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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

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.

Customize
Topgavin
There's a post about it somewhere I think
Topgavin
Also Mr anon, from what I've seen he's suffered from anime burnout and/or real life getting the better of him, so he doesn't have time for the blog (I think).
Topgavin
So I'm rewatching some random show called Seven of Seven and I must say, the old-school tropes are quite refreshing to the current day ones. Like a current day romcom but old school-style (no overused tropes, less cute girls, simple characters and plot), quite a rare novelty that I'd say is worth checking out if you're bored.
Anonymous223149
ayy, might I ask about what happened to psgels? been gone for far too long.
AidanAK47
Yeah I really can't see that.
AidanAK47
Naruto, for insight into major philosphical question and demi god reincarnation.
Also featuring moon ninjas.
Anonymous222624
*insight* *major philosophical questions* *??????*
Anonymous222458
I can understand that. Before the conclusion the main cast was pretty linear and repetetive character developement wise - the main focus was shounen action for the majority of the series. The conclusion showed us that these characters are reincarnates of sons of a demi god. They build up that past world with such an insight to major philosphical questions but easily understandable & relatable.
SuperMario
People might disagree with this but I like how 91 Days plays out. Low-key but satisfied ending.
AidanAK47
@Badesh, Forgive me if I am rather skeptical on that statement.
reaLjustified
Well when the series is two decades old how is it an accomplishment? There are one shots that make me feel more emotionally attached to the story.
Badesh
Hell, Naruto final arc turned out to be one of the most holistic storytelling i've encountered in a while. The character developement ties in so nicely with the whole universe. It's a great accomplishement growing a pop anime into a mature mystic saga. i highly reccomend it even for newcomers. just watch past great ninja war.
Kaiser Eoghan
*last two
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll leave it to someone else to pick the last one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Might add trouble every day by Claire Denis and Livid by Julien Maury.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thanks for that. So now its under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator, haute tension, nekromantik, the tunnel.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah I had forgotten, I'd meant to see Haute tension.
Kaiser Eoghan
Of those I haven't seen nekromantik or dead things.
SuperMario
That's all I can think for now. I'm sure K-off and others will have more inspiring suggestions down the line
SuperMario
For pychological edge: Haute Tension, Lake Mungo, Three... Extremes (actually the 3 shorts are all interesting), The Tunnel 2011 (underaprreciate Aussie found-footage)
SuperMario
For sick minds, Man Bites Dog, a Serbian film, Der Tolesking, Human Centipede (1&2)
SuperMario
Alright, for pure horror pleasures: Necromantik (1987), Green Inferno, Dead/Alive (my childhood's nightmare), Children Shouldn't Play woth Dead Things (more like a guity pleasure)
SuperMario
Haha scary indeed
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The scariest thing about the haunting was that a remake of it exists that betrays the original.
SuperMario
Now, let me check my own horror list for more reccomendation
Kaiser Eoghan
Hahaha! Possession predates urotsukidouji =P in terms of the tentacle monster thing.
SuperMario
And I heard that the Haunting (1963) is good as well. Some david lynch movies (Lost Highway for example) could be claasified as horror too
SuperMario
Shame he passed away early this year. But he did say that the violent relationship in that movie was based on his own divorce.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think Polish directed films are apparently rooted in theater. Though I believe he is a Dadaist.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Apparently Possession and diabal, all of his works are full of hidden political messages.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: That director is genuinely off-the wall insane, silver globe and l'amour braque actually make that look sane.
SuperMario
Possession the movie that Isabelle Adjani stared in? God, that movie exhausted me
Kaiser Eoghan
Innocents was so much better than its remake the others, the atmosphere was a lot lot stronger too, black and white really adds to the mood too.
Kaiser Eoghan
ha! I loved those.
This year I'm looking for silly horror movies predominently.
SuperMario
Let scare Jessica to death; the innocents 1961, Kill List, goodnight Mommy
Kaiser Eoghan
My alltime favourite horror film is Possession.
Kaiser Eoghan
No fuck it, no sequels. Currently it stands at under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator.
SuperMario
Too lazy to check out which horror movies that you've watched, but sure I can reccomend you some, from shitty to pure camp.
Kaiser Eoghan
Actually wait, under the shadow is out next week so that means I only need 5 more.
Kaiser Eoghan
Or maybe a 12 days is more feasible, easier. So that brings it down to six more. Guilty pleasures accepted.
K-Off
Any room for shitty horror in that list?
Kaiser Eoghan
I have to do a 30 days of halloween list soon. Want to limit it to horror films I haven't seen. So far I have the return of the living dead trilogy , dagon, from beyond and the re-animator.
Kaiser Eoghan
I also recently watched stranger things. I felt it did right by its 80s throw back, straight down to the references, score, costumes. Pretty cool monster too and the younger actors I thought were mostly good. Kind of slightly reminded me of the goonies to a small extent. I think it succeeded in being fairly heartfelt. Although I did find it a bit padded.
SuperMario
About the new season, I'm more interested in how these dark horse titles will turn out: Flip-flappers, ClassicalLoid, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Yuri on Ice
SuperMario
@Aidan: I had Stranger Things on my queue list for a while now, but don't plan to watch it anytime soon. Glad you enjoy it.
K-Off
ReZero is the only show I finished in about 2 seasons. Hopefully the Working spinoff is up to par.
AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
K-Off
@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
Total users: 35

