difference between them is that he actually uses it well. Amata doesn’t know how to use his.
Rating: *+ (Great)

AKB and pandering. Of course you can have a cast with females. When it becomes a problem is when the creators start using moe and fanservice as an excuse for not trying, which unfortunately still happens way too often. AKB0048 doesn’t have that… or didn’t at least. I really began to fear that right the first episode after I decided to blog this show, the characters suddenly got a day off, we got a bath scene, a bunch of very stupid antics and this disturbing focus on pheromones.

So yeah, weakest episode of AKB0048 so far. But as it went on, I did notice something: the sheer amount of characters that the creators managed to stuff into just this episode. Heck, I believe that they actually succeeded in fleshing out the entire cast of named characters, giving everyone a bit of a moment or scene to show more about herself. That’s actually pretty impressive to balance well.

Also, this show doesn’t actively criticize, but some of the ideas in this show nearly seem like they were put in to subtly provoke this. I’m mostly referring to the pheromones talk, but especially that bizarre family that breeds idols to look like each other…
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 23 May 2012 with categories: AKB0048, Aquarion Evol

AKB0048… I…. give up…

I want to hate this show. I want to rant about what an incredibly stupid and pandering premise they settled with. But I can’t. I have no clue why, but this show has this amazing energy and charm. The idol shows did it again, even though I hate idols and J-pop. This is the umpth show that went “So you hate idols? Well, here is a really good anime about them, so there!” Some other examples of this are the current Natsuiro Kiseki and its use of idols to bind the cast together, but the past also was full of them: White Album? Unique romance with balls. Fancy Lala? Incredibly genuine character-study with an amazing ending. Full Moon wo Sagashite? It had heart-wrenching second half. And then there was Skip Beat which was hilarious, Key the Metal Idol was really well made, Symphony in August was really well done for one of the few non-fiction anime out there and Perfect Blue was just the perfect gritty look at the business. Sure there have been plenty of duds, but I’m still amazed at how much good and daring stuff the genre brought forth.

The only problem: how on earth am I going to blog this in this already incredibly busy season? the only thing I can come up with is blog it together with Aquarion Evol, since they have so much staff in common, being both helmed by two of the big trolls of anime out there: Shoji Kawamori and Mari Okada. The thing is: in these first four episodes went along as well as Aquarion Evol, if not better, and Aquarion did develop a few issues along the way which I don’t see coming as easily with AKB0048. It’s just unfair to prefer one over the other at one point. The individual entries will probably get a bit shorter than usual, but I do want to highlight both, because I’m enjoying them a lot.

AKB0048 is very genuine and despite its huge cast it actually keeps track of everyone. It’s very charming, but what surprised me also were some of the production issues so far: here is the thing: most of the main voice actresses in this series are members of the real AKB48 group (or whatever it’s called) and have very little experience, if any at all. And yet they are all doing a really good job at bringing their characters to life! They aren’t trying to stuff themselves into stereotypes either. That was one of my biggest beefs against that Idolm@ster show (or at least the first three episodes that I managed to last) and what prevented me from enjoying it unlike a lot of other people: everyone felt like a stereotype. Here instead the characters have a much better defined backstory, motivations and personalities that don’t need to be shoehorned into archetypes. And thank god there is no Kugimiya Rie either.

Also, I’m not sure because of who this was, but one of my beefs with Macross Frontier was that as soon as someone started singing outside a concert, it still felt like everything was taking place in a recording studio, with random instruments appearing from out of nowhere and all. Here though, when characters are singing for leisure, it really feels that way.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Now, as for this week’s episode of Aquarion Evol: bloody Nora, what a plot twist. I should have known from the couple of Mari Okada and Shouji Kawamori in a series that tries to be as over the top as possible: to think that there were points at which I actually tried to take the love triangle between Amata, Kagera and Mikono seriously. They’re the same person. Of course. With that, all makes sense. I like that though: it’s a satisfying twist after all that bloody build-up and this episode lead into it pretty well. That dream sequence in particular was awesome, and actually among my highlights of this series.

