Posted on 4 April 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Star Driver




Out of all the series that premiered during the past Autumn 2010 season, Star Driver stood above the others, promising an epic mecha story; completely original, not based on anything and animated by Bones. It really looked to be the classic of the season. In the end though, that did not happen, but it still has enough to like.

It’s a series that combines school life with over the top mecha battles. It has quite a large cast of characters, all of which it tries to flesh out. And to be honest, it does a pretty good job there. Star Driver’s cast is fresh and dynamic, and the characters that do get the chance to show their stories are well fleshed out and interesting to watch. The school life moments make this a fun and cheerful show to watch, with a good balance between drama and light-hearted stuff.

Where Star Driver falls down is in its ambition. It both tried to have a huge story and cast, and tried to take its time and make this an enjoyable slow paced storyline. It just didn’t manage to do both and instead of focusing on one, both ended up a bit too unfinished. The story knows how to build up to to its final climax. In fact the final episode is excellent in how it brings a lot of build up from the entire series together. But at the same time there are a ton of plot devices that it never uses, the story is full of plotholes, and half the cast never gets its time in the spotlight, leaving them kindof wasted and especially making the scenes that focus on them rather pointless.

The nasty thing here is that tar Driver could have become an utter classic if it had more episodes. It’s good, but it has left a ton of potential lying around by not being able to focus on everything, and focusing on too many characters (even though it created a good reason for trying to do so). The mecha battles also get less and less interesting as time goes on. Both because in the end they serve no real purpose to the storylines, but also because of how they just get more and more repetitive.

So does that make this series worth watching in the end? I’d say that it does. It definitely has a great storyline and characters; it’s just not as good as what it could have been. The creators did succeed into creating a fun and original series to watch and keep you busy, interested and excited. Just don’t expect anything amazing.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Tries to do too much in too little time and ends up unbalanced because of it, but it still is able to write good scenarios and climaxes.
Characters: 9/10 – Takuto never really established himself as an excellent lead character, but there are quite a few excellent side-characters here. And the cast is very versatile just consistently interesting to watch.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Amazing looking mecha battles and soundtracks, with the animation outside of the mecha battles being quite good as well.
Setting: 8/10 – A bit incomplete, but it’s definitely inspired and original, and requires a lot of reading inbetween the lines.

Suggestions:
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Macross Frontier
Baccano

Posted on 3 April 2011 with categories: Star Driver



Ah, thank god this didn’t end with a downer ending. In fact, I really liked this ending and how over the top it was, and how it at the same time brought this entire show together. It’s not perfect, it had some flaws, but I still really liked this ending, and how this episode really showed how this series has been planning up to this episode

A lot of things became clear with this episode. First of all, if you leave his intentions aside, then Head is an excellent villain. He knew exactly what he wanted, and the entire series is pretty much just him, waiting for the right opportunity, along with the guy whose cybody allowed one to take over other cybodies having to wake up. All of his actions were carefully calculated to getting at this point, using everyone around him, only to drop them when the time is right.

Also, at the start of this series I remember that I really liked the way in which Cybodies only could fight once. Of course this went away as soon as the cybody recovery system was introduced, but the concept remained the same: every character only could get one chance to fight Takuto, unless they took the big risk of regenerating their cybody. That’s the entire reason why so many new characters were introduced over the series: fightig Takuto for a second time was very hard to do in this series.

In fact, hardly any cybody was ever regenerated. At least, up till this episode, where the libido was so high that it became much safer to regenerate. Interesting, if the creators actually failed to make this episode exciting, that entire plot twist would have failed. That’s definitely an interesting link between a self-fulfilling storyline here. And really: the action in this episode was excellent. You can really see that Bones were saving up for this episode.

At the same time, with this episode also Sugata’s actions make perfect sense. I really wondered what the heck was up with him in this episode, especially with how he seemed to have been built up as the major villain. Instead, he was the tragic character of this show: the character who needed to be saved. He too only acted when he needed to act, and therefore had no purpose in most of the storyline. His Cybody had a very specific part here, and because of his absence in any action he became a very weird character. Instead, he too was just waiting for the moment where he could activate Samekh again, in order to deactivate it, so that he could deactivate it again.

