Posted on 17 February 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood

Out of the entire FMA franchise, the worst part for me was the movie to the first season. It just mad eno sense, was badly animated, especially for movie standards, mad a mockery of the characters and the plot, and overall wasn’t the least bit enjoyable. Thankfully, The Sacred Star of Milos is nothing like that, and is actually a pretty good movie.

Let me first debunk some overall fears that arose with the announcement of this movie: do you remember how in the promo art, Winri looked really inaccurate to her designs in the other series? Well, that is because that wasn’t Winry at all. She’s a character original to this movie, and pretty much the main character. I know a few people who were turned off by the art style of it (yeah), but let me tell you that that is no reason to skip this movie. One thing that you do need to take into account that this IS made by different people as the anime staff, so the animation IS different from the style of the TV-series. The character designs in this movie are a bit more rough and simple. This movie also doesn’t really bother to keep its faces consistent. As a tradeoff however, ti did get a lot of very good inbetween animation. It’s been said before, but this movie has some very good action, and especially the choreography of the different action scenes is very good and creative.

So, what about the story? As it turns out, this takes place around the second half of the Brotherhood TV-series. It’s an original story that doesn’t have anything to do with the main storyline of the series, but it does flesh out the world the world it’s set in. As for the plot: it has some good and bad parts. The good parts was that it packed a good amount of twists that were well built up throughout its airtime. It created a new city in the FMA universe, and actually successfully populated it and created an epic storyline around it. Although… near the end it does get a little too epic.

What I mean by that is the following: you can really see that the creators put some good thought into some of the twists that are pulled. Near the end of the movie however, they just run out of time and momentum to keep that up, resulting in a rushed ending and a final villain with very flimsy motives who continues to spout random moral crap at the main characters. The themes and morals also are a part where this movie leaves things to be desired. Like the TV-series, it’s full of morals, and it doesn’t just copy them, but also adds in its own themes. At the end of the movie though, it didn’t really do anything with them, and most of the final quarter was just completely inconsistent with the morals it tried to build up, and not in a way that makes things come together.

So yeah, it’s a very nice movie, which unfortunately suffers of the common flaw of trying to do too much and trying to be too epic. Still, I’d recommend it. It’s a solid movie with likable characters, and I’d say that out of the Primetime Timeslot movies to come out in the recent years, it is so far the most solid and enjoyable.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Solid storyline for a movie that is just about a random story, albeit a bit too short to give everything the time it needs to build up.
Characters: 8/10 – A solid cast, both the old and new characters. The main villain is flimsy, though.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Great action choreography.
Setting: 8/10 – Doesn’t build much on the themes of the TV-series, but does flesh out the world it plays in.

Suggestions:
Cowboy Bebop – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Heartcatch Precure Movie
Metropolis

Posted on 20 September 2010 with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



The OVAs so far have been simple side-stories, but this fourth one sure was different. It really added something to Roy’s character by showing the times at which he just enlisted at the military academy, along with some more footage from the Ishbal war.

The asshole sergeants may have been a bit too stereotypical and one sided, they did what they were supposed to do in addressing the discrimination against Isbalians. The sad part was the revelation in which Roy actually met the Ishbalian that he once considered as a friend. And then to think that the first season of Full Metal Alchemist showed him angsting about having to kill some random doctor. It’s like, two completely different characters.

Just one thing: couldn’t you have just made Heiss Cliff miss his shot at Roy Mustang? I mean, it’s a bit strange for this series to use such an overused cliche here that is usually only used by cheesy action titles, by having Mustang’s State Alchemist watch be in exactly the right position to block the bullet.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 4 July 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood




Because the first season of Full Metal Alchemist went with its own story, it turned out to be one of the most famous anime of the decade, and the manga was finally about to finish, it maybe wasn’t much of a surprise that Bones ended up animating the story of the manga. And they really made sure to give it a top notch treatment here!

