Posted on 15 February 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Soukou no Strain


Soukou no Strain is a science-fiction mecha series. There are two types of mechas in this story. Gambits and Strains. Strains are superior to Gambits in every single way, but suitable pilots are rather rare, since in order to pilot a Strain, you need to possess a unique device called a MIMIC. This has been linked with you since your birth. If the MIMIC breaks, you’ll lose the ability to fly a Strain. The story centres around one of these Strain-pilots: Sara Werec, sister of the famous talent, Ralph Werec.

Soukou no Strain has been a series with its ups and downs, but it definitely turned out as one of the better ones of this kind. The fact, however, does remain that the first episodes introduce a rather significant amount of strange plot-points, or unexplainable events. Some events also are way too coincidental for their own sake, and you’d certainly want to avoid episode 7, which is basically one huge incoherent fanservice-fest.

Still, in comparison to countless mediocre anime, this one manages to rise above them. This is because at the moments when it has to, Soukou no Strain really delivers. It isn’t afraid to kill off a number of characters, and through the course of 13 episodes, it actually manages to develop Sara and her companions into very interesting and likable characters. Some of the dramatic scenes are amazing, and especially the final episodes lack any sort of incoherent storytelling that was plaguing the first number of episodes. Add a few very interesting plot twists along the way, and you’ve got yourselves a great anime.

In terms of OST, this anime definitely delivers. It comes accompanied by a few very strong stringed-instrument-tracks, perfect for the setting. I wish I could be as enthusiastic about the graphics, though. The CG looks nice, but the character designs are not far from horrible. One bright point, though: the final episode fixes this nasty bug, and it finishes the series with some great animation qualities. I just wish I could say the same about the other episodes.

Overall, I’m recommending this if you don’t mind the action. Okay, the show has its flaws, but something says to me that it doesn’t care about these, and that it would rather ignore them so that it has more time to focus on the really important things. After all, it had to stuff quite a large story in only 13 episodes, something which is never an easy task. Still, it succeeded, in my opinion. It’s a great series, I had my initial doubts, though these were removed on the way by some very strong episodes and plot twists.

Posted on with categories: Soukou no Strain

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Short Synopsis: And Soukou no Strain has finished, with the big battle between Sara and Ralph.
Good: Whoa, some actual good animation this time; Suddenly, the entire ED makes sense.
Bad: Like most endings, even though exciting, the ending was predictable.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

And I’ve finally finished this rather interesting series. I’m glad I watched it, as it had some really good points. But more on that at my actual review of the show. One thing that immediately stroke my eye for this episode was the huge animation quality. Or rather the huge sudden rise in animation quality. It seems that the animators went all out to give this series a great ending. I just wish this show did the same for the rest of the series, but it’s a great addition nonetheless. ^^;

Regarding the actual ending, it was surprisingly focused. Series can go three ways with their endings:
– The main characters and side-characters all finish their own story at the same time. This most often happens when the main characters have different goals than the side-characters. Usually, I tend to like this sort of ending more than the others as it has a degree of unpredictability that the next two don’t have. This usually means the most rushed of the three options.
– The main characters and side-characters all work together to accomplish their final goal. This usually makes for more of the cheesy endings, where everybody suddenly sees the light and does the exact same thing.
– The side-characters take a step back, so that the main characters can focus on their problem. This usually is the most predictable of the three options.

Soukou no Strain went with the third option. While it definitely was predictable, it could have been far worse. Sara is striked by Ralph during her fight at the beginning of the episode, which means that she has to be brought back to the space-ship in order to get her Strain fixed while Ralph floats into space due to another one of his heart attacks (or something that looks like it). Because of that, it allowed for one more quiet moment with Lotti. Surprisingly the argument between Sara and Lotti was completely over, and this scene was entirely used to create a moment of rest before Sara went to confront Ralph. Usually, before the final fight in a similar situation, we have characters going all emo. It’s nice seeing a twist like this. It prepared nicely for the scene that was to follow.

The final fighting scene must have been a great treat for the ones into action. It was pretty intense, though like mentioned before, it also was predictable. Still, I actually enjoyed the ending, mainly due to the atmosphere in the end, and one very clever idea by the creators. It seems that the ED, which I always took for granted actually showed the scene of Sara and Emily, walking on a beach, after having defeated Ralph and landed on earth. I was wondering why nobody showed up, but that explains everything. It’s a nice touch.

