Posted on 29 August 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai, or Munto TV, was the biggest disappointment of the past Winter Season. Here the creators had a great chance to take a flawed OVA, and spread it across the airtime of a TV-series so that the setting and the characters could finally get the chance to be developed properly. So, what do they do? A bloody recap. Only the final three and a half episodes featured new material, which was way too little for a story of this caliber. Still, with a movie scheduled, it still could redeem itself. But yeah, I guess that you can all see by the rating for this review that it obviously didn’t.

Oh, the announcement for the movie sounded so promising. Even though it would also recap the new footage for the TV-series, it did promise that it was going to be just a “director’s cut of various climactic scenes”, with “new footage” and it “ends with a finale”. Looking back, that was the biggest piece of crap that the creators could ever have come up with to promote this movie.

Let’s start with the “new footage”. Let me tell you exactly how much new footage there was in this movie: three minutes. No, seriously, it has some three minutes of strange back-story slapped on the beginning. Apart from that, everything else simply recaps the TV-series.

So, how about the “director’s cut of various climactic scenes”? Well, apparently the creators found every single scene a climactic one, because the rest of the movie is literally every single scene of the new footage of the TV-series. Even the useless comic relief ones. The only part that is missing is the final part of the last episode. You know, the scene that PROMISED THAT THE STORY WASN’T OVER YET.

And how about “ends with a finale”? Well, this movie sure as heck ends with a finale. The same that the TV-series ended with. Yeah, the same finale with its Deus ex Machina climax, the same finale in which the characters started to act completely out of character, and the same finale in which Munto dressed up the three teenaged leads into sailor uniforms with extremely short skirts. What the heck was the point in advertising that!?

It’s a shame. This series really had potential; if only the creators actually made a remake of this series, panned over 26 episodes or something similar, it would have been really good. This, however, is just crap. Even for a recap-movie, it’s incredibly cheap, the way it was advertised, the way it promised so many things, and instead just chose the laziest way out and even failed in terms of storytelling with that ending. If you want to see what Munto is about, check out the TV-series, skip the rest.

Storytelling: 1/10
Characters: 1/10
Production-Values: 5/10
Setting: 5/10
Posted on 11 March 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai, otherwise known as the Munto Remake or that show with the incredibly long name. The original Munto was a series of two OVAs that simply couldn’t live up to the huge story that they tried to create. That’s why it was great news that it was going to get a remake TV-version that could give the story the right amount of time that it needed to… and yet this series turned into my single biggest disappointment of the past Winter-Season.

The “remake”-part of the title is incredibly misleading. This series is more like an exact copy of the first two episodes with about an hour and a half of new material pasted at the end. There was so much promise for an excellent series, and yet the creators spent the first six episode blatantly copying and pasting and did hardly anything to fix the original problems of the OVA. But to be fair, I’m going to review this series from the perspective of someone new to the Munto franchise. If you’ve already seen the OVAs, then you can easily subtract 30% from the rating, skip the series and watch the movie that’s going to be released in the future because then this series has nothing new to add.

Well then, Munto tells the story about two worlds: one of them is at war and in huge troubles, and a random girl named Yumemi who lives in the other world has enough powers to save it from destruction. Well, that’s the basic premise anyway. The pacing is very fast and it hardly leaves any moment for the viewer to get bored of the show, and that’s one of the show’s biggest strengths: there’s always something going on.

The problems mostly lie in the incredibly short length of the series. The characters have got so much potential to grow into a memorable cast, but they’re not given the chance because the airtime only consists out of nine episodes. Especially Yumemi’s friends are pretty likable, but a huge part of the cast just isn’t fleshed out and developed enough. The result is that some characters suddenly start acting completely out of character in the final episode.

The same problem is there with the setting: Munto takes place in a huge one, with different countries with different alliances, but we hardly get to know anything about it, even the most important one which is lead by one of the main characters of this series receives hardly any attention at all. Because of this it’s hard to care about what’s going on.

Thankfully this is Kyoto Animation, so there is a lot of eye candy in this series. Especially the first six episodes (the ones copied directly from the OVAs) look awesome, and the new material, while significantly lower in quality, still have lots of nice movement and hardly any still frames. There’s a lot of style in this series, and most of the time it’s a feast for the senses.