Especially in the past few years, the trend has grown in which series should consider themselves lucky if they can get 26 episodes, or even enough time to animate the entire story on which they’re based. Full Metal Alchemist is different, however: with 64 episodes, it received just the right length in order to tell the full story of the Full Metal Alchemist manga, and boy is it an awesome one!

The story here is completely different from the first season, but I ended up liking it a lot better with the different focus. It’s still focused on a ton of action-scenes, but the story around it is deep, well fleshed out and mature, especially for a series with many shounen elements. The world that the series is set in is well fleshed out, multi-layered and quite detailed.

Another huge focus of this series is the time it spent on characters preparing. With the epic nature of this series, a lot of time is actually spent on the lead characters, finding allies to help them. The cast of this series is huge, but everyone in this series has his or her own part to play in the large scheme of things. The length also allows the creators to really look at all of them and their motivations, backgrounds and purposes, in order to make all of them unique, with excellent results.

What you get is an epic action series with plenty of depth to come by, carefully paced and wrapped up in the end with a finale that’s full of adrenaline. However, you should note that the first fifteen episodes or so follow pretty much the same story as the first Full Metal Alchemist TV-series, and it’s clear that at that point, the creators try to get through these parts as fast as possible in order to get to the new material, compared to the very slowly paced first season.

It of course depends on how keen you’re into seeing the same things again, but there are some notable differences between the two. Brotherhood cuts some of the useless fluff of the first season away, like the moments that were just there to show contrived situations for the lead character to save the day, though it also cuts away a lot of the minor character-building scenes. Don’t worry though, because after 16 episodes, the series continues with a completely different story that in my eyes completely surpasses the original Full Metal Alchemist.

It’s a definite recommendation if you’re looking for something epic. Despite being 64 episodes, Bones keep a surprisingly good animation quality throughout the series, especially the action-scenes themselves look gorgeous for such a long series. The soundtrack also fully captures the grant atmosphere of the story, and will make sure for a show that will keep you entertained.

We here have a series that really made excellent use of its opportunity to finally show an epic story that goes beyond even 52 episodes, while always keeping on track and not losing itself somewhere in the middle. The creators had a really excellent manga to base themselves on, and even though they did not keep to the manga for 100%, the way they brought it to animation still deserves to be applauded.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Well paced and varied in the long run, exciting and engaging in the short run.
Characters: 9/10 – A ton of different characters, most of them get their chance to show off themselves and get some depth. Plenty of character-development as well.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Great animation from Bones, plus an excellent soundtrack.
Setting: 10/10 – Excellent in its depth and multiple layers, focusing both on the big picture as the individual details. Successfully brings many different stories together.

Suggestions:
Bounen no Xamdou
– Vision of Escaflowne
Nadia – The Secret of Blue Water

Posted on with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



And so, this series is finally over. What a ride it’s been!

As an epilogue, this episode managed to wrap everything up pretty neatly. The future of some characters are very neatly detailed, while for the others it’s left to our imagination. It’s great to see that both Ed and Al have gone their own ways, where Ed chose to take it easy in order to be able to raise his family, while Al took more ambitious plans. Roy meanwhile grew a moustache and got a step closer to beconing the next fuhrer, while getting his sight back with the help of a philosopher’s stone provided by Marcoh.

I admit, at the beginning of this series I tended to complain a lot about Winry, but looking back, this mostly was due to the way that the first season treated her, than her role here. She was a fine love interest in this series, and the creators didn’t try to shoehorn her into the main plot at the last minute. Instead, they used Al and Mai (and Izumi and her husband too, I guess) for the bit of romantic tension, which strangely seemed to fit a whole lot more.

Anyway, I was quite surprised at the reactions I got last eek, when I said that I’d pretty much label this series in my top 5 of 2010, so let me elaborate a bit further on that. At this point, I still can’t decide what my favourite show of the past half year has been, and I’m very much doubting between the Armed Librarians, Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei and this series. Assuming that two more series of that same caliber appear in the upcoming half year (which is reasonable, I suppose), that’s how I came to make that statement about this series being top 5 worthy.

