Posted on 6 April 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto


Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto takes place in the Meiji-era, where supernatural events can occur. It follows Akizuki Youjiro, a very talented swordsman who has been tasked to seal an item called “the Lord’s Head”. This item is able to fully control others, and has to be sealed no matter what. A theatre-troupe, meanwhile is out on revenge.

One thing that immediately strikes with this series: its awesome production-values. Seriously, this series showcases some of the highest-quality art and animation for a tv-series. Characters move extremely fluid, the CG is terrific, and especially the background art is extremely detailed. The graphics just ooze with realism like no other series has managed to do before. And if that wasn’t good enough, this anime comes with an absolutely smashing soundtrack, which doesn’t lose focus for even an episode.

On top of that, it comes with a very detailed storyline, featuring both historical as fictional characters, based around Enomoto Takeaki’s mission to found the republic of Ezo, on what is now known as Hokkaido. Be warned, though, as the storyline does require some afford in order to actually understand it. A lot of references are made to the Meiji-period of Japan, and without sufficient knowledge, you’ll need to look up things a lot in order to get all the references.

Still, as the anime moves on, the story will become clearer and clearer, and it results in one of the more solid storylines I’ve seen in anime. Still, with that, perhaps one of the few problems with this anime lies. Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto may be a really solid story, it also lacks plot-twists. Most of the series is pretty straightforward, and only episodes 13 and 18 provide a number of very juicy plot twists (which, in the end, turned out to be the best episodes of the anime).

Overall, though, it may be a bit too straightforward, but it’s one hell of an entertaining series. The solid plot and great production-values more than make up for this flaw, and Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto has been one great watch.

Posted on with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Short Synopsis: This was definitely an Akizuki-episode, as he closes the story by defeating Kakunojou, Soutetsu and the Lord’s Head.
Good: Akizuki vs Kakunojou was so sweet.
Bad: What exactly was the role of the troupe in the later half of this anime again?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

And thus ends Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto, one of the best series to hit last year’s fall-season. Again, the ending was as solid as ever. I loved the confrontation between Akizuki and Kakunojou, while Soutetsu’s fight was a bit predictable, though. The epilogue itself was nice enough, and I was surprised to hear that Kakunojou actually is using a fake name for herself. Soutetsu also reveals a final part of his background before he dies, which involves his meeting with Sakamoto Ryouma. It seems that Soutetsu told Sakamoto about the plans he had, though Sakamoto disapproved of them. I’m not sure what kind of effect this had.

Like I said, Bakumatsu has been a really solid series, but ever since Rook died, this solidness did show one disadvantage: the rather straightforward plot. Rook’s death, and Kakunojou’s cutting of Akizuki were the last major plot twists in this anime. After that, it’s been a straight race towards the finish, in which Akizuki catches up with Enomoto, all unimportant side-characters die, while the Lord’s Head and Soutetsu are taken care of in the final episode. While this does make for some very solid storytelling, it could have been more exciting. I would have loved a few major twists towards the end, like in episode 13 or 18, but alas.

Overall, I’m glad I watched and blogged this series. There’s no denying that for me, this was one of the highlights of the Fall-season. It’s not the best series of that season (that title goes to Red Garden), but it’s definitely been lots of fun watching this. Thanks w, for explaining some of the more difficult parts of the storyline.

Posted on 30 March 2007 with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Short Synopsis: What I suspected to be a Kanna-episode turned into a plot-based episode in which the castle Enomoto has built takes off in the air.
Good: As solid as usual. I liked the direction a lot.
Bad: The deaths are getting a bit too frequent.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

One thing that irked me during this episode: an awful lot of people have died in the past few episodes. This time, two more characters suffer this fate: Kanna and Taiyou. The creators are really trying to eliminate everyone apart from the main characters. I’d rather see them bring something in at the climax, but I’m glad to see that my favourite ones (the troupe) still remain alive for the final episode. Especially Shiranui has to have some kind of role left, after seeing Taiyou die like that.

Anyway, one thing I liked about these final episodes is how solid they’ve been. Okay, some plot events were a bit too much (the flying castle), and I’ve yet to be blown away by the events, but there haven’t really been any weaknesses so far. Bakumatsu seems to have chosen to prioritize solid storytelling, and I can appreciate that. I also really liked how this episode didn’t have a common theme. It’s a bit of everything. Kanna’s death, Taiyou’s death, Akizuki’s background (which was really appreciated, by the way), Enomoto, the Lord’s Head’s plan, Kakunojou, Akizuki’s quest and Kuroda Ryousuke all played a small part in this one.

