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.

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
SuperMario
Being said all that I will follow it for 1 more episode
SuperMario
And then that girl who passed away because of the reset. I feel my emotions drying up at that point. Tasteless. Heartless
SuperMario
Wanna say the same thing regarding Sagrada Reset as well. I have the feeling the show tries to sound smart that ultimately if I hear someone talks like this in real life, I would go punch his face. Manipulating the social worker by slitting your own wrist? WHAT? Asking a girl about her rules, then whenever she answers you give your own warped opinions on it to sound like you know it all? WHAT
Anonymous1016169
@Aidan: Lol, Sagrada reminds me of how I used to write. Pretentious, overly complex dialogue that nobody would use in real life unless they were trying too hard. It grits on my ears so much that I don't think I can keep watching it, especially because this is probably how it's going to be for the whole series.
Anonymous1016169
@Amagi: I feel your pain. I used to enjoy those types of shows, but I've found more and more since getting out of high school that they just make me want to take a nap. It doesn't help that they're everywhere. X.D
AidanAK47
God Sagrada Reset is frustrating. So many good ideas, all absolutely ruined by the dialogue and characters. If you just changed the dialogue a bit and made the characters emote more then this would be so very interesting. But they manage to drain the life out of the story.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, in most cases you can easily write off the ones not worth your time based on the summery. Occasional those kinds of show can turn out to be worth watching but it just doesn't happen often enough.
Amagi
Nothing against those types of anime in general, but it's just not aimed at me I guess. - I also should specify: school (semi)harem, not school alone. I enjoy Tsuki ga Kirei.
Amagi
I really love this season but I should stop testing the school- and shoujo stuff. It's almost never worth the time and it always bores me so much that I have to stop watching anime for a few hours.
Anonymous1016169
@Travlos: Why does a hobbyist artist care when someone critiques their art or a fanfic writer care about reader feedback? When you do something you enjoy, it's normal to want to improve and other people's opinions are important for that.
SuperMario
@Travlos: because 1) We still need to listen to what readers say to improve and 2) we're debating more about rating system, which I also feel the need of upgrading. btw, any shows that catch your interests so far this season?
Konstantinos Travlos
Why do you guys care about what someone thinks about your reviews? You are doing a good enough thing as is, and t is a hobby. Do your thing and do not lose time on this.
Anonymous1015915
I think I'm just gonna follow sukasuka and re:creators this season. Seem to of shown the most potential universally.
Anonymous1015442
Soy and almond milk are also available as alternatives for the lactose intolerant.
Anonymous1015442
From the manga it seems like it would translate well into an anime with the right production values so I think I'm going to try it. I was mostly concerned that they'd push the melodrama even more through the roof, haha. I did see some of the reviews on it here and they made me hopeful that it was fairly well-executed.And of course the milk can be chocolate. Just not vanilla, vanilla milk is yuck i
Lenlo
Its certainly making me happy I waited until the end of the season to binge it.
SuperMario
I'd have the milk as well... Need more milk to my life.
SuperMario
Hope Scum's Wish entertains you, Lenlo. ^^
Lenlo
I will say the sound design has been great for Scums Wish though I have not read the manga to see how it matches up
Lenlo
I dont think "enjoyed" is the right word for this kind of show, but I do know im going to finish it.

Also, can the milk be chocolate?
Anonymous1015350
@Lenlo: That's true, but I also feel like everyone here needs some milk. And I've been reading the Scum's Wish manga and can't decide if it'll be worth it to watch the anime.
Lenlo
Scums Wish, 4 episodes in, has been the perfect little dose of depression I crave from each anime season.
Lenlo
I have to say, its a pretty fun break from super srs anime discussion sometimes
Anonymous1014938
There's so much sass in this chatbox sometimes I can't even. :.D
AidanAK47
Also please note that if data gathering results do not support your hypothesis that there will be no refunds
AidanAK47
I will have you know my data gathering services are quite expensive and I don't operate until paid.
Anonymous1014125
Aidan is providing the data for us.
Lenlo
You do know that for the scientific method, you make a hypothesis and then you run experiments to produce data to prove or disprove said hypothesis. It cant just sit in limbo and then you go "I was right". You have to provide data at some point. At this point, you have yet to provide any data to support what you say.
Sir Robin
You seem to have never heard of the scientific method then Aidan. You don't need proof before you formulate an hypothesis. Fortunately this most recent development of you being wrong supports it.
AidanAK47
I am sure Sir Robin would be delighted to hear this but I think I was wrong in my assessment of SukaSuka(Shūmatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii Desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu ka?) That insert song at the begining of the episode was masterful and a number of things have changed my mind about it. It may be more interesting than I first expected. First novel was still pretty boring though.
AidanAK47
Should have another impressions post up today. As for what I am covering that's Little Witch Academia, Attack on Titan and Sekaisuru Kado.
AidanAK47
At least we never have to fight tooth and nail to cover something as what we want to cover never clashes.
SuperMario
Which mean 2 PA Works, 2 original shows and 3 slice-of-life shows. Well done Mario for being predictable and consistently boring as ever
Total users: 27

Featured Posts

Uchoten Kazoku 2 – 03 [The Scent of Europe]