Full Metal Alchemist was indeed freaking epic, but the thing is: the Armed Librarians were also really epic in their own way. Yojou-han on the other hand may not have been epic, but it was a masterpiece nonetheless. These three all had their own points at which they stood out as memorable. Full Metal Alchemist did this with its length, detailed setting, cast of characters, and the way its action scenes had been written. In comparison though, if for example Bounen no Xamdou would have been 39 or 52 episodes long, I would not have rated it inferior to this series.

And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t one of those series like Gurren Lagann, Kanon or Haruhi in which I, while enjoying the series, do not agree that their popularity is deserved. Brotherhood realyl deserves all the popularity it’s getting, but granted, I have seen quite a number of series that made more of an impact on me.

I don’t think that this has to do with being shounen or seinen or what. I mean, with series like Les Miserables being labelled as kids’ series, and series as Koihime Musou labelled as seinen… do we really have to hold it against them when a series has shounen elements? Besides, if this really is a shounen series, it really was one of the damn best of its genre.

The fantasy action genre, along with science fiction, is very much my favourite genre out there, so my standards are really high for it. What this series didn’t have, which I did experience with other series of its genre, was this addictive style of storytelling that keeps you at the edge of your seat. The kind that keeps juggling all kinds of emotion at once. Full Metal Alchemist instead was like a bulldozer, especially near the end. Is that bad? Of course not! it’s still a freaking awesome series.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 27 June 2010 with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



Aha, so the creators really reserved the 64th episode for the aftermath of the series. This really was meant to be the climax of Full Metal Alchemist. Interestingly,t he creators chose not to end it with a bang, but rather tone down the action in order to focus on the main characters. Father really was already defeated at the end of the previous episode. This episode was really meant to wrap everything up: show the end of Father, and resolve the plot thread of Ed and Al getting their body back.

As expected, the characters found some sort of loophole in order to get Al’s body back. This time, the loophole was the door. We learn that every character has a door of alchemy, and apparently Ed knew that he could trade that in, instead of offering another of his limbs to get back to Al.

As for the budget, well, the creators were lucky that a lot of this episode was about a bunch of simple shapes (Greed, Flask (as I’ll call him for now, as “The inhabitant of the Flask” is a bit too long), God), so they could really plan the best of their budget to the previous action-packed view. The final confrontation between Flask was a worthy climax for the series, even though he already had been defeated.

One thing I did not understand was Hohenheim, though. Why did he end up dying? Was it because Father sucked all of the philosopher’s stones out of him or something?

Overall though, this has been an awesome series. It’s not among my favourites, but it still was a wonderful ride. I really hope that Bones is going to adapt more manga in the same way in the future.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 20 June 2010 with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



So this is it: the big battle against the final villain. The key is of course to get the plot to come together at the same time, rather than just showing a bunch of yelling and flashy beams for episodes after each other. This episode passed with flying colours. It yet again had my attention from beginning to end.

Interestingly enough, this has a ton of parallels to the ending of the first Full Metal Alchemist. I’m going to discuss those now, so those who have yet to see it: SPOILER ALERT.

In the first season, Al TOO sacrificed himself for Ed, also with a bit of help from a small plot-hole. In this episode: how did Al know exactly how to go to the gate all of a sudden? In the first season meanwhile, the concepts of the Philosopher’s stone was a lot more vague than in brotherhood. It was much more mythical and mysterious, rather than the strictly defined powers it gives you in the Brotherhood series. As a result, the circumstances here are much more detailed than the ending of the first season, in which Ed dies then Al offers his life to save Ed who then offers his life again for Al. Here, Al acts out of desperation, as a way to prevent Ed from getting killed by offering him his arm back now that Ed no longer has a reason to not have his arm (I guess that that means that it immediately returns the arm to the original owner).

