Posted on 2 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Drifters

I know I am late with this and I am sure I disappointed those of you still reading though I doubt my Drifters reviews have been all that interesting. It is nice that Drifters managed to get a climatic battle in before the finale though what really saved it was the announcement of a second season. This series is far from an end goal and perhaps a second season can give it the time it needs to bring an endgame. This episode did manage to make the Drifters sweat a bit which was a good thing as we really need these guys to work for a victory for once. But Hannibal made that small moment of tension disappear by once again giving Oda an idea through his eccentric mannerisms.

I think Hannibal is really just putting on this senile act as the man seems to always intervene when he is needed. The battle between Toyohisa and Toshizou was clearly the highlight of the episode but was somewhat undercut by my not really knowing the history of these two. Drifters doesn’t really make an effort to explain the background of the characters which is fine for those whom have a decent mainstream recognition. But for the more obscure characters I could really use a blurb giving a brief rundown and save me looking up a wikipedia article. Even the Fate series makes the effort to acquaint the audience with the history of the characters.

Overall Drifters set out to capture the same ridiculous nature and badassery of Hellsing Ultimate  and I think it succeeded at that sometimes. The series never did stop getting hampered by Kouta’s rather jarring sense of comedic timing but it had it’s fair share of good moments. I do wish the animation could have been as impressive as the opening episodes as later down the line I noticed that the camera ratherly moved back to let you soak in the action. Often pulling out a large amount of close ups and still frames to save on the budget. On a show like this you really need to go all out on the action as it is the main selling point.

Having the character all be famous historical figures was novel but there is a problem that a lot of this are far too similar personality wise. The majority of the series so far has been a one sided match between the Drifters and the Orte so with little to make the Drifters sweat it’s been a consequence free slaughter fest. Now the Drifters have a standing with a worthy opponent to face. One of the most important things the next season can do is up the stakes, make the Drifters work for victory and get enough of a budget to make those action scenes really shine.

Posted on 21 December 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Drifters

I really must have given the Orte far more credit than they were due as their end truly is more pathetic than I could have imagined. I at least thought they would put up somewhat of a fight and make it that the Drifters would have to earn their domain. But what quite literally happened here was that they just walked in and declared Orte finished. In my last post I complained at how the  Orte never truly posed much of a threat against the the Drifters and I suppose it is rather appropriate that they get pushed to the sidelines quickly to let the real antagonists jump in. So with this the stage is set for the last battle of the series and admittedly it is a much more interesting one than the Orte could have been. However I fear that the Ends may be falling into the same trap the Ortc fell into, namely that they simply aren’t all that much of a threat to the Drifters. Gils did give the Drifters trouble but it looks like their forces and even Rasputin are being undermined.

I think a good conflict such have both sides on even footing and not show one side as too overpowered for too long. I did get a kick out of how Rasputin was doing the usual criminal mastermind play before having Toyohisa destroy his plan and outright ignore him. But I don’t really get what the original plan was. Clearly the Orte would never surrender to the Black King because the Black King has made it clear that he intends to kill all humanity. So how exactly would Rasputin convince them to surrender, even if he had troops within the city? Well knowing the Orte they might have been dumb enough to actually take his spiel about begging the Black King for mercy and letting them be his vanguard. I do enjoy seeing Rasputin get a good kick to his pride but the problem with this show is that the Drifters don’t have good enough opposition. If the Ends are just going to take the place of the Orte as the Drifters personal punching bags then that just defeats the purpose of getting rid of the Orte in the first place.

I admit I don’t have much to comment about this week. I think nearing the shows end I find that having things to say about a show that is essentially style over substance is getting a bit sparse. I don’t think Drifters can escape the curse that befalls most anime adaptions in that they wait for a sequel to conclude what they start in one season. A sequel often never to come.Though in Drifters case I am not really sure I would be all that sad if it never got a sequel. As an anime it was a serviceable show and enjoyable, but lacked something to make it really great. Perhaps the problem is in that it tried to emulate Hellsing on a grander scale but style can only carry the show so far. The comedy is certainly it’s weakest element and the characters have interesting points but really it’s their historical backgrounds that give them character. Otherwise they come off as the same type of character, that being the stone cold badass. And if everyone is the badass, no one is. So for last minute impressions  before the finale, Drifters was a good watch but I doubt I will ever want to check it out again. Well maybe to watch it dubbed but that’s more to see if it has a different feel in English. After all Hellisng Ultimate dubbed is just marvelous.