Featured Posts

mob-psycho-100-12-3

Mob Psycho 100 – 12

It is a remarkably cheap tactic to pull a fake death right before the climax but that aside this acted as a decent finale to Mob Psycho. Through it’s clear that a second season is needed as the story does set up for one and sadly I doubt this has as high a chance of […]

Berserk(2016) - 12 [Those Who Cling, Those Who Struggle]

Berserk(2016) – 12 [Those Who Cling, Those Who Struggle]

I am truly sorry for the delay. I know I know … these excuses are becoming exceedingly homologous of a young student who has been procrastinating on his homework, but I give you my word, for at least what it’s worth, that this is certainly not the case. I have been preoccupied with my pet’s […]

orange 13b

orange – 13 (end)

We come to an end of orange’s ride. After teasing us for a whole season whether or not history repeats itself, they decide to go with a happy ending route. While I’m not entirely happy with orange as a whole, this double-length final episode succeeds on closing the story in high note. At the very […]

91-days-11-4

91 Days – 11

So this is it? This is the grand master plan of Avilio’s brought to full fruition? I guess it is and let me say that it’s certainly a let down. Edmond Dantes Avilio is certainly not as his plan pretty much feels like he was going along with the flow and calling it a plan. […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 12a

Thunderbolt Fantasy – 12

Now, we just have one episode left, but things get even more intense and crazy by the minute, to the point I don’t really know how they would wrap it up neatly. At the beginning Shang Bu Shuan was mocked by Juan Can Yun that he should be titled “Edgeless Blade”, because his sword-style is […]

fate-kaleid-liner-prisma-illya-3rei-11-12-2

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei – 11-12

I will be the first to admit that this season of this series disappointed me. I still stand by my word on this being better than previous seasons of the show but watching it fold out in animation has made me begin to think I was overstating just how good it really was. Though part […]

mob-psycho-100-11-4

Mob Psycho 100 – 11

Looks like I need to eat my own words as it turns out Reigan isn’t the organization’s leader but he managed to convince the guards that he was. This was definitely Reigans finest moment as he makes use of pure deception to catch everyone off guard. He has absolutely no idea what exactly is going […]

91-days-10-4

91 Days – 10

As we near the end of 91 Days I have taken this time to really think over what this show has presented so far and I admit to be somewhat disappointed. Ultimately the ride has been solid and Studio Shuka have delivered on their promise of making a Mafia drama. However I cannot help but […]

orange 11a

orange – 12

For the first time orange manages to do something different narratively. The first half of this week’s episode tells the original timeline in Kakeru’s point of view, and with that we can understand more clearly about his emotional progress, at the same time gives us much more details about his Mom. In the original timeline, […]

Latest Reviews

[HorribleSubs] Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 18 [480p].mkv_002253.373

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 91/100

I will be the first to admit that this is very much a biased review as I have come to love this series very dearly and will now proceed to devour every piece of entertainment related to it that I can find until the day a second season is confirmed. The story involves a boy […]

20160802231314_1

The House in Fata Morgana Video Game Review – 83/100

Well I promised I would do a review of this visual novel quite a while ago and believe it or not I only just got around to finishing it. If the fellow who requested it is still here then here you go, I kept my word. Anyway it has been a while since my last […]

s8gAnPY

Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Review – 65/100

The title of this game rather says everything you need to know about my initial reaction, and I’m still all around puzzled at the mixed bag that this turned out to be – it IS just a standard mashup while having a bit of fun with some experimentation, but the game itself is actually a […]

vlcsKizumonogatary 01b

Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu-hen (2016) Movie Review – 85/100

Just a quick note that I originally intended this week’s review to be about Miss Hokusai. But because of the DVD release of this Kizumonogatari (with good subtitle to boost), I decided to bump this up and review it instead. Monogatari series has been among one of my favorite series, and certainly the one that […]

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice a

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice (2015) Movie Review – 85/100

Welcome to the third installment of World Animation section, but this time we head back to Japan for my favorite anime movie out of last year. If anything, I have always wanted those reviews to be a recommendation if you want to look for something different. So if there is anyone who would check out […]

Untitled-1

Legend of Legacy Review – 80/100

Oh Square Enix, this is the kind of avant-garde work you need to do. Developed by Furyu with the people behind SaGa, and written by Masato Kato of Chrono Trigger, I knew I was in for a unique game right from the start. But its gameplay is certainly divisive and for good reason, as this […]

My Life as a Courgette a

My Life as a Courgette (2016) Movie Review – 82/100

It’s never easy to make a good family’s animation. For movies aim at adults, the filmmakers can easily get themselves loose, go crazy and the audience can still get it. But for kids, these movies might be one of the first movies they’ve ever seen and that’s a huge responsibility. They have to aware of […]

Red Turtle a

The Red Turtle Review – 93.5/100

Welcome to my first movie review on World Animation section, the column where I wholly dedicated to indie/ art-house animated features around the world that hardly got coverage anywhere really (but rest assure our since sometimes I will review anime movies as well). And what’s a better way to start this section by reviewing one of […]

Flying witch 09d

Flying witch Review – 86/100

As I mentioned in one of my weekly posts, most of the reason why a slice-of-life anime show don’t work well is not because there’s nothing happen, but more because the cast isn’t interesting enough or the show tends to repeat the things that we already know. I’m happy to say that this is not […]