But yeah, that doesn’t prevent the flaws from sticking out. The story was meant for 26 episodes; there is no way that you can squeeze it in only nine of them, and the creators indeed screwed up a lot here. Thanks to the addictive storytelling and animation we still have ourselves a pretty decent series here, but it could have been so much better.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 6/10
Posted on with categories: Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Short Synopsis: Yumemi uses her powers to instantly take care of most of the major conflicts in the series.
Episode Rating: 6,5/10 (Lacking)
Well, there you have it. There’s going to be a movie, which is going to recap all of the new material of the series (read: copy and paste) and paste the real climax of Munto after it. There was no point to the TV-series at all, and it really reminds me of the Death and Rebirth Movie of Evangelion: pointless and only there to squeeze some extra cash out of a franchise. It’s such a shame: if the creators only took the time to rewrite the original story and make it fit within 26 episodes, we would have had ourselves an absolute gem here. Instead, the series is merely a nice enough series for those who haven’t seen the original OVAs yet.

Having said that, though, this final episode left a lot to be desired, unfortunately. I would have been at least satisfied with a decent action-packed finale, but for some very strange reason Yumemi suddenly started acting completely out of character. She’s been this calm yet reserved girl up till now, and this episode transforms her into some sort of cheerful super-heroine of some sorts. Munto also turned into a completely different person after the climax ended.

But hey, at least we now know where the extremely short skirts from the ED came from: they were simply Munto’s strange sense of fashion. I’m still not sure why exactly he decided to give Yumemi and her friends those new clothes in the first place, and where the school uniforms came from…

In this episode it also really becomes clear that Yumemi’s power needed to be fleshed out much more than it already was. She simply zaps everyone and all the problems are instantly gone, and I also assume that she’s simply going to do the same in the movie. The creators have just god-moded her way too much throughout the series.

In the end, looking back now I regret blogging this series. I’m really going to have to be more careful on that with the upcoming Spring Season, and I predict that it’s going to take a looong while before I’m going to be blogging another Kyoto Animation-show again. Please, Kyoani: do SOMETHING that’s out of your comfort-zone.

Posted on 4 March 2009 with categories: Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Short Synopsis: Yumemi’s friends aren’t going to let Yumemi disappear that easily.
Episode Rating: 7/10 (only one more episode left!?)
So obviously, I am not happy with this series after finding out that it’s only going to last for nine episodes. I’m going to take back some of the original praises I made for this series; seriously, if I had known this beforehand I wouldn’t have attempted to blog this series. Warning: big rant coming up.

I really have to wonder: what was the whole point of this ‘remake’. Why couldn’t the creators just have made a third OVA? They could have saved up on the broadcasting fees in order to spice up the animation of the original material. In the end, Sora wo Miageru Shoujo isn’t a remake, it’s just a recap with about an hour of new material pasted at the end. Seriously, I really expected better from Kyoani.

Take a look at some of the other series which were intended as remakes as well: the eighties version of Glass Mask was terrible, and yet the version of 2005, even though its first half followed the exact same plot managed to rewrite it so that it became something amazing. Towards the Terra turned a reportedly average movie into a full fledged TV-series that excellently made use of its extended time-frame. THAT was exactly what I was hoping that this series would do as well, but in the end the ones who planned out this series never understood what was wrong with it in the first place. Sure, the lack of conclusion is one thing, but it’s definitely not the biggest flaw.

So in the end, this still remains wasted potential: there are so many interesting parts in this world that are never going to get explored. This series simply lacks proper build-up, and time to flesh out the different characters. At this point, one episode before the end I still can’t say that I know any of the characters. Yumemi’s friends probably come closest to that.

I can’t believe that I originally praised Kyoani from finally doing something out of their comfort zone. There was nothing experimental at all about this TV-series whatsoever, it’s just another one of their plans to milk out one of their franchises. That’s the thing I really hate about Kyoto Animation: they only go with series that they know will sell; they hardly take any risks whatsoever. Ever since Haruhi, their only original work has been Lucky Star, and that one still was about a bunch of overly cute girls that you can see in every single one of their series (and I didn’t like that one at all as well). Full Metal Panic as well: it was a continuation of a series that they already knew would work, and the same goes for the Key adaptations: it was Toei who pioneered them, not themselves.

What’s more, it’s probably going to take bloody ages before they’re going to be able to come with another new series: they obviously have to animate the next Key visual novel, Haruhi 2 also needs to come and I’m going to eat my hat if there isn’t some sort of Lucky Star Second Season coming some time. It’s especially aggravating since these guys have so many potential to make great series. PLEASE, Kyoani: make your next series about a pig dentist who practices curling at night. Sure, it might not make any sense, but at least it’s original.

Posted on 25 February 2009 with categories: Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Short Synopsis: Munto tells Yumemi about the past of his country.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
Ah, finally! It was a long wait, but finally we know a bit more about what the heck is going on in this series. Finally we see a bit of the elf country when it’s not fighting. While it’s certainly not enough yet, it’s definitely a good start, although again the dialogue was pretty complex, meaning a lot of trouble for me to understand it. ^^;

So if I understood correctly, the past of Munto’s world looked a lot like it in terms of technological advancement. Then from out of nowhere (or from somewhere that’s yet to be explained) and started wrecking things with their huge amounts of powers. They then discovered the parallel world that Munto lived in, and created a link to it. Eventually though, they destroyed this link again when they became obsessed with their own powers, resulting in lots of destruction. In order to prevent this from happening again, I suspect that the outsider was born. This went fine until the strange evil guy who appeared in the previous episode appeared, and Munto tried to use Yumemi’s help to get rid of him, while Gntarl and his allies didn’t support his decision. At least, that’s what I understood from it.