Posted on 13 December 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Drifters

The black king is hinting it hard that he is Jesus that it would now be surprising if he wasn’t. All his powers seem to stem from miracles Jesus performed. The other ends remark that he is a tacticians nightmare in how he can provide an endless supply of food and heal soldiers quickly, thus allowing them to join the battle again. However based on how salt is dropping from him as he walked here, it seems his powers are not without price. He even said that unlike god he is not immortal so he couldn’t provide food forever. That said his powers are still nasty as he beats a dragon by giving it super cancer.

One thing that might not be clear is that after getting the dragon to join them, the Black King has his armour melting down his scales for weapons and armour. Based on how the scene was shown it took me a moment to truly recognise what was going on. Otherwise the Dwarfs have joined the Drifters army and the three transvestite Drifters are proving that they won’t be winning any fanclubs from anyone watching the series. All things considered the main count looks to have a good head on his shoulders but his group exemplifies the worst aspect of this show and are pretty down to death stereotypes which lack the charm of Puri Puri Prisoners overblown example of this character archetype.

As we have reached episode 10 and the end of this series draws near I have found that overlooking the series as a whole this was mainly a story about building up a conflict that we will most likely never see. If this is the only anime season we get of the series then the story will be rather underwhelming. As an example, a common complaint of Re:Zero was that it’s run was mainly a buildup for confrontations later down the line. However while it is true that the main plot of Re:Zero was unresolved, it did provide conclusion to it’s individual arcs. While loose ends were left, the conflicts introduced in the series were resolved before series end. Drifters on the other hand has been mainly focused on the Drifters and the Ends building their forces.

They have had a skirmish but it is highly unlikely that they plan to finish each other off by the end of this season. From the looks of things the Orte will be the series finale and the ends will be left for another undetermined season. Maybe even then a second season would just build a battle destined for a third season. As an anime fan I have long since gotten accustomed to shows not having definitive endings. Though in that case I at least would wish the series provided enough highs that a second season wouldn’t be a necessity. With this show however what we have is mostly just the Drifters steamrolling the Orte which while not boring, is rather empty.

Posted on 7 December 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Drifters

Drifters is at it’s best when the Orte are getting trounced and they are certainly getting a beating here. I could complain over how the Orte are one dimensional villains but after the master race bull and the concentration camp here they are quite literally Nazi’s at this point. Nazi’s are the one type of villain that always deserve a good beating. However it would be good to see the Drifters having some challenge here as the Orte are posing as much of a threat as rubber ducks. This is in part due to the drifters making use of actual tactics when the Orte are following the bare necessities of leading an army. Seeing Nazi’s get killed is hardly a unsatisfying experience but a one sided battle is a rather dull watch. I did think the Orte might actually put up some sort of fight when they brought out the heavy armored knights but that was quickly taken out with Olminu’s walls and gunpowder. Speaking of which I thought Oda’s gunpowder would require a year for the materials to be produced. Was there a time skip I was not made aware of?

Olminu must have a hard time off screen as it seems that all she is to the characters is a walking boob joke. It’s unfortunate when your mentor is praising your talent and calling you a prodigy only for him to remind us that she has breasts. She certainly does but really what does that have to do with anything? I say the Drifters crew need to take a look over at Occultic;Nine as there is a much more deserving target for the boob jokes. Ryo-tas could use some mockery over her design because it is certainly driving me insane at just how no one in the show remarks about the girl who looks like she got a XLL size breast transplant. Olminu is at least proving that she has an actual point in the series besides being a pin up girl and it would be nice to see her get some respect for it. That and the boob jokes got old fast.