Finally, one final nice touch was Ralph’s necklace. It seems that he never actually took it off. (not sure if we saw this on previous episodes, though) I loved it when Sara finally acknowledges Ralph as her brother again. Sayonara Soukou no Strain. You’ve had your ups and downs, but I’m sad to see you go.

Posted on 7 February 2007 with categories: Soukou no Strain

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Short Synopsis: Second-final episode! Ralph launches his attack!
Good: Awesome episode. The confrontation between Sara and Ralph was well worth the build-up.
Bad: Physically, things didn’t make any sense, but who cares!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 9/10

This is it. The second-last episode. It’s here where anime have to stop joking around, and deliver the things they’ve been building up to, since the final episode rarely is the best episode of the series. In Souko no Strain’s case, this turned out awesome! This definitely is the proof that we’re dealing with a solid series here, which knows what it’s doing throughout the series.

This episode definitely was a roller-coaster ride from start to finish. I feared that Ralph wouldn’t manage to spark my sympathy, but these worries weren’t necessary. He definitely was so much fun to watch when he realized that Emily abandoned him because she saw him kill someone. Still, I’m wondering something. I originally thought that Ralph attacked the ship in the third episode because he wanted the second Emily, but now it seems that her existance was a complete surprise to her. If that’s the case, then why did he attack the ship in the first place?

Another character died as well, the purple-haired woman (I still don’t know her name). Even though she started out as a character who lacked development and fleshing out, I do have to say that her death made some impact. Especially how it got torn to pieces, even though she stopped being any harm to any character. It’s a cruel world we live in. Oh, wait, that saying doesn’t work in this setting…

Also, now that the final episode is only one week away, it’s time to ask the usual question again: how will this one end. Looking at the nature of this show, there’ll probably be a few more deaths. Ralph will die in any case, but who’ll go with him and who’ll stay alive? This episode ended with Ralph and Sara about to face each other in their Strains, which means that we’ll first have a mecha battle between the two of them, which is followed by some kind of twist. Also, don’t forget that Lotti, Lavinia and the others still have a part to play in this.

(Small note: whoa, I actually managed to beat Random Curiosity for this entry in terms of post-time. That’s something I never expected. ^^;)

Posted on 1 February 2007 with categories: Soukou no Strain

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Short Synopsis: Ralph’s story gets continued, and preparations are made for the finale of this show.
Good: A very interesting plot twist over at the Deague-ship. Even though this episode mostly showed preparations, it was well worth watching.
Bad: The first half of the episode was extremely dialogue-based, which meant a whole lot of trouble for me to understand it.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10

Ah, finally Souko no Strain is back. And with this episode, I totally understand why the explanation of the previous episode felt so incomplete: it was meant to be continued into this episode. When Ralph held the dying Emily, who begged him to save her sisters, she showed him something like the back-star gate. I have no idea what that might be, but she also showed him the story behind the Emilies. Afterwards, a piece of stray debris hit his eye, causing the scar he bears now.

Also, if I’m not mistaking, it was Deague who first discovered the Emilies and started experimenting on them. That’s probably why Ralph ended up working with them. At one point in time, a majority of the Emilies blew themselves up, leaving only the ones in the Strains who fought Ralph, the doll-Emily and the Emily who was stored in the academy of the first episode. Deague wanted to retrieve the only two Emilies they had left, and that’s why they needed Ralph, because they recognized his talent. This story still sounds a bit vague to me, though at least it makes a bit more sense.

Meanwhile, over at the Deague-ship, an interesting development happens. The purple-haired lady actually manages to escape from Ralph, who seems to have a heart-attack. I’m not sure where this came from, though it did give her the chance to push the self-destruction-button of the ship, and flee along with Emily, in order to reach the space-ship Sara is on. This can become very interesting for the final two episodes. :)

Oh, and on a side-note: the background music is starting to get more addictive every time I hear it. The use of violins and cellos really worked well in this episode.

Posted on 11 January 2007 with categories: Soukou no Strain

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And finally, Soukou no Strain continues after its new years break. This episode was all about Ralph and Emily. It explains why Ralph did what he did, and the secret behind Emily. Ralph also did something incredibly reckless. Especially Ralph and Emily’s backgrounds were very interesting to see.

Again, with this being the raw version, I didn’t manage to pick up everything. What I think happened was that there once was an alien race, aka Emily. It consisted out of a number of girls which were exactly alike, and basically, they were all linked with each other. (As in, when one feels pain, the others do as well). This explains why Emily felt the same as Emily.

