Posted on 26 December 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mobile Suit Gundam 00




Gundam 00’s Awakening of the Trailblazer is one of those movies where you need to have seen the series for. Spoilers for the Gundam 00 will follow in this review, otherwise I can’t properly explain the impression that this movie left me.

Anyway, I was ready to just get this movie over with, expecting the Gundam 00 Movie to be another forgettable flick. But, to me surprise there was one thing about this movie that made me really happy as soneone who sat through the fifty episodes of the two Gundam 00 series: it has no annoying characters!

Seriously, half of the annoying characters is already dead at this point. The others really impressed me how they managed to spend the entire movie from whining: two years have passed again since the end of the second season, and finally everyone seems to have settled down. Saji and Louise who once urged me to break the screen of my laptop once every episode are actually a cute couple now. Mister Bushido finally dropped that ridiculous mask of his and stopped being a char clone, Marie and Allelujah also are quite happy together. All of the innovators who are still alive have become more than paper bags of characters and even Setsuna has a romantic interest now other than his Gundam.

The cast of this movie is still HUGE. I can’t recall any movie with more characters than this one, and I’m impressed with how it managed to involve all of them in this movie and developed a surprising amount of them at the same time while also introducing a bunch of new ones. It’s definitely much more than I expected.

This movie can very much be compared to Gundam Wing’s Endless Waltz: its villain is completely new but has a vague connection to something important in the original series, it’s much paced very differently from the TV-series that dragged on and it’s actually quite effective that way despite a few glaring problems. This movie takes a lot of time for its build-up, which makes the action scenes stand out even more. The action scenes themselves are actually pretty varied and don’t get boring, yet stay in the same Gundam-esque tradition of having space battles on a huge scale.

As for the plot itself… yeah. The villains are aliens now. Still, it’s handled decently: any kind of realism in Gundam 00 was abandoned anyway since the arrival of the Trans-am system, and this movie just rolls with it, while at the same time tying in neatly with Aeolia Schenberg’s ultimate objectives. The aliens themselves though are as flat as a pancake in terms of character and the ending of the movie is just.. ridiculous. Seriously, it feels like that ending was thought up at the last possible minute.

The graphics of the movie is a very mixed bag. The character animation is surprisingly mediocre for a movie by Sunrise. Instead however, the biggest part of the budget went into the CG near the end of the movie, and granted: that is a visual feast.

Overall, the ending is of headdesk and facepalm level, but apart from that this movie was surprisingly refreshing compared to how annoying and forgettable Gundam 00’s second season was.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Actually well paced for Gundam 00’s standards. Good action, good build-up. STUPID conclusion.
Characters: 8/10 – Shallow villains, but the other characters surprised me a lot: they’re not annoying and are actually able to show off their development.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Gorgeous CG, simple character animations for movie standards.
Setting: 8/10 – It adds on the Gundam 00 franchise in its own way. Some things work well, others don’t work at all.

Suggestions:
– Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Endless Waltz
Macross Frontier – Itsuwari no Utahime
Digimon Movie 2 – Bokura no War Game

Posted on 30 March 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mobile Suit Gundam 00



Gundam 00 was the first long Gundam series that was split into two halves of about 25 episodes, rather than continuing for a full run of 50. In te end, it turned out into a decent series: it does the job it’s supposed to do, but it wasn’t anything really outstanding. The second season unfortunately was a bit weaker than the first.

While the first series had some interesting politics in the beginning, the second season drops the politics aspect completely and instead focuses much more on delivering solid action and the story becomes much more character-focused. Central to the story are various different conflicts between opposing sides, and these really range from utterly abysmal (Saji and Louise whine way too much throughout the series) to engaging and pretty good (Allelujahh and Marie). Especially Setsuna deserves credit, as he grows into a solid and capable male lead.

This approach has its good and bad sides. As I said: whenever the good characters take up the spotlight, the series becomes pretty enjoyable, but in the end the second season is just too formulaic. There are too many random battles that don’t stand apart from each other; they hardly ever resolve something and usually end up with both parties simply retreating. Most of the major villains lack development (especially the innovators, who apart from Regetta have as much personality as a paper bag), and all in all, this second season could have also been done in 13 episodes without losing much of the content or impact.