This waiting game was essential to this series. Remember how the creators intended this to be a show that combined mecha battles with school life? Having the main parties waiting, while having the people around them just goof off and stall for time is what allowed the school life to return throughout the entire series. It’s this that fleshed out the characters in this series so well, despite being a double harem in a setting that has already been horribly abused by anime.

Now, for the parts that definitely could have been done better: Head’s motives could have been less stereotypically evil. Oh, and the main star of this show, Takuto: he never really developed, did he? He’s actually one of the characters with the least amount of depth. He’s enjoyable, but all he ever does is kick ass. He too could have been more varied. That would have also made the battles in the second half a lot more interesting. In fact, most of the plotholes that this episode left open surround him: who is he? Why is he the only one who can transform? Why is he the only one to enter Level 3 at the start. I can understand how he breaks into Zero Time, because of how he came from outside of the island (another major theme of this show), but everything about his appearance seems just too convenient.

My big constructive criticism for this series is that it should have tried harder during the school life bits. It should have shown more characters, it should have shown even more sides to them. It should have put in some real effort to constantly flesh out all of the 22 drivers would get their purpose in the series. Right now it just feels like too many of them were just thrown in to get to that magic number of 22 (the number of characters in the alphabet that all of the Cybodies are based on).
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 March 2011 with categories: Star Driver



An d so the creators used even less time for the climax than I imagined. Seriously, it only started at the end of this episode. It was really well done, don’t get me wrong here: the build-up was terrific. It’s just that I have no idea how the creators are planning to make everything come together in that final episode.

This episode was really quiet, but that was exactly what allowed it to push a lot of characters forward. A lot of the drama here was genuine, and even though none of the major questions were answered, it did add a lot of details to the cast and especially Wako and Keito got a lot out of this episode.

Star Driver has three main arcs, all corresponding to a Shrine Maiden. That just begs the question of why Wako wasn’t given an arc like that. I mean, this episode felt more like the climax of Keito’s arc than the climax of the entire series.

I smell a movie. Just think about the other series that premiered in the Sunday Afternoon timeslot: Gundam 00? Movie. Full Metal Alchemist? Movie. Sengoku Basara? Movie. Only Code Geass didn’t get a movie, but that has Bokuko no Akito. A movie would be the perfect explanation of what the heck is going on here.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 20 March 2011 with categories: Star Driver



For the majority of this episode, I kept thinking whether this really was the right content when the series is going to end in two weeks. I mean, it was a good episode and that punch that Takuto gave to his father definitely was awesome, but right now a lot of pressure has been put on the finale: it’s all going to have to happen within two episodes. It’ll either be short but really, really sweet, or a rushed mess that leaves a bad taste.

I can see what this episode was trying to do: build up. They used the remaining Vanishing Age as quite an effective build-up for the finale, along with building Sugata up to e the king of the Crux brigade (continuing to build-up from where the first half left off, though that didn’t make his entrance any less weird). It was very focused, but perhaps a bit too focused at this stage. I’m not going to judge whether it was a wise move or not until I’ve seen that ending, though. Short finales can be just as awesome as long climaxes, if not even more, though they tend to be a very double-edged sword.

I do have another criticism, though: I’m not really interested in the fight scenes anymore. I tried to defend this early on, but in the end the big problem with the battles in this series is that they just all look like each other. They don’t stand apart, and the way that they always take place in the same setting with the same recycled frames, the creators really needed to make every battle stand out with some creative ideas, and in the end they didn’t. Utena faced the same problems, but there the creators managed to overcome this wonderfully.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 6 March 2011 with categories: Star Driver



YES! YES! YES! What a way to start off the finale of this series!