Oda is once again flabbergasted over technology as he marvels over the communication device which is a orb that essentially acts as a transistor radio. His revelations over how this device would revolutionize warfare also brings up a fair point about Murasaki’s actual job. I for the most part assumed that this battle was essentially a minor spat between EASY and Murasaki for entertainment but there is a question about Murasaki’s actual job. This episode seems to suggest that Murasaki takes Drifters from other world to provide perspective and innovation to another, hence preventing stagnation. It’s possible this was the original purpose of Drifters which has been turned into a war between EASY and Murasaki. It doesn’t excuse the fact that these two are wreaking a unrelated world over a personal grudge but it does give some light into why these two even exist.

On the ends side of things the black king is teaching the monsters agriculture which might explain as to why they didn’t send their full force to kill the Drifters. They mentioned this before but the ends intent appears to be only killing off humans in order to hand the world over to the monsters for them to take humanity’s place. So essentially the ends are saviors to the monsters who are wiping out humanity to give them a chance at a better life. The contrast is rather interesting. The ends are teaching their side agriculture and farming whereas the Drifters are teaching their side war and weapon making. Makes one wonder who is the true villain.

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

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

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

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

Posted on 23 November 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Drifters

Considering this is the first clash the Drifters had with the ends things went rather smoothly. They managed to take one down and send the other one packing. This really is what Drifters is best act, balls to the wall action and insanity. Admittedly I wish the animation is better as it does rely on closeups to cut down on the animation needed. But I wholeheartedly admit that Ufotable may have spoiled me in regards to fight animation. This was indeed a spectacle of badassery and with the leader of the Octobrists bringing in the rest of the Drifter I think we could have some interesting interaction and culture clash as they bounce off each other. One thing I particularly loved was when Butch and Sundance brought out the Gatling Gun. The look on Oda’s face when he saw that gun was priceless. As a guy who heavily pushed firearms in Japan during his time, I most certainly think he will be interested in that beast of a weapon. Big problem is that upon gunning down Giles they did mention that they used up the last clip and i think it would be a major problem figuring out how to reproduce the bullets.

As for the battle itself, Toyohisa once more working with suicidal charges, Yoichi shoots arrows and Oda hangs back to lead the elves. If it’s one thing this episode pointed out it’s that the ends really do have a massive advantage in this battle. If they are all as hard to kill as Giles then they happen to have superpowers along with heavy invulnerability. Though the difference could be like Toyohisa said, the ends are now exactly professionals when it comes to combat. At least what I heard of Joan of Arc she wasn’t exactly famous for being a great fighter and Anastasia certainly has no real combat experience. That does seem to be the turning point in this battle, Easy is choosing tragic figures who have reason to hate the world while Murasaki is choosing Military commanders and strategists. The only thing that really give the ends the edge is there supernatural tendencies so Murasaki may be onto something here.

So Joan of Arc is defeated by our resident Samurai and upon confirming she is a woman, he refuses to kill her. Allow me to ask the loaded question. Does that make Toyohisa sexist? Well looking at the actions presented here the answer to that question would be yes and yet calling Toyohisa sexist just doesn’t sound right to me. After all he did thank the octobrist girl for helping to save his life and trusted her to help him in battle. I believe this does present a certainly nauce often overlooked by more overzealous types that attempt to label every person, word, action and home appliance as sexist in some nature. In my personal opinion I would deem that Toyohisa is not sexist but is instead following the traditions and beliefs of his clan which have been pounded into him from birth. Those traditions are indeed a product of a time less kind to woman but to Toyohisa these very things are his reality.

Imagine if you will that you walked into an alternate reality where fish swim in the sky instead of the sea. Wouldn’t that feel wrong? After all fish swim in the sea, it’s what makes sense, it’s what you have been taught from the beginning. Same goes for Toyohisa, in his world woman stay off the battlefield. That’s just his reality. If he came from a world which woman fought on the front lines it’s likely Toyohisa wouldn’t have any real problem with Joan being on the battlefield and would have beheaded her. So is Toyohisa in the wrong here, I say no. The only thing wrong here is that Toyohisa let a very dangerous individual live to fight another day when he could end her then and there. Otherwise Toyohisa was simply living up to his character as someone deeply entrenched in his beliefs. The only thing I find immensely weird here is that Toyohisa was confused over Joans gender and yet Yoichi he recognized as a man immediately? How very odd.

