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)

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Watching Happy End, you can immediately realize many of Haneke's favorite themes: the voyeur/camera in Benny's Video, Cache; the latent racism like you mentioned, the idea that killing someone you love is better than watching them suffering, the underlying violence in a normal middle class life in most of his works
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Like with code unknown, its approach to latent rascism is far better handled than for example a terrible hollywood oscar bait drama would handle it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt though had the film been a bit longer, Huppert and Jones could have gotten more scenes, same with Franz Rogowski's character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did however think that the disjointed nature of the earlier parts were both to the advantage and disadvantage of the film. But it delivers a killer of a last act that I loved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to seeing happy end, I liked the Cache and amour references and how Haneke cheekily managed to insert quirkier moments and even wry ones so seemlessly into the narrative. Fontaine ,Kassovitz and Tringnent had the best scenes, particularly the ones between Fontaine and Tringnent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Physical, non-verbal communication is a far more valuable way of conveying information I believe and more effective in fiction.
SuperMario
Report on Just Because so far: they took on the three-way romance direction, which I initally ain't fond of. But last episode actually was great with the focus on body gestures and natural dialogues, delivering one of the brst exchange the show has this season. A good watch overall
Lenlo
Sadly, the only anime youll probably get like that will be made outside japan, like Castlevania was, and wouldnt be considered "anime" by most of the community. A shame, cause Castlevania was great.
Lenlo
A classic western would be cool. Like Red Dead the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I am just coming up with fantasizing now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even a Raymond Chandler style of story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd also love to see a non-scifi western anime get made now or even an east meets west thing with cowboys AND samurai in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats a good example Vonter I guess but I probably should have been more clear/clarified that what I meant is that I wanted to see more noir anime being made NOW , I want netflix to back one . I mean the kind of thing where everyone is wearing fedoras and trench coats and its 1930/40/50, shadows everywhere or it looks impressionistic.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Monster is a very grounded detective like story. The villain is good and intimidating, some moral dilemmas are poignant and despite being animated I remember it having good direction of photography since the story takes place Germany, Prague, and some other places.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've only seen bits of wolf rain many years ago, never bothered with it further after hearing the pacing is terrible and it makes an unsatisfactory ending even less worth waiting for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, but I mean without science fiction elements.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser"I'd love to see an anime take of film noir."
What do you call Cowboy bebop?
AidanAK47
I remember someone recomending me wolfs Rain and then right after goes and tells me the ending to wolfs rain. Thanks asshole.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Yep. People just can't bloody keep things to themselves. No matter what you do, people will spoil. Like those assholes who read the manga and then go to the anime threads to post their "Theory" in an effort to gain internet cred for their amazing prediction skills.
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