Posted on 1 June 2008 with categories: Baccano!


Okay, so this episode turned out to be miles away from the action-packed finale that I imagined for this show. In total, there was just one fighting-scene. In exchange, the writers managed to deliver an ending that was more complete that I could have imagined. Everyone apart from the dead people, Lua, the Gandors and the Runoratas makes an appearance, and everyone’s story gets a decent closure. It’s been so long since the series finished, but this is indeed why I fell in love with the original series.

Not only the threads from the past two dvd-episodes were wrapped up, but also the various story-threads that were left behind by the series:
– The reason why Rachel freaked out so much when Rail Tracer whispered something in her ear: this turned out to be “Ticket Inspection”. Apparently, Rachel’s hobby was stow-awaying on trains. :P
– The wish that Herman asked to the demon was to make him a human and watch over Maiza, until he’d laugh again. That really was the first time I noticed that guy, but I do remember having seen him a bunch of times. Did Maiza never wonder why the guy would never age, just like he did?
– Sylvie also ended up taking the immortality potion, a few years after she boarded the boat.
– The mouse is just fine, and is still happily living.

As for other highlights: Rail Tracer is also just like a little kid when he’s not on a killing-spree, Ladd has turned insane and Dallas seems to have escaped within the two-year period that he was trapped inside that concrete. His whereabouts and Ladd’s storyline are the only real questions that this series has left behind, aside from the obvious “how will the characters spend the rest of their immortal lives?”

The only disappointing thing is that we never saw anything of Lua. She’s overall been the weakest major character in this series. Heck, I’m still not sure why she got her own place in the OP while the people from for example the information office did not. The scenes with Firo, Isaac and Miria also were pure fanservice-moments: none of them had any role left in this series, so the creators gave them their own little moments where they just have fun. Ah well, at least it was fun. :)

Thinking back, Baccano has been a wonderful anime. Series without a clear main character do have their charms, because in this way, you won’t have to deal with an annoying lead that needs to stay in the centre of attention, even at the cost of some plot-devices (this is also why I’m a fan of series that know when to put their main characters in the background, in favour of the side-characters).

Posted on 23 April 2008 with categories: Baccano!


Ah, like expected, things make a lot more sense now that the introduction-episode is over. This really was a Chane-episode; as she really gets a lot of development that built further on her encounter with Vino on top of the flying pussyfoot. Om top of that, Jacuzzi and Nice also get some really appreciated background. Now all that’s left to wonder is what the purpose was between Rachel and Czeslaw’s encounter…

Jacuzzi this time really shows that in Baccano! characters go much further than in regular anime, and it’s not just limited to Ladd Russo and Graham Spector. What other character would scar his face, just because a friend of his got scarred for life due to an accident? What other person would just turn himself in to collect money from a bounty to release another person from a ransom? I think that in his case, he’s able to do these extremely nice things because of his friends, who somehow manage to pull him out of any screwed-up situation he got himself involved in.

Chane is after Czeslaw the second person to undergo a drastic change, when both Jacuzzi and Rail Tracer treat her nicely, something that she only knew from Huey.

I think we’ve also got a first for a Baccano! episode: there was no Isaac nor Miria. They’ve been surprisingly distant from the DVD-only episodes so far, especially considering how they’re the two most central characters in this series. I do hope to see a bit more of their antics in the final DVD-only episode. It should be released on the 28th of May, and according to the title, we should see Carol again. Fair enough, that should provide a nice closure: to end where everything began.

Posted on 1 March 2008 with categories: Baccano!


Thank you pgal, for pointing out that the first of three Baccano! DVD-only episodes has arrived. The length has been increased to half an hour, and this episode basically spends its time fleshing out some of the characters of the series, and introducing one new guy. I’m not sure what the point was behind some scenes, though. At one point, we see Isaac and Miria laying down some kind of domino-course in front of a baffled Firo. It was also a bit hard when the new guy used a wrench to deflect a bullet.
In any case, this episode featured a lot of good stuff. The new guy (I couldn’t pick up his name, unfortunately) met Ladd in the past and he’s about to go after Jacuzzi. Huey also gets a bit more development, and we see some time he spent with Chane (who was too cute when she was young, by the way). Apart from that and Rachel sees Chezlaw (who seems to hang out with Ennis now) again.