Posted on 15 November 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Drifters

Well those soldiers deserved to die much more unpleasantly but at least the deed is done. Though I do find it interesting in how Oda interfered with their execution to prevent Toyohisa from giving the order to kill them. The funny thing is that this effort didn’t seem to be made in order to save Toyohisa the guilt of killing unarmed men or to save the men but instead Oda wanted to take on the dirty job of killing them so the act wouldn’t sully Toyohisa’s position when Oda pushes him to become the leader. Much to Oda’s dismay, Toyohisa hands the reigns of leader over to the elfen chieftain on the grounds that if he did lead the elves, then eventually the time would come when their arrows would be aimed at him. Though regardless they look to be playing a pivotal role in the army. In other surprising revelations, it turns out that the master race bigots of Orta was set up by Hitler. HItler can’t seem to be satisfied with screwing one world up, he has to go and wreck another. We won’t be seeing a climatic battle between evil Jesus and anti-hero Hitler(…I actually kinda want to see that.) as according to the Octobrist agent, Hitler has once again killed himself. It’s up for debate whether he did genuinely kill himself or if he was more likely assassinated. Still I did see someone theorize that perhaps when seeing that he was repeating history he decided to off himself which I find a more poetic end. It is rather funny that none of the Drifters recognise Hitler because he was after their time.

Speaking of Drifters I think the roster has a bit too much Japanese representation. We got a grand total of five Japanese representatives on the drifters side with the main trio, the fighter pilot and the navy admiral. The ends even have two Japanese figures and from the looks of it the Octoberist leader looks to be another Japanese figure. There are other historical figures that I really think are unrepresented in media. For one I think Admiral Yi would have made for a better sea commander and I would have loved to see famed Finnish Sniper Simo Hayha, Aka The White Death who would make a perfect counterpoint for Anatasia of the ends. And if you were going to pick any World War II fighter pilot then why not Erich Hartmann? I feel he would be a much more interesting choice than Kanno Naoshi. But who know, maybe later in the story they might show up. Not sure what to think about the transvestite count that’s shown up in Orta, for one I find it odd that Hitler would choose to work with such a guy and he seems to be mainly a comic relief character in a story where the comedy is certainly falling flat. Overall I don’t see him as much of a worthwhile addition at this point as at most he has pointed out that Orta seems to be doomed that’s to overextending its armies which I believe was also a mistake that Hitler made in WWII as well. The black king drops more hints to him being Jesus by referencing Jesus cursing a fig tree for being barren(Got to admit, not his most graceful miracle.) and it looks like Joan the pyromaniac is coming to take on the Drifters. Considering their army is just getting set up this likely won’t end well.

Posted on 8 November 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Drifters

I can’t be the only one who was sad that the opening didn’t play for this episode. I mean it’s great we get more content but that opening really does get you in the mood for Drifters. So on to our episode and Oda has a plan to take on the soldiers coming to slaughter the elven village. And that plan is shit. I mean literally, the plan makes use of fecal matter quite a bit. For one he’s throwing the bodies of the dead soldiers into a pit in order to make Saltpeter which is likely so he can produce gunpowder. They buried the heads to pay respect to the dead but the bodies are nothing more than raw materials to them, a fact which causes the Octobrist official to be revolted. All things considered it’s fairly practical to make use of your enemies corpses as well as prevent disease by leaving lying around. But it is fairly morally repugnant to make use of human bodies like compound fertilizer. This does show that while the show is rooting for our protagonists, they are not necessarily heroes. The Drifters for the most part are the lesser of two evils and while there actions are right for the moment, who really knows just how much of an effect the Drifters will have on this world over time. Though this was undercut by the comedy which really doesn’t know when to come on screen. I think trying to make boob jokes after discussing how you were using corpses as compost is a bit too much of a segway.