To put the play here of all places, I love the idea. It was foreshadowing, it showed a completely different side, it was very different from the previous episodes, it was based on a solid idea, it had already gotten a lot of build-up, and at the same time it stays true to the series’ core: school life.

I’m not sure whether I’m the only one in this, but I personally love the series with short climaxes. It doesn’t always need to have months of build-up, but with the motto of “say more with less”, I’ve found that some of my most memorable climaxes are actually the ones who put their finales in a relatively short amount of time. After this episode, this means that there are just three episodes reserved for the climax of Star Driver. And this episode really pointed towards the fact that the creators are planning something really interesting for the final episodes here. Finally this series makes use of the fact that it’s an original story!

What really would have made this series a force to be reckoned with would have been more of these kinds of episodes. The ones that are based on a strong idea, and what would have allowed each episode to stand on its own, rather than just being a collection of episodes all about school life and robot battles. I mean, that’s why I’m currently such a big fan of Level E: all of its stories are different and based on great ideas rather than cliches. That’s the one thing that Star Driver lacked and what really could turned this into an amazing series.

What also was short but sweet in this episode: that aftermath. I mean, dear lord, how many new things did we learn about the characters in like, what? A minute? I mean, the stuffed animal talks, the president of the drama club is an alien, the cybodies come from space and Tauburn was specifically created for a human? Talk about creating intrigue for next week.

Overall, there is only one bloody show that aired during the past half year and that isn’t going to end within a month: Gosick. At the moment, the endings that are looking the most promising are the ones of Level E, Madoka Magica and Star Driver here. Let’s see which one can deliver the most interesting end here.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 27 February 2011 with categories: Star Driver



This just dawned on me while I watched this episode, but… am I the only one who gets the feeling that the creators are planning the kiss scene at the drama to happen around the climax of this series? I mean, especially after the cliffhanger of this episode suddenly showed Wako volunteering to be on the receiving end of Takuto’s kiss, this has to point at something that the creators are planning for that finale. It’s a nice twist, though: Wako finally accepted here that she’s into Takuto here. This episode was definitely a nice way to take care of one of the love triangles in this series.

And as for the rest of this episode, the creators did create a pretty good climax here for the characters who were introduced so relatively late in the series. The two new girls have been quite strange villains: they didn’t seem to care at all about being correct villains, and instead seemed like just adrenaline junkies who kept seeking for thrills. A way to go to phase 3,5 that combines you with your Cybody is an interesting way to say goodbye to them.

Takashi returning meanwhile had it coming, but I ‘m glad that the creators indeed went there. Again, it shows promise and brings the Adult Bank back into the picture, with someone who can actually apprivoise. This also explains the relatively large amount of time that the creators spent on building up this guy, even though at first he seemed like a very insignificant character.

And on a side-note: why didn’t Head sign the paintings of Takuto’s mother with his usual “R”?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 20 February 2011 with categories: Star Driver



It’s the background episode, and it’s quite a creative one. This episode answered a ton of questions about the main storyline, and did so quite creatively. Head’s background is an interesting and untypical love triangle that completely fell apart thanks to his ambitions. We also get to see Takuto’s mother for the first time (albeit in a flash-back) and I’m surprised at how untypical she is as a mother.

Some of the other things that we see confirmed is that the reason he didn’t age was because his heart is trapped in Zero-time (though we still didn’t learn how exactly this happened), who exactly the old eyepatch guy was, how Takuto got his mark and the reason Head has been delaying the seal breaking (because he wants a friend who is going to give him another seal to wake up).

Seriously, especially that latter point just confirms how this entire series was just basically Head waiting for a guy to get out of a coma. That’s why none of the characters had this sense of urgency, and it’s also how the creators managed to keep the characters able to enjoy their school life. Most of the fights here were just random quarrels that in the end mostly were just red herrings for the real main story. Looking back, I expect the guts of this show to do that, and it all ties down to the decision of the creators to focus a lot on school life, but in the end this slice of life wasn’t solid and realistic enough for this show to really become a masterpiece.