I obviously missed a lot of dialogue because I watched this raw, but I think that even with some kind of translation it’ll be rather impossible to figure out where the creators plan to be going. The only way to find out is to wait for episode 15 and 16.

Posted on 3 November 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Baccano!


Anyone who tries the first episode of Baccano! will immediately notice one thing: the immensely huge cast of characters. I could be wrong, but this can very well be the 13-episoded series with the biggest amount of characters ever. While it’s incredibly hard to make a story with so many characters that stretches over three different timelines come together, the creators of Baccano! actually pull this off. And how!

Basically, Baccano! combines immortal alchemists with the American Mafia in 1930. It works quite well, because there are so many different characters, they just have to go beyond the clichés in order to prevent characters who look too much like each other. This results in the quirky thieves of Isaac and Miria, the psychotic Ladd and the charming Luck. While it’s of course impossible for the character to reach the same level of depth as, say, Toward the Terra, but the creators did manage to give every important character (if I had to guess, there’s about thirty of them) an identity, a clearly defined role, a small piece of development and an actual personality.

And I haven’t even started talking about the story yet. Basically, it goes from a completely incomprehensible first episode to a captivating mystery-series, where all the threads of the huge amount of side-stories end up resolved at the end of the final episode. It furthermore tells the story of three, sometimes even four, related timelines right through each other. Because of this, the creators are able to plan the climaxes really well, and they turn into one huge success, with a near-perfect combination between comedy, drama and action. I really mean it when I say that Baccano! has some of the best writing of the entire year.

In terms of production-values, this series also shines. Especially the character-designs: not only do the creators manage to give every one of the about thirty important characters a unique look, they manage to actually do this for even the unimportant and side-characters (if I had to guess, there are about eighty of them). The animation may not look crisp, but it’s detailed, never giving off a feeling of still-frame abuse. The soundtrack consists out of a bunch of catchy Jazz-tunes, which makes me wonder why not more anime turn to this, as it works great to give action-scenes a bit of a quirky touch.

Regarding the bad points, there aren’t really any true flaws about this series, apart from the sacrifices that had to be made for the good points. The first episode is basically one huge puzzle, and only later in the series will things start to make sense. The characters individually aren’t very special either. It’s only when they are combined with others that they become special and interesting.

Overall, there need to be more anime like Baccano! It’s not often when you run into a series that’s as well-written as this one. It’s a definite recommendation from me, provided that you can take a few gory scenes that pop up once in a while.

Posted on 2 November 2007 with categories: Baccano!


So, certain things just had to happen. This episode had a huge disadvantage in terms of predictability, and still it turned out great, even though we knew that Ennis was going to retaliate to her creator and Jacuzzi was going to kick the guy in black suit’s butt. Yes, these things happen, but in this final episode, so much more gets wrapped up.

Ladd indeed ends up unconscious, at the side of the railroad, with one arm gone, just like we saw in the first episode. After that, Rail Tracer actually ends up proposing to Chane, explaining how Chane ended up in the water in the first episode: when Rail Tracer didn’t look, she jumped into a river. Nick does the same, while Nice goes to check up on Jacuzzi, who manages to win against the leader of the guys in black suits, like expected. What I didn’t expect is a scene of Jaccuzi, right after Nice had her accident that made her lose her eye. Quite cute. ^_^

What’s even cuter is the reunion of the two lovers, especially when Jaccuzi spots Rail Tracer, thinking it’s an enemy (probably Ladd). Czeslaw also gets a surprisingly large amount of development when basically both Isaac and Miria and Maiza just greet him, without eating the guy. I guess he’s been so afraid of immortals ever since he the horrible things that his companion did to him. It’s interesting: he does remain a child, despite having lived for so long. It’s not something you can recognize in other anime that feature children that somehow are much older than they look. I loved how his story turned out. :)

Back in 1930, I just had to be amused when every single person who drank the sake that Isaac and Miria had been passing around returned at the same time. It seems that also a bunch of guys from the Mafia drank it, and the final fight between Firo and Szilard was awesome. I also loved how everyone reacted so happily after discovering being immortal, considering how Maiza had been hiding his secret for years and years, and probably grew scared of it.