One thing that worries me though is that the pacing still is as fast as ever. Even though this episode was a quiet one, it still rushed the history of Munto’s world through in less than half an episode, which was an especially bad sign for my hopes of seeing this series continue for more than thirteen episodes. Things really can go anywhere at this point, but if the creators do plan to squeeze the entire story in only one season, then the second half of the series is going to have to be consistently solid and excellent if it doesn’t want to end up the same as the very unfinished OVAs. This episode thankfully met those requirements, but but for this series it’s going to be a matter whether the big picture can deliver or not in the end.

As for the animation, I’m glad to say that now that the series has started its original material, the quality hasn’t gone down too badly. While things obviously look less detailed and impressive when compared to the first six episode, the creators thankfully still have lots of movement. Some details were lost in the process, but it’s better than just resorting to safe drawings with mostly still frames.

Posted on 18 February 2009 with categories: Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Short Synopsis: Yumemi and Munto finally accept each other.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
Okay, so much for “the OVA Recaps will end after episode 6”. There is no way that the cliff-hanger at the end of this episode formed the end of the two OVAs, so this episode must have inserted quite a bit of original content in order to prevent the OVA material from running out. My guess is that in the OVAs, the evil elves simply died when Yumemi and Munto zapped them, and here instead they remain alive for the rest of the series.

Still, the OVA material will certainly be up at the end of the next episode, and it’s there where the fun really begins. Now that Munto’s world has made so much of an impact on Yumemi’s world, I want to see the results of this: reporters and police and just about everyone needs to notice that something strange went on. Those whose homes were destroyed shouldn’t randomly disappear like they never existed. That’s indeed the big weakness of the OVAs: the setting just doesn’t feel alive. There are some very nice ideas put into it, but two hours is just WAY too little time.

Still, as a standalone episode, this remains a pretty good one, and it yet again puts more faith in my theory that the OVAs would have rocked if they were given more time. Lots of different characters got some attention in this episode, and especially Munto’s subordinates turned out to be pretty interesting and fun characters.

Now the big question here remains Gass. The guy probably died at the end of the OVAs (after all, after all that build-up, what point would there be to keep him alive at that point?), but with the TV-series, the creators might have other plans for him.

Posted on 11 February 2009 with categories: Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Short Synopsis: Ichiko, Yumemi, Suzume and some other friends go to an amusement park.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
Ah, if everything goes right, then the glorified recap should only take one more episode. After that it’s finally time to see whether this series is a passionate attempt by the original creators to give this series the airtime it deserves, or a simple attempt by the Kyoani top-executives in order to squeeze some more money out of another one of their franchises. I so hope that it’s going to be the former.

In any case, this probably was my favourite episode of this series so far. Those Munto-episodes were nice and all, but we hardly know anything about the guy, or the world he lives in, and I’m also really hoping that once this series turns to its original episodes, its going to focus on all of these different elf countries that we saw in the previous episode. It’s interesting: when I first started this series, I simply thought that the series would end with the climax of the second OVA, while fleshing out the setting with new material in between the old scenes from the OVAs, but instead they’re just getting the story of the OVAs over with in the beginning, only to conclude the series with an original story. it’s good for those like me, who are new to the franchise (pretty graphics FTW!), though I imagine that it must be pretty dull for those who have seen the OVAs already, seeing the same thing nearly exactly all over again.

Oh, and Munto did get some background this episode, if only just a little bit. He seems to be your typical tragic hero right now: a prince who has lost his parents at a young age, and now is pretty much fighting for what his parents left him behind. I hope that the anime-original episodes will flesh the guy out a bit more, so that we actually get to see some different sides of him (i.e., when he’s not in fighting-mode).

Posted on 4 February 2009 with categories: Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Short Synopsis: Now that Munto has the power to win the war, he decides to not use make use of it.
Episode Rating: 7/10 (Enjoyable)
Well, that’s eighty minutes already. The end of this episode sounded like a nice climax for the end of the first OVA, is that about right? There was at least no shortage of really pretty OVA-styled animation, so I don’t think that we’ve hit the anime original material yet.

But seriously, what were the creators thinking of putting such a huge story as this in only two hours? This episode introduces dozens of more countries involved in the war. For such a story to work, you really need at least 24 episodes to get the development of every party right. This is also why I’m hoping for this series to not end after only 13 episodes: there is NO WAY that the creators are going to fit everything, even in only 13 episodes.