So in the end, this really is a series for those who want lots of solid action. If you’re not into that, then there really isn’t a lot left to watch in this series. The animation pretty good overall, but for me it was hardly ever really aestetically pleasing; the soundtrack is excellent, though. It’s not a bad series by far, and it has some pretty enjoyable parts (my personal favourite being the fall of the elevator), but there are lots of better mecha-series out there.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 7/10
Posted on with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00



Short Synopsis: Ribbons and Setsuna finally face off against each other.
Episode Rating: 7/10 (Enjoyable)
Not the most impressive finale, but I’ve seen a lot worse endings this season. Obviously it was going to be overly cheesy, Setsuna and Ribbons were bound to fight to the death, and in the end Ribbons predictably dies and Setsuna somehow survives in true Disney fashion. Everyone lives happily ever after, blah blah blah, but there were some nice touches in this episode, like how the creators really wanted the show to end in a fight with Exia, rather than 00-Raiser.

I wasn’t too happy with how easily all of the conflicts in the middle east were solved. I mean, it’s not like Ribbons caused those, and the whole reunion of the middle east came really from nowhere. Also, what was that clone doing among the Azadistans? Also, what the heck was the purpose of Mister Bushido in this series? He was pretty much useless for the largest part of he series. One thing that I did like was Patrick’s wedding. That was sort-of cute.

Overall, I can’t really say that I’ve become a Gumdan-fan over the past year and a half, even though I tried. The original Mobile Suit Gundam was Excellent, but the others I’ve seen (Zeta, Wing and 00) all left things to be desired and were just too formulaic. It’s a shame, because all started out in their own way, and had an excellent and promising first half, but in their second halves they just all degrade into a string of random fights that aren’t really that much different from each other. I originally planned to patiently watch all of the gundam series out there, but in the end I’m only going to check out the rumoured really good ones: War in the Pocket, 08th MS Team and Turn A Gundam.

Posted on 22 March 2009 with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00



Short Synopsis: The big climax of Gundam 00
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
And so, most of the conflicts are solved in this episode. All because Setsuna couldn’t stand to see all of his friends dying, which unlocked some sort of hidden powers in his Gundam which made it shoot out tons of GN Particles and allowed everyone to settle their difference. I’m not exactly sure what drug it used in order to resolve nearly every single conflict apart from the ones around Ribbons, but I guess that the overall message is that conflicts shouldn’t be solved by brainlessly fighting each other without listening to the other party. Nice, I guess, but a bit unrealistic. Ah well, at least I’m glad that it wasn’t Marina’s song that ended up saving everyone.

In any case, for all of the different conflicts that were solved in this episode, some were good and some were bad: Saji vs Louise was as horrible as ever, though the conclusion between Ali al Sarshes and Lockon was very solid and a very good gunfight. Marie vs Smirnoff basically went nowhere, and Billy vs Sumaragi was cheesy but served its purpose I guess.

Ribbons was pretty pathetic, though. The entire series has established the guy as some sort of evil overlord without any flaws whatsoever. And in this episode he just lets some random guys take over Veda without even an attempt to stop it. He should have known that all innovators could link to Veda, and since he’s such a 1337-hax0rz, he could have easily taken measures to prevent others from accessing Veda. And yet he acts all surprised when Tieria turns out to be alive, using the same trick he used a few episodes back.

I think that the big problem with this episode was that the “ultimate power” was a bit too convenient and selective: it was exactly what this series needed in order to wrap up every hanging thread: everyone conveniently gets healed, it conveniently calls the ghosts of some dead characters who help taking over Veda, while other dead people don’t appear at all, it conveniently cancels out Ribbons’ brainwashing on Louise, it conveniently clears most useless hatred. It’s just too convenient!

Overall, with one episode left, I have to say that I liked the first series better. Sure, Setsuna was pretty annoying back then, but at least his impulsiveness had a certain charm to it, which isn’t something I can say for Saji and Louise. It had a solid build-up with a great climax, and took place in a world that actually felt alive with a complex political structure. The second season focused much more on action and the characters, which all were either a hit or a miss for me.