And I just had to laugh when I found out what happened to Dallas. The idiot. It’s a bit of an anticlimactic ending, but it fits the guy perfectly, to be trapped in concrete for ages because the Gandors couldn’t find a way to kill him. It may be a bit strange that this story was included in the anime, though. Baccano! is basically the story of the immortals Isaac and Miria (as shown by the aftermath, where we see the two of them as energetic as ever in 2001), and the people they meet. The Dallas-storyline was about the only thing they didn’t have anything to do with, apart from the fact that the Gandors and Eve had met Isaac and Miria at one point.

And to close off this post, those who’ve been reading my blog know that I kept wondering who the guy in shadows was, who was searching for someone in the first episode. My speculations went from Dallas to Czeslaw’s companion, but in the end: it was Rail Tracer. The one he was looking for is simple: Chane. After all, she disappeared after he proposed to her. Of course he’d search for her. I know about the DVD-only episode, but I’ll be closing off Baccano! for now. This really has been an amazing series, and a recommendation for everyone who doesn’t mind a bit of gore here and there.

Posted on 26 October 2007 with categories: Baccano!


I already had some sort of vague feeling that the climax for this series would turn out worthwhile, and indeed: the second half of this episode was just awesome. One of the advantages of having so many characters in a series is that you can show many fights at the same time, and as it seems: the creators of Baccano are masters at this. Seriously, if you haven’t given Baccano a try, you really should consider. I can’t think of many other anime that have better writing than this series.

Only few anime realize that if you want to have a great fight, the inclusion of comedy can be a great addition, and Baccano finally made me understand why. The combination of excitement with Isaac and Miria’s quirks was just awesome. Some creativity in the choreography also helps, like how Isaac, Miria and Chezlaw just came flying by, while Jaccuzi was busy trying to fight off the leader of the guys in black suits. ^^;

Rachel also surprised me with some actions I honestly didn’t see coming, even though the reason for her leg to be in bandages hadn’t been explained yet. She basically freed both the Nathalie, Merry, Nick and Nice, and got hurt in the process. Then she tried to save Isaac and Miria, were nearly falling off the train in an attempt to save Czeslaw, who had just about given up hope of trusting someone (it seems that the companion he was with went crazy, making Czeslaw eat him).

Meanwhile, Rail Tracer kicks Ladd’s ass, while suddenly Lua shows up (finally!), and Rail Tracer threatens to kill her, a task that Ladd assigned to himself, though I really think that he feels something for the girl. It’s a strange kind of feeling, considering how he’s insane and all, but he basically tries to save her, but jumps off the train along with her in the process.

Back in 1930, it seems that Isaac and Miria have been sharing the two bottles of “sake” with Firo, Luck, Berga and Keith, as we see them get shot by Dallas around the middle of the episode. Meanwhile, Maiza manages to escape from Szilard by jumping through a window. Szilard follows him and bumps into his own car, driven by none other than Isaac and Miria, who just ran over Dallas and his two companions, who happened to stand there as well. Obviously, Szilard doesn’t like this, but he decides to go after Maiza first, and orders Ennis, who happened to be nearby as well to kill Isaac and Miria.

Surprisingly, there was nothing about Eve this episode. Jaccuzi rocked, though, as he showed himself to be something much more than just the coward of the first few episodes. I also laughed at the passion Nice seems to have for her bombs. The people inside the dining car also surprised me when they took up guns to defend themselves. ^^

There’s one episode left, and I’m pretty interested in how this series is planning to end.

Posted on 19 October 2007 with categories: Baccano!