Anyway, the Emilies were quite advanced, as they had the technology to build spaceships. Then, at one point, they were discovered by the humans. Since humanity is evil, it realized the potential of the Emilies, and started to experiment with them. If I’m not mistaken, it’s because of them that people were able to build Mimics. In the end, the Emilies were totally controlled, and used to power certain variations of Strains. I’m not sure why this ended up to be Ralphs enemy, but the fact remains that he was sent on a mission to defeat an enemy base, full of these sorts of Strain-like things. Obvioulsy, he knew nothing about it, and when he found out, the shock drove him crazy.

It seems that all of the Emilies were there, killed by Ralph, except for two of them. One Emily was being stored in the school we found Sara in during the first episode. The second one had her mind transferred in a mimic, to later become the doll Emily. Her purpose was forgotten, and she was discarded as a useless Mimic. For some reason, she ended up on the same spaceship Sara was in. When Ralph killed the last one of the alternative Strains, it broke and revealed the girl. She begged him to save one of their remaining sisters, aka the Emily on earth. I’m not sure what he did after that, but it made him end up with Deague. If I had to guess, it was to get his hands on a special type of Strain which would make it possible to attack the place where Emily was kept. What Deague gained from it still beats me.

In any case, Ralph went to rescue Emily, with perhaps a bit extreme methods. He had been so emotionally wrecked that he stopped caring for human life, other than that of Emily. We see that during this episode as well, when he’s even starting to get problems not killing Emily herself. Still, I’m not yet sure what was behind his attacks in the third and fourth episode. Based on the later episodes, he didn’t know that Emily was so special, otherwise he would have just taken her in episode 8. Also, what are these goals he’s been after that required such intricate planning? Is he planning to destroy humanity because of the things they did to Emily? (I hope not, by the way)

In any case, in this episode, something similar happens when Melchisidec starts experimenting on the Mimic-Emily. Of course, this would evoke bad emotions with Ralph’s Emily, so she starts begging for him to save her. In the end, he kills off the entire crew of Deague. Quite reckless indeed. He’ll be screwed if some technical failures suddenly turn up.

Posted on 23 December 2006 with categories: Soukou no Strain

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Great aftermath. Really great aftermath, though it wasn’t as good as episode eight. But then again, this episode didn’t really feature any new revelations, it was just about the reaction of the different characters after what happened during the previous episode, specifically focusing on Lotti and Sara.

This episode was basically taking all its time to build up to its climax. Lotti has found out that Sara Cruz is actually Sara Werec, brother of the infamous Ralph Werec who killed her brother, and more recently, Carris. This episode showed yet again how similar the two of them are. Both of them had a big-brother complex, both of them had to say goodbye to him, both of them lost him, and both of them decided to take revenge and ended up in the top-tier of their class.

The best moment of the episode definitely came when Sara said that despite her love for her brother, she’d kill him no matter what. Especially when you compare this to Lotti, who knows the pain of experiencing your brother getting killed. I’m suspecting she never saw that anyone would ever kill her own brother.

Posted on 21 December 2006 with categories: Soukou no Strain

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Hahaha! Never, EVER did I have such a hate/love relationship as with this episode. This episode really contained some of the most amazing scenes this series has yet to offer. Yet, unfortunately, other parts of the episode made me want to poke my eyes out out of agony.

Let’s start with the bad part, seeing as it covers about the first eighteen minutes of this episode. While the previous episode was just like an ecchi comedy, this part got turned into a dating-sim. Seriously, those who’ve been reading more of my blog know that I really hate this genre, and this was no different. We got to see Carris, making an idiot out of himself while Sara turned deredere more and more with every scene progressing. And, of course, the kiss which got interrupted at the last possible moment by a random phone call couldn’t be missing. There were some interesting parts, fortunately. All of the scenes in which Sara and Carris weren’t present were pretty interesting to see. Especially when Lotti was involved.

But then the last two minutes of the episode arrived. Seriously. In only two minutes, my opinion of this show changed from annoying to decent to good, and at the last thirty seconds to awesome! Seriously, it’s almost like the creators heard wishes to kill off the obnoxiously annoying Carris! Not only is it great to have him gone now, his death caused some great reactions to the people around him. When you combine this with the fact that Sara ran into Ralph again, again unable to kill him and that Lotti saw all of this from a distance and starts yelling at her afterwards, this really was one of the best episode endings I’ve seen in a while.