Dear, how this show spoils me with its magnificent and whimsical magical realism Kyoto world. Last season, we were treated with many Eureka moments like Benten pulling a whale’s tail; tanuki drinking in a floating house to enjoy Gozan Fire Festival, or a fake train running around the shopping mall. Whatever the case, the way […]

Seikaisuru Kado – 03[Wam]

I admit this show moves at a pace that is rather slow but he concept it sets up is truly brilliant. Normally in alien invasion stories the threat is clear as the aliens blow up the white house and attack humanity. Other versions usually paint humans as the antagonist force attacking something they don’t understand. […]

Shingeki no Kyojin(Attack on Titan) – 29[Soldier]

Before I started this episode, I had it in mind to write in this post that the titan designs of this season were far less intimidating and more comical. After this episode however you can consider that though solely retracted. Personal favorite is the titan that appears when Reiner opened the stairway door. If I […]

Tsuki ga Kirei – 03 [Howling at the Moon]

Tsuki ga Kirei sure understands about the life of 14-year-old kids would be like. I’m sure we all have different experience about that pre-teen stage of our life, but the life portrayed here is so vivid and true to life that it brings out our fond memories as well. Personally, while not much really happen […]

Sakura Quest – 03 [The Cry of the Mandrake]

“The one who can change the town is the young fool outsider” Which kind of makes sense, since the outsider’s perspective will give a fresh take to improve the town. That makes our Queen Yoshino the perfect candidate, but as the interview goes on, she learns the truth: she hardly knows anything about the town, […]

Little Witch Academia – 15[Chariot of Fire]

Shiny Chariot rides once again and I think that’s where most of the animation went besides the showcase at the end of the episode. Wise choice though as it shows that Ursula hasn’t dulled much in her later years. She still seems intent on keeping her identity secret from Akko though this may be because […]

Shingeki no Kyojin(Attack on Titan)- 28[Southwestward]

It’s more than a little frustrating when you have a character present who has answers to very important questions, yet refuses to speak up for rather contrived reasons. Though we don’t quite know why the priest doesn’t speak up I can’t really think of anything that would possibly be preventing him from doing so. This […]

Seikaisuru Kado – 02[Novo]

This episode answers the question of just what was happening to the plane survivors during the period the government were trying to break into the cube. The answer seems to be that they were interacting with an alien lightform. This episode does feel like the series is still in its introduction stage and likely the […]

Uchoten Kazoku 2 – 02 [The Conjurer Tenmaya]

The Eccentric Family becomes increasingly eccentric this week, with all the business about bear running wild and a strong reference to hell (who would’ve thought that?). But first, I’m delighted with two new returns this week. The first “return” is the OP that were sorely missing last week, in which we have the opening song […]

Latest Reviews

Kobayashi-san chi no Maid Dragon (Winter 2017) Review – 74/100

I remember back in the first impression of last Winter season, I regarded Demi-chan as a better Monster Girls slice of life subgenre over this one. But as the season progressed, while Demi-chan run out of its steam quickly, this one picked up its pace after an underwhelming first episode to become a much more […]

Scum’s Wish (Winter 2017) Review – 80/100

I remember after watched a movie called “Requiem for a Dream” a few years back, I felt devastated for an entire week. The ending hit me so hard that after finished that movie I had to walk around my area for 2 hours in the middle of night to settle my feeling and I thought […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Review – 90/100

When you have watched a large amount of anime you can come to assume that you have learned a lot about Japanese culture. Though I think it’s testament to how limited it is to view Japan through anime when you come to realize that despite watching so much, you have never heard of Rakugo. Rakugo […]

Youjo Senki Saga of Tanya the Evil Review – 80/100

Isekai stories have become somewhat of a tiresome genre as of late. There have been many stories of people being transported/reincarnated into other worlds where they shed their once pitiful exterior and become some legendary figure in another world. In most cases it’s trit, balant childish wish fulfilment and the stories often become tiresome when […]

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. (Winter 2017) Review – 83/100

Imagine my utmost amazement when a show that I wasn’t that confident on taking in the beginning turned out to be one of the most solid offering this season had to offer. ACCA is the most recent anime adaptation from mangaka Natsume Omo, which despite isn’t a household name, many of her works (6 titles […]

Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Winter 2017) Review – 62/100

Demi-chan is one of the newest addition to the monster girl subgenre, which usually feature a human helpless male lead get stuck in a harem of mythical creatures, in form of oversized boob girls of course (why usually those monsters are in female forms anyways? Aren’t they sexless?). In this case, we have monster girls […]

Seiren (Winter 2017) Review – 51/100

Let me say this out front, Seiren is NOT a good show, it’s a highly uneven one. Throughout its run, I can see some solid moments and fresh ideas that could potentially raise it above the bar, but ultimately, view it as a whole, Seiren is a show that isn’t worth recommending. At first, I’m […]

Flip Flappers (Fall 2016) Review – 93/100

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal […]

Sound! Euphonium 2 (Fall 2016) Review – 86/100

I must admit that out of all the series I was blogging last year, Sound Eupho 2 was the one I’m saddest to see it ends; not because it was my absolute favorite anime last year, but because the sheer amount of their attention to details and their ridiculously quest for perfection are something that […]