Hmm, not as good as the previous episodes, but that’s probably because this episode spent most of its time building up for the finales of all the different storylines that have yet to be resolved, apart from Isaac and Miria’s role on the Flying Pussyfoot (after all, Isaac still has to be stabbed in the ear) and surprisingly: Lua.

In 1930, things get heated up when Szilard himself pays a visit to Maiza, right after Firo’s promotion. He kills every mortal in the room, and gets his hand on the box that has just been emptied by our lovely Isaac and Miria. The Gandor-brothers are also at the scene, and they decide to check out what’s going on, and it’s getting clearer and cleared how they became immortals. Firo also finally gets more screen-time when he sees Ennis again, and the two of them get to know each other. That just leaves the question: how did Isaac and Miria become friends with Firo? I guess we’ll see that in the next episode. This episode also convinced me: Szilard is going to die, or sucked up. If I had to guess, then Firo is going to do it. Also, what role is Dallas, who suddenly appeared near the end of the episode at the same scene, going to play?

In 1931, on the Flying Pussyfoot, Rail Tracer does a few things that were quite hard to understand why: he interrupts the fight between Ladd and Chane without killing any of them, and he keeps killing Czeslaw over and over, despite knowing the guy is immortal (how did he know this and Czeslaw’s name in the first place?) I’m not sure why he’s been killing people on the train in the first place. Wasn’t his purpose just to meet with his brothers? I think that the thing to blame for this is my lack of Japanese, instead of bad writing. In fact, I’m sure of it. :P Oh, and Jacuzzi manages to seize back control over the dining train, while Nice and Nick are pointlessly questioned by the black-clothed guys.

Then, at 1932, it seems that Gustavo’s boss, the head of the Runorata-family has decided to accompany him, and they actually talk about Dallas in front of Eve. It was a bit of a strange reaction, after all, that was the same guy who was behind the gun-fest of episode one. Still, if I had to guess, then it’s because both families would be happier with Dallas gone.

Posted on 12 October 2007 with categories: Baccano!


Oh my god, this was such a fun episode! THIS is exactly the power of a good mystery-series: and this episode continues to deliver revelation after revelation and everything keeps coming more and more together! I kept wondering how Firo and Isaac would be linked together, and I can’t believe that we were already shown the answer to this. Remember the time when Firo officially became an executive, and the head of the family shot a bullet in the roof: he really nearly hit Isaac back there, who was interested by the other holes in the roof, which seem to suggest that it indeed was a ritual which was performed.

This also is the episode where we see Chane and Chezlaw’s background. I hope I got them right, because there was a lot of talking involved. Chane is indeed Huey’s daughter, and it seems that she’s entirely devoted to him. It’s indeed a different relationship than your usual father-daughter relationship when the father refuses to grow up. Oh, and Chane finally talks! Apparently, she can talk telepatically to Huey. Chezlaw meanwhile planted a bomb in the train: he works for the Runorata-family! Quite ironic how he’s friends with Maiza who is friends with Firo who is friends with the Gandors. :P

I’m not sure what the objectives of the kid are, though. If I had to guess, then he’s on a mission to stop Vino (or Rail Tracer, as it seems) from getting to New York. I’m still not sure whether the guy is an immortal as well, though if I had to guess, then he’s just a very exceptional mortal, being away from his brothers for a long time and all.

And while writing this entry, I finally realize who the guy was whose silhouette we saw in the first episode, and said how he would keep looking for a certain person, and I finally realize why Chezlaw’s companion in episode seven felt as a deja vu: they’re the same person! I finally know where I saw the guy before, and it seems that he didn’t agree with the path Chezlaw decided to take, which of course is quite reasonable, with killing everyone on the train and all. :P

It also seems that Jacuzzi and Nice have been dating for ten years now, and it took that long for them to actually kiss. That’s quite awesome, and we also finally know why they boarded the train in the first place: it’s because of the bombs our cute little Chezlaw planted. I wonder where he hid them.