Another great part in this episode was when Emily actually starts talking back to Sara. It was in my opinion, the major turning point in this episode from bad to good. Seeing someone who has been unable to talk or even move show her feelings was surprisingly touching to see. I’m now really looking forward to the next episode, as it’s promising to be an actual great one. Not only will Sara find out that Carris suffered the same fate as Cedric, but her cover of Sara Cruz has also been blown now that her real identity as Sara Werec has been revealed. And let’s not forget that we won’t be bothered the most annoying character in this show anymore. :)

Posted on 7 December 2006 with categories: Soukou no Strain

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Okay… remind me again. This was this extremely intensive show where the main character’s three best friends were murdered by her brother in the first episode, right? It’s a science-fiction show, right? Well, I hope I am, as this episode looked more like an ecchi-comedy. I do hope that this show is going to find its focus soon.

Okay, it’s not like this episode wasn’t funny. In fact, some parts were really hilarious. I loved Lavinia’s over-romantisized fantasies, the sudden explosion and the random facial expressions. But at other times, it really felt like the creators were trying too hard to get some laughs, and the fanservice was just too much.

The best part of the episode, though, really was Emily. The moving one, I mean. I loved it when she stole Ralphs clothes in order to get access to a transport vehicle and escape from his space-ship. I also never expected to see some male fanservice in this show. :P At the end of the episode, the mood turns serious again as well, when one of Lavinia’s plans goes wrong, and the non-moving Emily ends up in a garbage truck.

Posted on 30 November 2006 with categories: Soukou no Strain

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This was a very fun episode. The major part just consists out of the characters having fun with each other, after which Sara seems to finally understand the meaning of teamwork after a small mission where it seems that some Tumors have remained after Ralph Werec’s attack. Still, not all events made as much sense as I hoped them to be.

You’d wonder what happened to the Gambits who survived the attack. Such a minor cleanup mission would have been a perfect mission for them, no need to call out the highly important Reasoners for such a small job, isn’t it? I’m also wondering a bit where on earth the pigeons came from. Though the most annoying one is during the fight scene. During its climax, we see Sara’s hair wave along with the wind… What wind? There’s no air in outer space, or there must be some kind of very, very strange cooling system inside a strain.

Okay, enough about the bad things. The episode was a really good one, in my opinion. It really was meant in order to flesh out the different protagonists a bit, and I have to say, that this succeeded. This episode contained some of the funniest moments in the entire series, for example when Lotti got angry at Sara for once AGAIN ignoring her strategies, or when Melchisidec started to chase Jessie.

Carris also is slowly turning better. Okay, he’s still the annoying standard main love interest, but he’s actually slowly getting a personality. Also, when he asked Sara from who she learned to dance that well, I felt that for the first time, he actually did something good for this anime, as it clearly reminded Sara back to her times with Cedric. I also really liked Lavinia this time, when she was ambushed by the Tumors. Great scenes. :)

Posted on 22 November 2006 with categories: Soukou no Strain

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With the eventfulness of the previous episode, the current episode had to be some kind of intermezzo. And indeed, it takes a step back in order to focus on Sara’s relationship with the new team she’s been assigned to. The episode begins with a battle simulation, and there it becomes clear Sara really doesn’t know the meaning of “teamwork”.

Still, even though this episode took a step back, it still featured a very powerful climax, as Sara finally finds out that Isabella died. Remember the girls who assaulted Sara on the previous episode, well, it seems that they’ve convinced themselves that Sara was the reason that Isabella had to die. Sara really has to endure her heaviest beating thus far when they call her to some kind of abandoned section in the space-ship. Especially their leader, Marietta, goes mental on her. At least, until a deus ex machina makes sure that Lotti stops her. Still, I’m believing that Lotti’s meddling isn’t doing much good. Okay, she managed to stop Marietta for the moment, but it didn’t remove her grudge against Sara, and without a doubt she’ll be thinking of something even worse to do to her, until Sara herself does something about it.

Emily turned into a nice surprise. You would suspect that she’d animate and come to life after she’s been activated, but things just turned out the opposite direction. Even though she’s a major character, she is and remains a lifeless doll, somehow related to the Emily Ralph abducted in episode one. Ah well, it does make her the perfect friend for the ever-silent Sara.

One thing I didn’t like about this episode? Carrisford. I mean, he’s so incredibly bland, he meets all of the stereotypes, and now he’s also trying to become our main character’s love interest? At least Cedric had a bit of depth, but Carrisford is just the epitome of clichés. I hope he dies soon, that way, he’ll be at least a bit useful to the story.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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