On a positive note, I do have to admit that I really liked the background music of this episode. Great soundtrack.

Posted on 15 March 2009 with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00



Short Synopsis: It has arrived: the huge space fortress.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
I’m pretty surprised: while it hasn’t been anything amazing, the past few episodes have been pretty solid action. I was expecting the show to completely fall apart at this point… and it didn’t. Thumbs up for the creators. I’m never going to label this series among my favourites, but it’s still good to see that this ended up being such an enjoyable series.

So yeah, obviously Ribbons didn’t die. This really was the episode in which all hell breaks loose, and the body count was significantly increased: Regetta dies, Patrick dies for a second time, and Marie is also now potentially dead, though since we never actually saw her die, this means that she’s still going to appear in the next episodes. There’s still this matter of Allelujah vs. Hallelujah that needs to be taken care of, of course.

And yeah, of course I should have known that the big space fortress of this Gundam would be Veda: Ribbons’ headquarters. The army of clones was a bit too much, though. Especially since most of them seemed literally to have the intelligence of a bunch of flies more than anything. The biggest danger of these huge overwhelming numbers is of course the potential for power-level inconsistencies. Ribbons has been portrayed so much as the evil overlord that he seems nearly invincible at this point. But then again, he does have one weak point: when Veda’s gone, he’ll be screwed. It’s of course the perfect source of a grand climax: an exploding huge space fortress. Now all that’s left is to see how they’re going to do that. It’d be pretty anticlimactic if Setsuna would just barge in, hit the self-destruct button and flee outside again.

Posted on 8 March 2009 with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00



Short Synopsis: A-Laws gathers up all of its forces for an all-out attack on the CBs.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
I keep expecting this series to become a trainwreck… and it doesn’t. Seriously, there was so much potential for these final episodes to delve into a scream-fest, but aside from some slight annoyances (Louise mostly) the finale of this series hasn’t become a total disaster at all. This episode too was again a very good one, strangely enough.

Finally the character-development comes together a bit, and instead of the scream-fest in the veins of Zeta Gundam that I was expecting, the finale seems to be heading much more in the style of Gundam Wing. While there is no huge battleship to crash into the earth (unless Veda decides to plummet into the earth somehow), it basically was a string of very solid all-out battles together with character-development that instead of spiralling out of control made the cast come more together. Exactly what was happening in this episode.

The ending of this episode was also really interesting, with Regetta killing Ribbons, but then again: this remains Sunrise. Ribbons really sounds like a guy who wouldn’t die even if you killed him, and although the idea of Regetta being the new main villain, I first want to see Ribbons really dead in the next episode.

In any case, this series still can go anywhere. It can still be the series to restore the faith in the Gundam Franchise after the likes of Gundam Seed Destiny, or it can just become one total disaster. And I really hope that it’s going to be the former.

Posted on 1 March 2009 with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00



Short Synopsis: A certain character thought to be dead returns.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
Seriously, I so want to hate this series, and yet this series doesn’t let me. And I so want to love this series at the same tie, and that too is something I’m unable to do with this series. There are so many good things about this series, but there are also so many bad things, and this episode again was no different.

Especially Louise got on my nerves more than ever, now that she finally has the chance to kill Nena. Especially the incredibly exaggerated screaming was just pointless. I personally believe that this series would have been a lot better if she had simply died when Nena killed her in the first season. In that case, Saji would indeed have angsted for a lot of episodes, but at least he would have gotten over it, and their relationship wouldn’t have turned into the whine-fest that it is now. In fact, I’m beginning to like Saji whenever he’s not thinking of his former lover.

But yeah, there was lots of good building up in this episode, which is always welcome. While it’s a bit strange for Wang Lui Mei and Hong Long to still be alive, and how four centuries into the future, people still haven’t invented bullets that have enough force to pass through a human body, I am glad to see that they do succeed in telling the CBs about Veda’s location.