The action-scenes were also some highlights of this episode. Finally we have another anime that realizes that action-scenes should be fun to watch, which was exactly the description of the fight between Chane and Ladd. Seriously, the latter is really crazy! Gustav also was awesome when both he and Eve went to the Gandors for explanation and ran into each other. I especially laughed at how the three Gandor-brothers tried to play innocent by playing a game of cards. It’s in a way so cheesy but at the same time it would be the most logical decision under time-constraints. ^^;

With this episode, there’s only one character left that feels underdeveloped: Lua! Come on, you’ve still got three episodes! Show us that you’re more than just a one-dimensional character!

There’s another thing I’m surprised about, though that’s less positive: hardly anyone talks about this series. In the past few weeks, I’ve only seen two other blogs which are covering this series as well. If this was some kind of obscure series, then I could understand, but this is Baccano! we’re talking about. How can anyone not like this series, apart from the gore, perhaps? I mean, are people really more eager to go for a mediocre series with cute girls in skimpy outfits above a well-written series like this one?

Posted on 5 October 2007 with categories: Baccano!


Oh god, just when you think you understand everything, this episode comes and smacks you in the face with new revelations that were completely different from your assumptions! Here I thought that Dallas was Rail Tracer. Here I thought that the girl in work-uniform was Vino. Here I thought that Chezlaw was subtle in his plans. Boy, was I wrong!

My god, I seriously loved the plot-twists in this episode. I originally thought that the red-haired conductor was slaughtered by Rail Tracer as well, but now that I think about it: there were three conductors: the middle-aged one, the red-haired one and Ladd’s ally who stole a suit of one of the others. Why did I never find it strange that there were only two bodies in the back, if Rail Tracer was the one who killed them? That’s because the Red Haired one IS RAIL TRACER!! He’s one of the Gandor’s younger brothers, who once worked in the circus, explaining his extreme manoeuvrability.

We also finally learn the name of the girl in work-uniform: her name is Rachel, and she works for the newspaper-company. She went on the flying pussyfoot to collect information, though I doubt that things turned out the way she originally had in mind. It seems that the thing Rail Tracer whispered to her was just a small sentence to tease her and scare her away.

Meanwhile, it seems that Dallas has indeed become an immortal, though I think it’s the kind of immortal that is immune to wounds, but not to aging. I think that Quates wanted to do this so that he could absorb the guy when needed, and the guy would probably be too stupid to try something smart. Dallas also manages to get the bottles back, which makes me wonder how Firo and the others turned immortal. If I had to guess, then the Gandors won’t take Dallas’ actions lightly. The next episodes promise to become something very interesting.

And yes, Chezlaw was awesome.

Posted on 28 September 2007 with categories: Baccano!


This episode was definitely the funniest episode yet, with even more screen-time for Isaac and Miria than in the second episode. Apart from that, we’re back in the regular timeline, and this episode’s sole purpose was to develop the different couples in this show: Isaac and Miria, Dallas and Eve and Jacuzzi and Nice.

Yes, you read that last part right, because surprise surprise: this happens. Jacuzzi, you’re a true man after all. ;)

Anyway, this episode was also surprisingly focused and surprisingly few characters appear. No Ladd, no guys in black suits, no Gandor, no Quates, no Chezlaw, no Firo and no Maiza. Basically only the storylines involving Isaac and Miria were shown. Seriously, the two of them have been everywhere.

It seems that they’ve even robbed the Genoard-household at one time, tough with this episode, I kindof lost my sense of time with her story. I originally thought that she was kidnapped in 1931, and that the Runoratas were looking for her at the same time that they assaulted the Gandors, but now it seems that this all took place in 1932. The only assumption I can make is that Dallas only later decided to go and cause trouble for the Runoratas. I also now know why Dallas was so pissed when he ran into Isaac and Miria. This may be just a guess, but I think that he ran into Barnes, right after Isaac and Miria robbed his home. This is also why Eve feels so bad. Perhaps that the angry face of her brother when he found out about the robbery was the last thing she saw of him?

I’m having a theory here, by the way: what if Dallas is Rail Tracer? What if the liquid Quates injected went horribly wrong and turned the guy into that horrible form? Anyway, the end of the episode also shows something interesting: the Runorata-family member who keeps eating chocolates lets Eve just escape. Why?