Despite that though, I’m still enjoying this show a lot, because what is there in character analysis is still really good, as this episode showed. That guy clawing his eye out was perhaps a bit extreme, but that power does explain why Head knew just about everything he needed to do. But then again, how the hell do you defeat a guy who can look into the future?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 13 February 2011 with categories: Star Driver



Star Driver is full of random slice of life moments. This episode stood out at this point, though. A lot of this episode was the simple celebration of Wako’s birthday, and only showed Takuto, Sugata and Wako together. The creators put a lot of meaning behind it, thoough, and for a change it was pretty enjoyable to see them together for so long here, with the best parts being the birthday presents.

This episode also had an interesting subversion of the “I’m going to take over your body muaha”-trope. Most times when this gets used, it takes forever for someone to realize that something is wrong, and yet here everyone noticed the complete change in character of Sugata and Takuto. At the same time though, it could have been taken further. Instead, those two Crux members just gave up in the middle of it.

I keep expecting these series to get darker and more serious in their second halves, but there are more and more series like this that instead have these quiet kinds of episodes, right before they’re about to start building up to the finale. I’m not yet sure of whether or not this works, but at the end of this series we should know whether the past episodes knew exactly what they were doing… or were just randomly buying time.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 6 February 2011 with categories: Star Driver



Milestone time: this is going to be the 4000th post on this blog. Whoa, I’ve been writing a lot…

In any case: building up episode. I do hope that this was one of the last building up episodes that we’re getting in this series, because at this point it really should start delivering and using this build-up. It was an enjoyable episode nevertheless.

The fireworks and the random games weren’t anything special, but they were fun. I also like how Takuto’s apartment actually got burned out. That definitely was good for his character, even if at first it seems just like a cheap trick to get Sugata and Takuto in the same house. Keito’s twist meanwhile was a bit simple (still clinging to the things she was obsessed with in her early childhood instead of exploring new things), but nevertheless was a nice twist. As for what the hell she was doing at the end of the episode: that’s for the next episodees to answer.

In any case though, Star Driver is one of those series where a lot is going to depend on the ending. Because of that I’ll withhold judgement for now whether this is a really memorable series, or simply a really enjoyable one. I do want to say though that my initial hopes of this series becoming the spiritual successor of Utena are probably not going to be met. The entire series could have had more variation and creativity for that at this point in the story. Plus, it also turned into a bit too much of a harem. I mean, Utena had a ton of fangirls and all, but it did have a ton of other complex and deep character relationships and didn’t boil down to the entire cast only liking one or two characters (the recently introduced romance story of Ruri is a welcome addition because of that).

Also, the animation of this episode seemed surprisingly mediocre for Bones’ standards. This can point at one of two things: 1) the budget ran out or 2) the creators are saving the best budget and animator for last.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 30 January 2011 with categories: Star Driver



A beach episode? Of course, things wouldn’t be so simple. This episode was about 40% beach, and the other 60 percent answered a ton of questions, along with changing the entire set-up of this show, yet again.

Interestingly, this episode revealed that all of the seals had to be broken in a particular order. Interestingly, that makes a lot of the battles early on in the series much more like long-term preparations by the crux brigade: they were basically killing time while they were trying to find out where the heck the fourth maiden went. Wako getting captured in the first episode was nothing more than one of the members of the brigade acting for herself.

The badges meanwhile turned out to be fake emblems. Head probably used those at first, while he was trying to gather the ones with the real emblems. What does this mean for the ones who always used the fake emblems? I mean, in terms of combat ability they have become completely pointless now, despite how the entire series has been carefully building up their characters, and here they suddenly get swapped out by this horde of characters where far less attention went into.

