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
SuperMario
@silver: Wooper will takeover me on 3-gatsu this season, his first 3-gatsu post will come out propably on this wednesday. So stay tuned :)
silver
Mario, are you blogging 3-gatsu this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*poorly forcing
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that is one of the biggest advantages the show has for me, after being annoyed by so many shows ending up with tonal shifts and forcing cute designs into something more serious it is nice to see that girls last tour avoids that problem.
Amagi
My texts are always too long..
Amagi
It isn't enough to just say "look there is a dark subplot somewhere or a backdrop dystopia and we will get to it whenever it seems convenient". Last Tour is the opposite, it is moe, but the girls are part and product of the world they live in, + the cute and serious parts don't feel like two different series being glued together.
Amagi
Girl's Last Tour is the good type of moe show for me. There are many that have or pretend to have some serious undertone, be it some dystopian setting or politics or whatever. But the difference between the good and the bad shows is that the former are actually connected with their serious part in everything they think or do while the bad shows only use the other topic as cheap way to alure fans.
SuperMario
@Bokusen: I'm not sugarcoating it, but Houseki tends to be the title that split the audience. Give it a try at least. If you can tolerant the first three episodes, chances that you will enjoy the rest
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Now if only someone will translate the side story manga aswell.
KTravlos
Happiness! New chapters of Gunka no Baltazar!
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
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