And then, with only one episode left, the usual question to ask is: will this end right? Will this series end too abrubt? Well, it would be a huge shame if it did, as this series has been building up and up, even in this episode. I’d love to see every side-character play a role in this. The fact remains that Akizuki is the only one who can seal the lord’s head, and he’ll definitely fight Kakunojou. I’m hoping for the others to take care of Soutetsu for some reason. (Still, there has to be a reason why Soutetsu took the trouble of inviting the troupe to Hakodate, hasn’t it?)

(On a side-note: did I misunderstand this, or did Kakunojou also spend a bit of time with Shouten-sama? See the scene about the child-version of Akizuki? All of his friends get picked up by their parents, while he is the only one to remain. One of these friends looks an awful lot like a young version of Kakunojou)

Posted on 23 March 2007 with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Short Synopsis: A Hijikata-episode. Last episode, we saw him finally realizing that Soutetsu’s up to no good. This gets continued in this episode, while Enomoto masters the power of the Lord’s Head even more.
Good: The past few episodes have been building up quite nicely for the climax of the series…
Bad: …now let’s hope that the next two episodes won’t mess up.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

And there goes Hijikata. Ever since episode 18, Akizuki has been kept away from the main events of this episode, and he’s been in the shadows, walking around a bit while the side-characters finish their stories. This episode, it was Hijikata’s turn. Next episde will be a great one, as it’ll continue Akizuki’s fight versus Kanna. I’m looking forward to the final episodes a lot. I finally realize that Bakumatsu is a good series overall, but masterful in its climaxes.

So far, we’ve got ourselves quite a formidable foe in Enomoto. In this episode it becomes clear that he actually brainwashes people. Judging by the fact that Kakunojou and Kanna have been affected, while Soutetsu and Hijikata have not, then it must mean that he can only do this with weak-hearted people. Hijikata, meanwhile, meets his end in the episode. With the end so near, I’m actually wondering whether the troupe is going to play a major role in the final episode. It would be awesome if they were, but somehow I’m feeling that they will just be spectators.

Still, a formidable foe Enomoto may be, the fact does remain that Akizuki is an excellent swordsman. He already showed that he’s capable of cutting the lord’s head more than anyone else has, and he probably also has some kind of trick up his sleeve to take care of Kakunojou. Soutetsu also is a good swordsman, but his skills will probably never match those of Akizuki’s, which means that the next episode is going to be very exciting. Speaking of Soutetsu, I’m still wondering why he needs Akizuki. Do his and Kakunojou’s sword have to meet under special circumstances or something?

And silly me. For episodes and episodes, I kept wondering what this strange “Hasha no Kubi” was. Some kind of kingdom, or something with a fog? In the end, it appears that it’s been the Lord’s Head all along. Things make much more sense now.

Posted on 16 March 2007 with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Short Synopsis: An Englishmen episode. Under the lead of Kanna, they launch another surprise attack at Enomoto
Good: Whoa, I never expected that the creators would go that far; great fights as well.
Bad: Dammit, I was beginning to like the three Englishmen.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

At the end of the previous episode, we finally saw the Englishmen again, after having been absent for episodes. Surprisingly, they immediately launch their attack. I remember how I speculated how Queen would end up doing something stupid, but seeing all of them to get slaughtered like that was certainly something I didn’t expect at this point. The deaths could have been a bit more dramatic, but the fights definitely were impressive. Especially Hijikata vs Knight was interesting: English versus Japanese swordsmanship. The creators were brilliant in showing the differences.

And regarding Kakunojou, things are worse than I thought concerning her. When Soutetsu said that she had to “guide” Akizuki, I didn’t think too much behind it, but he actually meant for her to join their side, and convert Akizuki as well. The previous episode makes perfect sense now, but I can imagine that Kakunojou is in some heavy identity struggles. Because of her sword, it’s her destiny to protect the lord’s head from Akizuki, while she actually is in love with him. To make things even better, she even converted Kanna to cooperate with her. She’s becoming like a revolutionary icon in this new suit of hers.