One big mystery at this point is Sugata: I really feel like the creators are saving a ton of stuff for the last third of this series, and this king cybody has to be one of the major ones: this episode revealed that he also is completely useless now that the third phase is is activated. Plus, there still is the mystery of what makes Takuto so special: in the previous episodes he always miraculously was one phase above the others, but the new power he finds here is kindof vague. It’s in any case not the fourth phase, because then he’d permanently be a Galactic Pretty-Boy.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
Spike
8 episodes in we finally get to see who we were all waiting for in Bahamut! ...for 2 seconds.
Vonter
I did watch the version with the alien coming out of the ox. I haven't watched Predators, AVP1 was ok, like the newer movies its just the human element that has consistently gotten worse and unmemorable. I think that element in particular made me enjoy watching Alien 3 now, than if I had watched it in order, considering how it begins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thankfully the franchise can never fall as low as the predator reboot or alien vs predator.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Be sure you're watching the extended version.
Vonter
I liked 3/4s of this film, as the plans to kill the alien got more cumbersome the film got more tiring. And I think it was obligated to annihilate the cast considering they take the time to take out a whole bunch of them. I also think it's very noticeable the tiring production this had, and while people praise practical effects now, this movie sadly didn't integrate well the alien puppet.
Vonter
I've just watched Alien 3, the only Alien movie I hadn't seen do to the diviseness towards it. I think I went with the best expectations considering now on hindsight newer movies have made it look more competent, having more weight. This movie has characters, integrates the religious motiffs better, the Alien more than a closet monster is a formidable force of nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
.....It just dawn on me looking through my letterboxd account...I have never seen afro samurai...
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm on hold with SukaSuka as well after 5 episodes. Ejoyable so far but its LN's tendencies hurt the show
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, like I said in one of my weekly post, Tsuki ga Kirei is simple, but isn't easily obtained. At this point, I'm truly invested in these kids that it makes me tense just to see how they keep up with their relationship, haha.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have yet to catch up with sukasuka and don't care about bahamut all that much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel its sweet and sensitive approach has a rhythm to it that I started going along with.
It’s obviously slow but I began not noticing the time go by as I watched more.
The art makes me think of Shimura Takako’s and makes me wonder what the series might have been like if she wrote it.
The dub is mediocre so after 3 episodes I switched to subs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The relative quietness and how scaled back in comparison to other anime romances is welcome and it never becomes dramatically or comedically obnoxious which I think is in its favour.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to catch up on tsuki ga kirei. We said this before, but that scene where he meets the publisher about his writing is a stand out one.
For the show overall so far itself, above all I see it as something simple, un-demanding to watch, its good a break from all those old/art films I have to concentrate on harder to follow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe Goth would count but its more o a mystery manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not familiar with shibito or sugar life. May as well recommend everything by Kazuo Umezu and Junji ito. 6000 ended disappointingly, I fell behind in dead tube. Does sugar dark count?
Lenlo
I am a Hero is a personal favorite of mine
AidanAK47
@Anon: Uzumaki, Shibito no Koe o Kiku ga Yoi, Happy Suger Life, 6000 and Dead Tube. I suppose.
Anonymous1116992
What is some good horror manga
K-Off
@Mario I also noticed that korean thrillers are way too obnoxious with shakycam.
Lenlo
@Mario, about LWA, that was how I felt. Its just not as magical, as special, as the original OVA was to me. I suppose thats to much to ask for a 25 ep series, but it turned me off
AidanAK47
@Mario, TV Diana has some charm points but I think OVA Diana provided a better dynamic. I mean sure, She was essentially female Draco Malfoy but her attitude made reveals like her being a secret Chariot fan more impactful. Plus her tsundere act torwards Akko was rather adorable.
SuperMario
about LWA again, unlike Aidan I actually enjoy this version of Diana. I know she's one note, too perfect but she's charming. Too charming haha which serves well as a contrast to Akko
SuperMario
...just pop one random film from him. His films are not without its bad side thou, in particular I find the dialogues shapeless and dragging. But well it does add to the naturalness of his films
KTravlos