And FINALLY, it becomes clear what Aeolia Schenberg intended to do with his plans from the beginning: turning every human into an innovator. That’s what it meant to change the world, and that’s why the GN Drives had to be constructed through such a difficult process. But here I have to wonder: what’s the point of being an innovator anyway? All I’ve seen in the past few episodes is that they have glowy eyes, weird hair and get to pilot fancy mechas. I guess the only thing is the telepathic powers of these guys, but I can’t see how Aeolia would start such an incredibly elaborate and complex plan, just to turn a bunch of people into psychics… Just imagine how people can be able to misuse these powers by intruding into others’ privacy.

Right now, my biggest problem with the second season aside from the obvious Saji and Louise is that it’s a story that could also have easily been done in thirteen episodes. There was no need to drag this on for this many episodes, unless the creators were very consciously building up for something in the end. The finale of this series can really make or break it for me. With such a large amount of build-up, the finale really needs to give this series a solid and satisfying conclusion. If it can do that, then my opinion about this series will very likely become much higher.

Posted on 22 February 2009 with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00



Short Synopsis: Lyle tries to talk some sense into Anew
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
I have a HUGE hate/love feeling about this episode. Some parts were really well done, excellent and points where things came together really nicely, while other parts were downright abysmal. Huge bad signs for the finale of this series. At this point, this series still has the potential for an excellent finale if it does everything right, but the potential for a trainwreck is just SO BIG. Agh!

But first the good part: Lyle vs. Anew. A bit cheesy perhaps, but Lyle’s attempts to get Anew back were surprisingly genuine. Anew’s death was very sympathetic, and I especially loved how Setsuna didn’t hesitate to kill his former friend. I’m surprised as well, but Setsuna has turned into a really nice main character: none of the problems I have with this show have to do with him.

But yeah, there was lots of bad stuff in this episode as well. the creators really did the seemingly impossible in this episode: they made the Saji vs Louise plot-line even MORE annoying: they introduced brainwashing! It’s like saying: we need drama! Let’s brainwash a bunch of people into doing bad stuff so that they won’t listen to people reasoning with them! The brainwashing effectively eliminates any form of free will, and turns the characters involved in brainless fighting machines. How the heck are they going to get good drama with that?!

And yeah, this episode pretty much hinted that the creators are going for an “everyone dies” ending. There are so many couples whose finale can resemble that of Anew so much that it’s going to surprise me a lot if half of the cast still alive in this episode doesn’t end up getting killed in some way. Anew’s death worked well, but if the creators are just going to repeat the same thing over and over again, the fun quickly dies. No pun intended, by the way.

Posted on 15 February 2009 with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00



Short Synopsis: Blah blah, Saji Louise, blah blah blah…
Episode Rating: 6/10 (Disappointing)
Oh, and I so hoped that this series’ finale wouldn’t go into this direction. This episode was just one big bad sign. It just consisted out of a bunch of people screaming and going emo, and in the end most of the parties simply ended up retreating without still not saving anything. I really hoped that the finale would be more like Gundam Wing, rather than Zeta Gundam, but right now all the signs are pointing to the fact that the creators are going for an emo-ending, rather than a political one.

Saji and Louise obviously were annoying yet again. This episode was supposed to be one of their big climaxes, and with the huge build-up they already had it still failed to capture me. Afterwards, Saji yelling of “Stop! Revenge isn’t going to solve anything!!!1!!” also felt so out of place in this series. I can only hope that Soma Pieres somehow listened to the guy.

And the ending of this episode only increased my fears. Wang Lui Ming had a great plan: give Veda’s location to the Celestial Beings. This would be something that completely shifted Ribbons’ plans and finally give the guy a bit of a challenge. But all of this was ruined when Nena went emo and killed her and her brother. Ribbons in the meantime still is the evil overlord he was twenty episodes ago, and Anew’s “big twist” was just shallow at best. One big problem with these innovators as well is that they’re hardly fleshed out. I mean, what do we really know about these people, other than that they’ve strange haircuts and weird names?

Oh god, I so hope that my fears are wrong with this. This series went on such a good path for it to be ruined by such a crappy finale. My only hope is the revelation of Aeolia Shenberg’s ultimate motives. It’d better be something really good and innovative.