Then there’s Ennis’s storyline, as Isaac and Miria help her move Dallas’s body into her car, which looks suspiciously much like the one that hit them. ^^; It’s really clear now how the three of them became friends.

Jacuzzi and Donnie also meet up with Isaac and Miria on the Flying Pussyfoot, and make sure that the others are safe. He tells them a few things about his background, but I didn’t quite catch those. I think he’s supposed to be extremely dangerous when brandishing a gun, but I’m going to wait for the subs to arrive before confirming this.

So, there are five episodes left now, and they’ve got their work cut out for them. Chane and Chezlaw still need to receive their backgrounds and development, Firo, Luck and Maiza still have to do something to get involved with the story, the story between Szilard and Dallas still needs development, and let’s not forget that Ladd and the mysterious Vino also have their roles to play. And will Huey come into action again, or is he just reason for the guys in black suits to be involved? I’m looking forward to it. :)

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

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

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
Total users: 35

Star Crossed Anime Blog

6 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kemurikusa – 03

DISCLAIMER: this is an original review of an original show from one of our own reviewers. His ignorance of future characters and plot points may limit his perspective on the series as it unfolds. Proceed with caution! At there episodes mark, Kemurikusa’s strengths weaknesses are more in clear view now. In a positive side, the […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 14 [You’re Not Alone]

Welcome all to another episode of Kaze Fui, Best Boy Simulator 2019. This week we have some more qualified times, lots of wholesome bonding and a hint mystery. Lets dive in! Starting of light and happy, I loved Kaze Fui’s attention to detail this week. All of our boys, aside from Yuki and Prince, tanning […]

Dororo – 3 [The Story of Jukai]

Airing at the same time as Mob Psycho, completely independently, Dororo also managed a somber, character driven episode. This week we learn more about Junkai the prosthetic doctor, Hyakkimaru’s past, and the world at large. Let’s dive in! Dororo started off in a very dark place this episode, which contrasted oddly with the beautiful sunset […]

Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 – 3 [One Danger After Another ~Degeneration~]

Another week, another episode of Mob Psycho, though this week is a little different. Last time was all action and comedy. This time, Mob Psycho takes a more somber, character driven tone, and I love it. So that said, let’s dive in! Like I said, this week Mob Psycho was much more subdued than previous […]

Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

Many of you might wonder why I decided to blog this show, despite the first episode spent two third of its time in one single aerial combat, which can be fascinating to watch but bring extremely little to talk about. While I agree that Kotobuki has its fair share of underwhelming aspects (which I will […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) – 04 [VS The Imaginator 1]

It starts with a girl jumping off the building. I’m always a sucker for this sort of opener (clue in to Lain and Satoshi Kon even though Kon never technically did that for opener), and it feels like a decent start for the next arc to come. It basically repeats the same formula as the […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

WARNING: This review of Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai has been authored by a non-manga reader. His ignorance of future characters and plot points may limit his perspective on the series as it unfolds. Proceed with caution! Boy, is this show a treat. I know we’re only two weeks into the winter season, but Kaguya-sama is my […]

Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

Thus the story of the Promised Neverland starts in earnest now that the first episode has revealed it’s book and the nature of the orphanage is revealed. As someone aptly put it, this is like Chicken Run, the anime. It’s quite interesting seeing things from a new perspective now that the curtain has risen as […]

Latest Reviews

Planetes Anime Review – 89/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 87/100

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 86/100

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018 Fall) Anime Review – 73/100

In the last few years, it’s great to see P.A Works has slowly created their own studio identity, putting more original works with consistent production values. Just in 2018, they produced 4 shows (quite a good number if you ask me), 3 of them were original: Maquia, Sirius the Jaeger and Irozuku. As I said, […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai Anime Review – 82/100

In the wake of many a school based light novel show this may be the small bits of fresh air was can savor out of this overdone setting. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl(Or by its japanese title above) is a series not about rascals or bunny girls but instead about contextualising common high […]

Banana Fish Anime Review – 72/100

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way […]

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 73/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]