We also have Oda getting the Elves to make a makeshift barricade and to anyone who knows their history will recognise just what Oda is talking about when he says he stole the idea from Hideyoshi. For one standout moment of the warring states period was when in an effort to take over a stronghold, Hideyoshi constructed a castle in a day right beside it. Oda’s is significantly less impressive but it suits the need. When the soldiers mentioned the shit in the well I thought Oda was aiming for some kind of methane explosion. But as it turns out he was planning way dirtier tactics. The method of covering arrows in shit reminded me of a old Warren Ellis Comic I read quite a while ago that was called “Crecy” and that really showed me just how crap can be used as a weapon. The comic was about the battle of Crecy which was battle between the English and the French.

According to the comic the English covered their swords in shit with the basic logic that if a sword wound doesn’t kill them, then the infections they get afterwards most certainly will. As a tactic it’s pretty solid though ungraceful, in this case it really helped to kill the moral of the troops here. People are much less willing to fight if getting hit with one arrow will lead to a slow agonising death. As the commander said, if they all rushed Oda’s makeshift barricade then they would win but people aren’t quite so brave to rush something when it would mean a large majority of them will die. Yoichi doesn’t seem too keen on Oda’s use of tactics but he seems to be from the oldest age where honor was more prevalent. On a side note I wonder if anyone else didn’t actually figure out that Yoichi was a man by this point. Honestly I was seeing him as a woman up until episode two as his design is fairly effeminate. Most likely on purpose.

So the village subjection team is slaughtered and our main characters use the armour to fool the lord into letting them into the castle. Thus the Elves run to rescue their women. Alls well that ends well? Well…I will be blunt in that upon hearing that the army takes away the elven women once a year that I had suspicions of what they would find. Quite frankly I doubted those girls were sitting back and knitting tea cosies. But I was at least had a tiny hope these guys would be racist enough that they wouldn’t have sex with an “inferior” race. You know then the women would be a bit beat up and a little worse for wear but at least they wouldn’t be…this.  It looks like I give them way too much credit. Master Race huh? I say if you can do this kind of crap and still walk away without shame then I say it proves you aren’t some superior race, instead you lot have forfeited the right to call yourselves human. So Toyohisa I agree very much with your judgement. Killing an unarmed man is a moral shame, but these things are not what we can call men. So I hope there’s a nice bloodbath next episode and lastly, I hope that the episode title isn’t some cheap joke on the ending scene. For that would be in bad taste.

Posted on 2 November 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Drifters

Even with a show that is style over substance, there comes a time when a story needs to sit down and lay out what’s going on. Though when I finished this episode I was surprised by just how little actually happened in this episode. Basically we get some info on the world, namely that a Kingdom of Orta is currently taking over large amounts of land and subjugated the elves and dwarfs. These guys seem unrelated to the ends and it looks like them will be a  major obstacle in defeating the ends. One particular detail that Oda figured out through questioning the girl was that the Octobrist organisation don’t have any armies or the like and seem focused on only gathering together the Drifters.

They have managed to provide the drifters with a means of communication with magic translation devices. Other than that however it doesn’t seem like they have much of a plan.This leads to Oda’s conclusion which does bring an interesting problem. Basically he figures the only way to put up a fight is to gain an army, and he plans to do this by taking over Orta. This brings a particular interesting point to mind, namely that Oda gives the people of this land two options. Either die or live under a foreign tyrant. This really does point out just how much damage these foreign invaders are doing to this world.

Hints of the Black Kings identity are shown as the man goes around his soldiers healing their wounds and he mentions that at one time he tried to save humans. I will be blunt as the hinting is getting heavy at this point but it is suspected that the black kIng is in fact Jesus Christ. In our current age I don’t know how controversial it would be to make Jesus the villain of this series. Possibly considering the niche nature of anime it could barely be a blip on anyone’s radar and it’s hardly the most controversial position Jesus has been in. But I love the idea of making Jesus the villain of Drifters. The ends are mainly Martyrs so who better than the most famous martyr in history being their leader. This pit stop is hopefully over and we will be right back with bloody carnage as the Drifters gather up the elves to fight the incoming army.