And Shoji Kawamori, did you again just pull the “it really looks like one of the main cast members died but h/she turns out to be fine in the end?” I’ve seen too many of your series to know where this is going, unfortunately. It would be an awesome twist if I were wrong, though, but the dead sign that Zessica is fine is that bit at the start of the episode where she talks to Mikage: whatever that was leading up to hasn’t happened yet.

Why I really liked this episode by the way also had to do with that this episode went back to the city of the first episode, and showed in a completely different light now that it’s destroyed and evacuated. Earlier I complained that this show didn’t do anything about continuity. I really have to take that back now. At this point, there are tons of scars in the landscape of events that happened in the past, from this destroyed cities to Andy’s filled up holes. One notable exception is that we still don’t know who the heck does the maintenance on the mechas in this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 16 May 2012 with categories: Aquarion Evol

Really Aquarion, this is more like it. Finally your plot is developing significantly. Ideally this episode should have been earlier, allowing for more time for all of the things to develop, but this was nevertheless glorious.

I am really surprised at Andy by the way. He started out as the typical best friend: the guy who is just there to support and never stands out. And here his subplot with Mix has actually been quite interesting. I feared that it’d turn into yet another kidnapping story, but the twist of reversing her gender was really used well here. The real main characters, Amata and Mikono meanwhile served in this arc as support characters: finding out what’s going on, helping others. That’s actually quite neat and I’m glad that unlike Macross Frontier, Shoji Kawamori actually allowed this. It allows for much more interesting character dynamics if the roles of these characters aren’t so constrained.

This episode also finally turned into that emotional roller-coaster that the first episodes had been promising. Just about every character acted differently in this episode and there was a wide variety of emotions all coming together. Finally! The most hilarious of which was Yunoha and her sudden out of place male speech patterns.

And that glorious music! Seriously, my opinion of Yoko Kanno increased significantly after listening to this soundtrack. Her best work still is Cowboy Bebop, but this really is a good contender for second place. The action in this episode also was better than usual, and the interesting thing is that this was not because of an increase in budget, but rather better directed fights and a better use of shots and colours. Especially that Andy scene was a very interesting visual idea.

And then there is Fudo with his donuts again. And the weird thing is that his symbolism all oddly makes sense. It’s completely silly, but rather than being pointless symbolism for the sake of having silly symbolism, it does fit in to the context. This show is weird.
Rating: **+ (Excellent+)

Posted on 7 May 2012 with categories: Aquarion Evol

Okay. This episode caught my attention.

Last week I noted that I had gotten bored with this series. After watching this episode and thinking a bit more about it, I’m able to explain a bit more accurately why that happened. It’s got a lot to do with the structure of this series, and mostly my expectation for the interesting stuff and development to arrive with the arrival of the second half. Instead, the development of this series came to a grinding halt with the random filler episodes. The problem was that no character really improved or was developed further. Everything came at a standstill, apart from Zessica of all people. And she was in no way an interesting character to watch, with her only character-trait being love triangle bait, resulting into that incredibly stupid wardrobe change of her.

Looking back, these episodes were wasted. These filler episodes with the bizarre bananas and burying: they should have been done earlier in the series. These episodes should have been used to build up the plot some more. What originally attracted me to this series was the bizarre romantic subtext, along with the promise of featuring boys versus girls. Instead of that we gradually saw this show turn into a standard love story. There are plenty of those series already, and done better. Looking back, this series really could have used these ideas more in its first two thirds.

With this however, things actually changed and became more interesting. Shrade finally did something again, we got a closer look at what that other world is, Amata’s story with his mother FINALLY got somewhere at the end of the episode. What’s more: Mikono actually did something on her own (was I the only one reminded of Star Driver at the scene where she left? It would be pretty interesting if she were to follow that example), there was this bizarre plot twist pulled in which… Mix was gender-swapped (O.o). Finally things got shaken up! Finally it uses its characters.

And then there is Zessica. When it first became clear what the creators were going for, I facepalmed at the thought of having all this build-up… leading to her brainwashed and a villain. Now that I think more about it though, this holds potential. At the very least she’s doing something. She still desperately needs another character-trait beyond liking Amata, but finally she’s more than love triangle bait for Amata and Mikono.
Rating: *+ (Great)

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

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Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

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