This episode also revealed a bit more information about Soutetsu and the lord’s head’s goal. I obviously didn’t understand everything, but could it be that the lord’s head’s former subordinated went down in some war, and they’re trying to resurrect them? Apparently, they must hold some great values, as Soutetsu’s gestured that he’s planning to conquer the world with them. Well, that indeed is a goal worth of going through so much trouble.

Hijikata, meanwhile, makes an interesting move. With Kakunojou gone, Akizuki stands all alone at the moment, apart from his allies back in Yokohama. Hijikata actually doubted Enomoto this episode, and he returned to Akizuki. It’s no confirmation yet that he’ll definitely join him, but it does show potential. I also liked how Akizuki stayed in the shadows for this episode, by the way. Not only am I very curious to see him action again, it also made sure that the attention was where it belonged: the Englishmen and especially Kanna.

On a final note, Queen did show a potential weakness of the lord’s head before she died. Note where Kanna tries to shoot Enomoto, and discovers that all his bullets are reflected by some shield. Queen takes advantage of this by firing an arrow without Enomoto noticing, but she misses by about half a centimetre. The arrow, however, was not reflected. Does this mean that if you ambush Enomoto, you can get past that pesky barrier he keeps using?

Posted on 9 March 2007 with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Short Synopsis: Kakunojou finally performs in a play again. Akizuki meanwhile catches up with Enomoto and Soutetsu carries on with his own plans.
Good: Great climax, excellent episode.
Bad: The episode started a bit slow, perhaps.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

Ah, you could call this episode the beginning of the ending. First of all, Akizuki manages to return, in an attempt to cut down the head once again, instead of sealing it. Soutetsu brings Kakunojou to the scene of fighting, and she once again protects Enomoto from being harmed by Akizuki. With this, Soutetsu hoped that he could show her that she needs to guide Akizuki, in order for his mission to succeed. After Akizuki retreated, he tells her this in person. I’m still not sure what he’s after. Apparently, he wants something to happen between Akizuki’s sword and the lord’s head. but what woould be worth going through so much trouble, just for that?

The supporters of the new government (at least, I assume it was them) also arrived in Hakodate during this episode. Their first attack failed, due to the clash between Akizuki and Kakunojou, but they’ll probably be back for a second attempts. I wonder what they’ve still got to add to the storyline. The Englishmen, by the way, also returned at the end of the episode. They’re probably assigned to stop the Lord’s Head at all costs, but I suspect that there’s also a great desire of revenge in them, for what happened with Rook. Especially Queen should have quite a grudge.

Tetsunosuke (that was his name, wasn’t it), meanwhile, start to develop feelings for Kakunojou. I’m not sure why the creators suddenly decided to introduce another love rival for her at this point of the anime. I mean, they’ve already got a huge story, why introduce yet another love-triangle which will probably end up either useless or forced?

Anyway, I really liked Kakunojou’s play. I’m not yet sure what it was meant to symbolize, but it definitely made her think about her mission.

Posted on 3 March 2007 with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Short Synopsis: Most of the episode is centred around Akizuki getting to Ezo. Kakunojou meanwhile realizes that the Temari Uta actually has some strange lyrics for a children’s song.
Good: Excellent episode, period.
Bad: Nothing that hasn’t been said before.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

You know, I’ve become a bit tired about complaining about this series and about how hard it is to understand. Heck, it’s excellent, it’s got a deep plot, it’s got great production values, what more could you want? Despite my bickering over the past few episodes, this actually remains one of my favourite series at the moment. I’m looking forward to watching and blogging it every week. So, from now on, I’m going to drop my whining about the difficulty oft he language, and I’m just going to enjoy the final episodes of this excellent series. :)

The reason why the troupe didn’t appear during the previous episode was probably because their role has yet to come. Taiyou has left with Soutetsu, while Kakunojou still remains at the hospital. Benimari and Kobako spend their time at the beach, and they suddenly find a number of bullets. It’s interesting, as they behave like these bullets are the coolest things ever. That just shows how you must not let children play with dangerous items.

Lots of new characters were introduced in this episode. The most important one was Kuroda Ryousuke. In this episode, Shouten-sama comes to visit Katsu and Saigo, to request help from Ryousuke in order to escort Akizuki to Ezo as fast and safe as possible. The guy, however, seems to have a grudge against either Hijikata or Enomoto, so he prepares some plans of his own: an ambush.