Posted on 25 October 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Drifters

After two episodes of pretty solid quality I happen to notice this episode took a bit of a downturn in animation. Though to be fair this was the most action focused episode yet which strangely didn’t feature our main trio. Instead we get introduced to the other protagonists and our main antagonists. We also get some clarification on just what is going on here. Basically historical figures called ends have been thrown into this world and have decided to kill everything. In order to combat them a magician’s organization is trying to gather Drifters who also happen to be historical figures. The main difference between the two seems to be that Drifters are taken to the world before their death while ends are transferred after they die. They also seem to have died rather tragic deaths and unlike the Drifters seem to have supernatural powers. We got a lot of new faces here and chances are you don’t know the half of them. On the drifter side we got two cowboys with Butch Cassey, the Sundance Kid and a Japanese fighter Pilot from WWII by the name of Naoshi Kanno.

On the ends side we got Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova who you likely don’t recognize but there was a Don Bluth film called Anastasia which took the cliff notes on her and tried to turn it into a Disney knockoff. Basically she was princess who was killed by the Bolshevik secret police and there were long rumors that she didn’t really die in the attack. Seems to be hints that the man with her is Rasputin. We have Toshizou Hijikata, vice commander for the shinsengumi who died during the boshin War. And we have the most surprising of the bunch with Joan of Arc who seems to have not taken her being burned alive all that well. I certainly remember raising an eyebrow when I saw Joan of Arc acting like a psychopathic pyromaniac but seeing as being betrayed and burned alive would likely be fairly traumatic experiences, I say it might be rather reasonable if she didn’t take it well. Last but certainly not least we have the Black King, a mysterious figure in a white robe whose identity has yet to be revealed. There are theories of course and boy, is there one most interesting. Mainly because of the scars on his hands and the religious nature of his declaring this war a crusade there is speculation that the black King is a certain religious figure. If Hirano decides to go there and make it THAT person, then quite frankly this story will gain a whole new level of amazing. Quite honestly there is a distinct possibility that he just might do it and there are hints I have seen which seem to confirm it but at this moment in time the Black kings identity has not been specifically confirmed.

I honestly felt the pain of the magician commander as the other world soldiers started bragging about how there wall is undefeated and invincible. Yep, and they said the Titanic was unsinkable and look where that got them. These guys were cannon fodder the minute they started laughing off the enemy and I hold no sympathy for them, as any man that laughs at Hannibal deserves such a fate. It was nice to see Scipio defend him as he was his major rival and even if he pissed himself in front of a crowd thanks to old age, the man still rode war elephants over the alps. He deserves massive respect for that. But man I laughed when he reacted to Butch and the kid pulling out a gatling gun and his first words were “Give me that, I am gonna destory rome with it!” because goddamn, Hannibal really would have said the same thing. I think that’s what’s really going to carry this series, just how these characters are going to play off each other and their own history. After all it was a powerful moment when Naoshi Kanno decided to fight off the Dragons because their attacks reminded him of the US bombings of Tokyo. Still I am a simple man and I see dragons fighting WWII airplanes with blood and carnage everywhere. Quite frankly, I don’t know about you but I am having a blast.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
*poorly forcing
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that is one of the biggest advantages the show has for me, after being annoyed by so many shows ending up with tonal shifts and forcing cute designs into something more serious it is nice to see that girls last tour avoids that problem.
Amagi
My texts are always too long..
Amagi
It isn't enough to just say "look there is a dark subplot somewhere or a backdrop dystopia and we will get to it whenever it seems convenient". Last Tour is the opposite, it is moe, but the girls are part and product of the world they live in, + the cute and serious parts don't feel like two different series being glued together.
Amagi
Girl's Last Tour is the good type of moe show for me. There are many that have or pretend to have some serious undertone, be it some dystopian setting or politics or whatever. But the difference between the good and the bad shows is that the former are actually connected with their serious part in everything they think or do while the bad shows only use the other topic as cheap way to alure fans.
SuperMario
@Bokusen: I'm not sugarcoating it, but Houseki tends to be the title that split the audience. Give it a try at least. If you can tolerant the first three episodes, chances that you will enjoy the rest
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Now if only someone will translate the side story manga aswell.
KTravlos
Happiness! New chapters of Gunka no Baltazar!
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
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