You can also see this contrast between the two series in the portrayal of “God”: in the first series it was all powerful, it was always there to punish those who messed around with human transmutation but nobody actually knew who he was or where he came from. In Brotherhood however, he’s a gigantic eyeball in an eclipse who designed a totally logical world in which people get to travel to a gate dimension when they attempt to transmute humans. Ed’s arm is more like a sacrifice to get to somewhere (the truth), rather than just a punishment.

Aside from that, a lot of this episode was just about everyone, who could fight from long range, whether main characters, side characters or even nameless soldiers, hacking away at Father to try and break that guy’s barrier. I loved how this episode gradually played out and broke this barrier of his to the point where he eventually snapped.

I think that the one character with the surprising amount of airtime that I totally did not expect was Mai Chang. I mean, she has been a vital side-character for the past episode ever since they started fighting Father, even more important than Roy Mustang. I think that part of the reason why the creators made her decide to go back with Envy was a way to develop her for later, on top of getting her involved back with the plot and story. You can certainly see that she’s very alert right now, much more than she was at the beginning of the series. Still, I would have liked to see at least a bit more of her backstory in the earlier episodes.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 13 June 2010 with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood




It’s just as I hoped: the finale of Full Metal Alchemist managed to surpass itself. I really consider this and the previous episode to belong to the true highlights of this series. This is really what I’ve been hoping, the way in which the creators managed to use all of the build-up of the entire series and just deliver an incredibly action-packed finale.

It’s also great to see that the animation is back to its old quality again. The action-scenes looked incredibly diverse and gorgeous, and it really showed that Bones was saving up its budget for those final few episodes during the past season. I especially loved the scene in which Father blasts his first energy beam to Hohenheim.

My biggest fear of this episode was of course the following: with how powerful Father has become, how the heck did the creators plan to bump him from his throne? It would be pretty lame to just have a bunch of kids ruin a plan that involves hundreds of years of preparing. I wasn’t disappointed here, though: it was Hohenheim who turned out to have the final trick up his sleeve, as he too spent centuries, attempting to do something against Father’s plans, and therefore formed an excellent core to foil his plans. Add that to Scar’s brother, who turned out to be surprisingly close to the truth here with his research, and I’m more than satisfied.

This episode was over the top in its action, but that’s especially what I’ve been expecting of it from the start. It was all about having formerly invincible characters getting defeated, but it’s all done in style: Wrath’s ending was epic. He went down against a worthy opponent, and even then he was only at a fraction of his strength because of a mistake he made a few episodes back, causing him to get wounded. Pride in the meantime went down like Envy: it’s because he’s flawed by design in the way that he just allowed himself to be completely destroyed, just for the sake of Father’s Pride.

And at the same time this episode also had those small details in between the action. I loved the scene in which Izumi saw her husband again, or when Roy Mustang saw Hawkeye again. They were short but powerful, and exactly what’s necessary to prevent this show from just going way too much over the top. This episode really had an excellent balance between that exposition and those action-scenes.

The final episodes also now look a lot more interesting, because Father now is no longer a god-moded threat that can’t be defeated. The problem with all-powerful characters is that they can also be made too powerful. When that happens, creators need to pull really weird deus ex machinas or plot-devices in order to keep these guys from just blowing everyone away. Here however, it was handled very well.
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

Posted on 6 June 2010 with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood




This is it: the episode to which the entire series has been building up to. Because the previous episodes weren’t exactly to this series’ highlights, I feared a bit for a lackluster ending, but those fears were ungrounded: this episode was absolutely fantastic and more than a worthy climax after such an amount of build-up. What an episode!

After a bit of fights that were meant to close off the last bits of character building (Scar, revealing that he shed his prejudices, and went along with his brother’s plans, gaining the strength he needed to surprise and win from Bradley; Ed’s revenge on Pride for what he did to Al (he didn’t outright say it, but to me it seems like he went after Pride for exactly that reason; if not he would have been the one to step up and save Mai Chang)), this episode was all about opening that gate. At this point it’s clear that Bones did not save some Xamdou-level animation for its finale, but with the resources they had they portrayed the euphoria of Father, who finally was able to reach his goals after putting an ungodly amount of work to reach “The Truth”, was really well portrayed. Father has really been an excellent villain so far: from start to finish, he remained in control.