Enomoto apparently isn’t interested in politics, as he seems to be absent at the meeting, discussing about what to do with Ryousuke and his ship. In the end, Hijikata volunteers to go to him, in order to check him out. He takes a few ships, and he is invited on board of Ryousuke’s ship. Ryousuke then releases some fireworks from his backs, revealing an entire fleet, out there to annihilate Hijikata.

I’m not sure why Kakunojou still remained at the hospital. It’s probably because she’s waiting for Akizuki to return, or she just doesn’t want to get involved with things anymore. In any case, we see her singing the Temari Uta again, when she suddenly realizes that the lyrics are actually quite morbid for a children’s song. For more information about the song: go here. This reminds her of Akizuki again.

Hijikata and Ryousuke meanwhile end up with a bloodbath on both parties. Ryousuke’s surprise attack caused quite a few fatalities for Hijikata’s men, but when he’s about to be shot himself, Akizuki comes in action, and actually saves the guy. Ryousuke can’t fire on Akizuki, because he had to promise Shouten to deliver him to Ezo at all costs. It’s interesting, I thought that when Hijikata joined Enomoto, he also made an enemy of Akizuki, but now it seems that the two are still on friendly terms. Anyway, because of this, Hijikata’s troops on their turn deliver quite some damage to Ryousuke’s.

Posted on 23 February 2007 with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Short Synopsis: Akizuki recovers, while Hijikata and Enomoto conquer Hakodate.
Good: Nice battles, I liked how focused the episode was.
Bad: The timing of that husband was a bit too convenient. Akizuki acted really predictable.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7.5/10

Dammit, no online-summaries have appeared for this episode yet. Ah well, luckily, it wasn’t as hard to understand as usual. We’ve got a pretty focused episode this time, featuring only a select amount of characters. Heck, Soutetsu, the troupe and the Englishmen didn’t even appear, while Kakunojou only appeared for one minute or something.

I had one major problem with this episode. It was great as usual, but Akizuki was just way to predictable. Heck, how many anime have we seen up till now where a main character gets mortally wounded, separated from everyone else, saved by a bunch of random people, get involved with some of their problems and then becoming a better character? Probably too many to count. It’s not really bad or anything, but when anime keep and keep using this, things become a bit predictable.

Still, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the kid nearly drowning. Akizuki gets saved by a mother and her daughter. The father left to be a soldier a long time ago. Akizuki obviously doesn’t speak much, and he keeps having visions of an evil (and rather funny) Kakunojou. Then, during a rather nasty storm, the child went playing outside, and fell into the ocean. This scene really was meant for Akizuki to realize one of his major flaws: the fact that he always tries to do everything on his own, and that he keeps blaming himself for things that happened. But seriously, Akizuki is about to leave, and the husband suddenly shows up again? I thought the creators knew better than this.

The second focus of the episode featured Hijikata, attacking Hakodate with his army. After the last episode, I said that this episode would probably feature another climax, due to the pattern of this series. It’s surprising to see that this was the first climax in Bakumatsu to not feature Akizuki. Hakodate seems to be a major city in terms of trade with Russia, it even has a European design. I can imagine that it would be heavily guarded, and that it would hold a great strategic value to Enomoto.

Posted on 17 February 2007 with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Short Synopsis: The aftermath of the huge events of the previous episode. Surprisingly, no Akizuki or Kanna. Instead, the episode is focused at Kakunojou.
Good: The Troupe returns! Great atmosphere; the reunion-scenes were excellent.
Bad: As expected, Akizuki is alive.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

While Bakumatsu’s story is everything but predictable, the same can’t be said for it’s pacing. Most episodes have been very faithfully following the general pattern of introduction/aftermath – climax – introduction/aftermath – climax – introduction/aftermath – climax – et cetera. It therefore is unexpected that we’re dealing with another aftermath here. Kakunojou collapsed after the end of the previous episode, and she wakes up at the medical area in the ship. While she has been sleeping, Enomoto and his crew managed to reach the northern island of Japan. The winter arrived, which makes sure of a nice change in scenery. (If I’m not mistaken, everyone ended up in a city called Hakodate).