Still, the next episode should prove a much-needed change of pace. These first four episodes were definitely action-packed, but there had to be some time for the fighting to end, and a chance for the creators to explore the different cultures and countries presented here. The demon king-guy is about to die, (he apparently was really powerful because he didn’t have a long lifespan anyway), and with both him and Munto out (since he’s probably going to spend some episodes with Yumemi), the pacing of this series should slow down a bit as well.

Posted on 28 January 2009 with categories: Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Short Synopsis: Yumemi’s friend and her new boyfriend try to cross a river.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
How awesome: the animation quality hasn’t decreased at all since the first episode: it’s still as solid as ever. This promises lots of nice things for the future of this series. Anyway, this episode finishes the introduction of this series, where Yumemi decides to help Munto. It seems that she just needed a bit of time to sort out her thoughts, and the creators made use of this time by showing why she ended up deciding to help an unknown elf-guy in a weird outfit in the first place. After all, it would have been weird if she immediately decided to help this guy without ever questioning where he came from.

This episode really succeeded in portraying the strong sense of community in Yumemi and the town in which she lives. It showed that the world in which she lives isn’t some empty cardboard world that’s only good as a plot-hole, but instead it’s about people who care about each other. Yumemi doesn’t want to lose this community, and this episode did well in convincing the viewer (well, me at least) how and why she feels that way.

I wonder about the length that this series is going to get. I think that the 24-episode format would really be best for this series, so that it can fully develop its setting, and there’s actually a pretty good chance that this is going to be the case. Anime News Network lists 13 episodes already, with the thirteenth episode airing at April 7th, which is quite a strange date to end your series.

So the story isn’t anything special yet, but the potential is definitely there. I also really like the show’s style of graphics: they’re a great combination of ten-year-old-styled character-designs and creative use of modern CG. The character-designs are also among the best I’ve seen from Kyoani: sure, the outfits are a bit silly at times, but especially the characters from Yumemi’s world are simplistic yet expressive, and for once they don’t try to be overly moe, like nearly every other Kyoani series (or at least: not as much).

Posted on 21 January 2009 with categories: Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Short Synopsis: Munto continues to try and get Yumemi over to his world, while Yumemi has her own problems to take care of.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
Hehe, you were expecting Ride Back at this spot, no? To be honest, so did I before I watched Ride Back’s second episode, but then I started thinking: the show has 12 episodes, of which the first two were slow introductions that hardly did anything besides setting up the premise. It’s going to be a show about some teenagers riding motorbikes who somehow become involved in a huge war. How the heck are the creators going to get some good development in only 12 episodes? This is Madhouse we’re talking about: compared to some of its previous series Ride Back just isn’t as interesting.

Besides, the lack of realism really became jarring in that second episode: nobody finds it strange that these Ride Back things simply drive around INSIDE BUILDINGS? Nobody tries to complain about the noise that these machines cause? Nobody finds it strange that these machines tend to break down and crash a lot? Nah, I’d rather see a bunch of elves beating the hell out of each other.

So I’ve yet to see the Munto OVAs, but apparently I don’t need to do that anymore since the first episode copied about 80% of its content. That episode reminded me a lot of a poorer version of Noein’s first episode, with the big difference being that Noein spent lots of time in its first episode to flesh out the cast before diving into the action, while Munto dived straight into the action without letting the viewer get to know the characters.

Well, that problem was partially solved by this episode, which was very un-typical of your average second episode. Most of the second episodes after a huge eventful first episode are deliberately slow, in order to explain what the heck went on in the show’s start. Munto instead deliberately chooses to slow down the pacing, but doesn’t attempt to explain much. Instead, it starts fleshing out the lead characters. I especially was surprised that they immediately showed the story for one of Yumemi’s friends.

I also like that the creators are using the Noein approach. With most series where the lead character is transported into some sort of other world, the connection between these is really something sacred: it can only be crossed once, and the conditions for someone to cross are very vague and only serve as a plot device to get the lead character involved with the plot. In Munto instead that link is fleshed out a bit more, and it looks like it can be breached more often. Seeing as how Yumemi’s friends are going to be important characters in this series too, I expect that either the series will take place mostly in the real world with your occasional trips to the elf world, or Munto is somehow going to kidnap the three of them at the same time.

Now, about the lesser parts of this series… we have a delinquent who gets saved by a cute girl and they end up marrying. Am I the only one who was reminded of a certain other Kyoani series? I also fear that most of the elves are going to lack in personality: this episode hardly focused any attention on them.

CHANGE USERNAME
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.
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.
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Featured Posts

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]

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Dies Irae – 08[Promise]

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