Posted on 8 February 2009 with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00



Short Synopsis: A building-up episode before the next big clash between A-Laws and Celestial Beings.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
At first I wasn’t that positive about this episode, as hardly anything seemed to happen at all. What I’m especially bugged about is how the Coup d’Etat really didn’t accomplish anything: the rebels are gone, A-Laws is back to being A-Laws. What the heck was the point of it besides killing off Sergei? I think that’s the biggest problem with the second season of Gundam 00: it’s just too damn one-sided. In the first episodes, we see the Celestial Beings fighting against A-Laws. Eighteen episodes later, and we still have the Celestial Beings fighting against A-Laws. It really hasn’t evolved that much at all.

Nevertheless, near the end of the episode I suddenly realized how good this episode was. There was hardly any fighting, but instead it focused on developing all of the major couples in this episode: Setsuna and Saji, Soma and Allelujah, Marina and the kids, Lyle and Anew (!?), Louise and Andrei, Claus and Shirin, Saji and Louise, Wang and Ribbons, Regene and Ribbons, et cetera. I especially liked how when everyone sortied, they said the names for the ones most important to them. For Setsuna this was his Gundam, and Tieria had Veda. Now that’s the reason why these two are some of my favourite characters of this series. ^^;

So yeah, while the plot really hasn’t been moving anywhere, the characters thankfully are making lots of progress, and especially Saji and Louise feel a lot less annoying compared to their stupidity in the first three quarters of the series. They’re actually preparing themselves to kill each other in the battlefield, and I like how Louise finally has a new boyfriend. It’s just a shame that she chose the third most annoying character of the cast…

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
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.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

Welcome to week 10 of Mahoutsukai! Finally, oh so finally, we have are given some backstory on Elias! Our mysterious male(?) lead gets some explanation. We also get the start of a Chise only arc and finally some more information on Lindel. Lets jump in! As the main focus of this weeks episode, naturally I […]

Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

DIes Irae isn’t making this easy for the anime only watcher, as we get confused montages of Lisa’s backstory and oddly of a character whose relevance doesn’t come till a much later date. I would say it’s rather spoiler-ish if the info wasn’t presented in such a haphazard way that no one could really decode […]

Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

Girls’ Last Tour examines the concept of time and space this week, as the girls riding on a lonely moving train. The train design fits right in with this world: a long metal box that functions all by itself and contains many now-dysfunctional robots – corpses of the machines. Since last week we learnt that […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 10[Kind Country]

Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

Latest Reviews

The Reflection Review – 45/100

The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

There are few series which can capture the mystery and wonder of a fantasy world as well as Made in Abyss. Their world is dangerous, brutal and unforgiving but beautiful, wondrous and exciting in it’s presentation. The story is of a ordinary girl called Riko and a mysterious cyborg boy called Regu traveling down the […]

Classroom of the Elite (Summer 2017) Review – 54/100

Here’s a perfect example of a Light Novel adaptation schlock that has some interesting concept but terrible presentation. Youkoso usually starts the episode with a thought-provoking philosophical quote, and then (in one episode in particular) they followed up with a boob shot. It sums up exactly how I feel about this show. In service for […]

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

Allow me to skip over the last episode coverage for this full review of 18if, since I was too underwhelmed by the finale to have anything concrete except pointing out how messy the ending was. The first thing you need to know about 18if is that it’s a multimedia project (along with a mobile game […]

Princess Principal (Summer 2017) Review – 82/100

Princess Principal has emerged as a true sleeper hit for this admittedly sloppy Summer Season. A joint project from indie studios that bring us my favorite anime of last year Flip Flappers (3Hz) and “better than it has any right to be” Girls und Panzer (Actas), Princess Principal records the missions of five cute spy […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul Review 80/100

“Dance!” I have been a  reader of this blog for a long time. Indeed it would not be wrong to say that psgels and the current crop of writers have helped maintain my interest in anime for the last decade. So now here is my chance to give something back to this excellent blog. Shingeki […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members […]

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There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be […]