The part in which the entire country was killed off was also very well done: haunting, especially seeing everyone just disappearing like that. The creators really made sure to show nearly everyone Ed and Al met disappearing. Aside from Yoki, perhaps. I’m not sure why he suddenly comes to my mind here, but he was surprisingly missing in those scenes.

Of course, they’re still not there: there are a bunch of nasty potential cliches between the end of this episode and the ending. Most notably, Father’s demise: he’s so powerful now. He’s huge, he’s incredibly close to the truth, and everything points to him achieving his plans. There are so many ways that can screw this plot up in the next three episodes. Let’s hope that the creators realized that as well and instead will deliver an awesome ending, rather than a cheesy shounen one.
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

Posted on 30 May 2010 with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



We’re really nearing the climax for this series now, you can really see that the focus is getting more and more back to the lead characters and especially the lead villains. The next episode should be all about Father, trying to do whatever he needs to do in order to execute that plan of his. After that there are going to be three more episodes to wrap everything up. Should be enough.

Thumbs up for especially Al in this episode: he actually refused to go back to his body, because he knew that it would be impossible to be useful with that kind of a posture. That was actually very well built up: ever since he got stuffed in that box and Pride got hold of him, he’s had a lot of trouble being useful, having to play the part of damsel in distress a few times, along with just being too far away to help out in the early battles of Central City.

This episode made a ton of promises for interesting fights: it’s not just the question of “Will Al be able to redeem himself?”, but also, “how will Roy kick ass now that his eyes are gone?”, and “what will Mai Chang’s role be if the creators went through the trouble of putting her amongst the most central characters of the story at the most crucial time?”, to a fight between Scar and Mustang that will continue into the next episode. And then there’s Ed: as the lead character but nowhere near the best fighter, what is his role going to be?

The animation was quite inconsistent in this episode: some parts were animated quite smoothly, and you can really see that the animators really like animating the fights that involve Bradley with great detail, but there also were a few speedlines, unrefined faces and still frames. The big question for that is obviously going to be whether or not the creators saved enough budget for those final episodes, especially since they’ve been teasing us over and over with that ED.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 23 May 2010 with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



This episode was very straightforward and much of what you’d expect, but the scenario was as exciting as ever. Right now, you can see that the creators are building up to the climax of the series (yeah, there are only five more episodes left here). It’s the small touches that impressed me the most in this episode, though.

The random soldier who actually managed to shoot King Bradley, from Father’s true form that doesn’t in the slightest bit try to be aesthetically pleasing. It was a very intense episode, with deaths (we get to see the two deaths of the previous episode confirmed), death threats, Al who suddenly stopped waking up and the old man’s monologues as he tried to get Roy to perform a human transmutation were also very atmospheric.

There’s one thing I didn’t quite get though: why Roy of all people? I mean, couldn’t father just get himself a human sacrifice to attempt the transmutation? I mean, with the effort he put into creating the Bradley clones, he also could easily have educated one of them to use alchemy to the point of being able to transmutate a human being.

In any case, we’re about to get to the ending, and that does bring me to one particular gripe about Bones that I had at the time that this series started: its seeming inability to create good finales. Back then, I was getting very tired of how Bones series always tended to be full of potential, but rushed through all of their endings, leaving a bad aftertaste in the end and this happened to nearly all of their series. In the meantime however, this spell has been broken by Tokyo Magnitude, which closed off its story perfectly, so I’m very interested in whether the creators can pull things off, and most importantly: pace the remaining manga chapters properly across five episodes. I’m not asking for a panel-to-panel similarity; there have been enough shows which had to cope with a rushed ending due to lack of time (Armed Librarians, anyone). All I want is these final episodes to capture the essence of the series and what the manga author had in mind about the conclusion that she spent years building up to.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
K-Off
@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
Total users: 43

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