Inside Hakodate, Kakunojou gets moved to the local hospital, where she obviously is quite shocked. she was quite touching to see. This episode also featured a small sub-plot, though I couldn’t quite follow that. Still, the definite best part of the episode was seeing the troupe return. Shiranui has been coming on his own, searching for Taiyuu (what was she doing there, by the way?). The others came by request of Soutetsu. He really likes to manipulate people doesn’t he? Same with Kakunojou? She was about to throw her sword away, which is something he couldn’t have happening so he decided to do something about it. His plan still remains a mystery. He’s obviously using everyone around him, even Enomoto. What could he be after?

I’m not sure about Hijikata’s role in this episode. We see him go from one place to the other, investigating, but exactly what is unknown. We also saw the introduction of another character, who seems to work right next to him: Tetsunosuke. His exact role isn’t clear, but he seems like a young genius who likes to act impulsive. What can a new character such as his add to the anime at this point?

Posted on 10 February 2007 with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Short Synopsis: The English launch their attack once more, Akizuki also makes his move. At least, that’s their plan. ;)
Good: Amazing plot twists, awesome climax. :D
Bad: As usual, Shouten-sama provides some nice background information, but again, I didn’t quite catch that.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10

Boy, that was awesome. There definitely were some twists in this that shouldn’t be missed at all, both for the English and for Akizuki. I really wonder what this anime has in store for us for its final episodes. In the first part of the episode, the Lord’s Head shows what kind of power it has towards others when the English try to take him out. Rook tries to kill him, but Enomoto just reflects his attacks, and starts playing with his mind. This makes you suspect that only people like Akizuki can really get rid of the Lord’s Head. The English retreat for now, as things aren’t looking good.

We then see a small aftermath, in which Akizuki agrees to let Kakunojou accompany him, and Rook starts to notice the effects of his encounter with Enomoto, as he keeps getting more and more doubts. The rest of the episode focuses on the English’s second attack, though both parties decided to handle things a bit bigger than with the first one. With the English, Kanna also participates in the attack, and they arrive in their own warship. Enomoto, meanwhile, called all his men to deck, while Soutetsu returned to the ship with Hijikata. Akizuki, meanwhile, also heads towards Enomoto, accompanied by Kakunojou.

And this is where the goodness begins. First of all, Rook dies! This can do some great things for the rest of his team, especially his sister. He has been so confused by Enomoto that he just rushed in, even though he knew that Enomoto could do the same to him again. This indeed happened, and he got stabbed by Enomoto’s henchmen. With this, the Englishmen have definitely turned interesting, as right now, their mission has started to get personal. I can imagine that at least some of them will want to take revenge of what happened to Rook.

The English and Kanna then decide to retreat. Akizuki, meanwhile, has had enough time to sneak up on Enomoto, starting the second part of the climax of the episode. Akizuki’s about to strike, though before he gets the chance, Kakunojou once again gets possessed by her sword. This time, Enomoto makes her cut Akizuki in the leg! Both of them were really great to see after that. ^^

The reasons for Kakunojou’s behaviour also were explained this episode, though as mentioned above, they were a bit vague to me. It has something to do with some kind of fog, though that’s all I could understand of it.

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
I suppose we've had this talk. But; do women have a different type of power fantasies? Or you could essentially do the same thing as any other Isekai but with the genders flipped?
Vonter
@niello - Most power fantasies eventually lead to harems (like Hyrule Warriors). I did like the interactions of the two main characters in Shield Hero. And with Slime is sorta like watching a Let's Play as the main character visually gets more powerful along with his village, but like with Dr. House it seems it's a one man's show.
niello
Shield Hero is actually quite similar to Slime as after a while the MC basically settle down and make his own village to cultivate fighting force. The downside is that at that point it started to turn into a harem.
niello
It'd be nice if the new Franken Fran series could get it an anime, but that chance is probably near 0%...
niello
He does look young though
niello
Didn't Furuya ruined his voice with his smoking habit? It's coarser and deeper now. Judging from his Seiya voice a few years ago.
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.
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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]

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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

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Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

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Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 13 [And Then Start Running]

Kaze Fui returns, contending with and maybe even beating Mob Psycho for best episode of the week! We have introspection, backstory, and the team coming together to protect their emotionally stunted friend! Lets charge in! Everything about Kaze Fui this week was fantastic. From the narrative to the VA’s. But one I want to hit […]

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