on LWA I would also recommended it. It is a fluffy show, with a sense of wonder. Some episodes are better, some are more flat, and the over-arching storyline leaves me bored. But it does have that sense of childlike wonder, which I had missed among all the "grim" shows.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have a bit of problems with Korean movies lately as now they're heavily thriller style-over-substance films, so films that have very simple style like Hong-Sang-Soo's joints are the welcome change of air. One thing about his films thou, If you watched one of his film, you've watched them all. They're so similar in tones and concepts that I reckon if you feel like watching his films...
SuperMario
So I say it's still worth finishing. It's good but I don't feel the sparks that made it so great from the OVAs anymore
SuperMario
@Lenlo: about LWA. Plus side: Those hijinks. I mean the show is fun and magical. Negative side: I wish the show's storytelling is a bit tighter, each episode feels so loose it doesn't add up much and more like different variations of Akko + one member of the cast's hijink. Doesn't help either that the other casts just disappeared until they have an episode for 2 for themselves
SuperMario
@Anon1113829: I "enjoyed" Beyond the Boundary, but that show was a mess. The episode 10 was stand out for me, and the ending was kinda... a wreck. Certainly interesting but quality-wise I wouldn't reccommend it
Anonymous1113829
@SuperMario KyoAni fan? What did you think of Kyoukai no Kanata? I really wanted to like it, I thought it had some potential, but IMO nothing worked right.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, It's good. Fun to watch certainly. Though sadly it falls short of being great.
Lenlo
So question: Is Little Witch Academia worth finishing atm? I started it last season, but for some reason it just fell off my radar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thankfully, while not entirely satisfying, day he arrives is just the Korean film I've been looking for, refreshingly more low key, quieter and I enjoyed the new wavy combined with raw style, making it all feel very natural.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Well then, thanks for the rec on Hong-sang-so, I looked at The day he arrives. Y'know the reason I sometimes dread going into films featuring romance is because I'm conditioned from seeing the bad ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I may actually read this, the last time I read a manga steeped in politics was Sanctuary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle:_The_Making_of_an_Asian-American_President
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I actually have very limited experience with Ellis as a comic book writer, only read Transmetropolitan, I know he's writing the Castlevania adaptation.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I heard the same thing; can't help being a completist though so I'll eventually get to them
AidanAK47
@Mario, From what I heard, it doesn't get better.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that scene from the 1st episode of Phantom world lost me... but even then I'm willing to give the show another chance. That's how far I would go ^^ https://mobile.twitter.com/aaapodcast/status/687148875052892160/photo/2
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Looks like they are putting some real effort into it. May actually turn out pretty good after all.
@K-Off, Under the Red hood is a damn fine movie. Likely one of the best of the DC animated universe. Though try Superman vs the elite out. It's pretty good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even phantom world Mario...even phantom world ? =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just the teaser trailer, not much to go on, but heres a short preview of that netflix castlevania thing that got mentioned on here a while back, up the quality to 360p:
SuperMario
At this stage, I'm pretty much KyoAni fanboy now so with every new material, I'll hype it up to the sky ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did follow it up with The spy who loved me though to cheer myself up =P Given that Rodger Moore just died =)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just looked through what Short Men Behind the Sun is about: "human experiments carried out by Japanese army during WW2?" Already sound grim and too real. Then "a graphic depiction of the human experiments" haha no wonder you felt unsettled Kaiser
VyseLegendaire
My favorite Exploitation Flick is An Inconvenient Truth 2.0
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Long story short men behind the sun is finally the exploitation flick that defeated me and actually made me unsettled.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I remember you talking about how Salo really affected you as an exploitation film, generally exploitation films don't shock or disturb me, but I just watched the cantonese dubbed version of Men behind the sun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the worst thing about beyond the boundry and phantom world, it discolours my opinion of kyoani as a whole, making me negatively reflect on older work they did .
AidanAK47
Yep, that's the new KyoAni one. Like Puran I don't have any expectations of it. The premise certainly seems like the closest they have come to breaking out of there usual format but I am sure they will find a way to shove in Moe antics. Though based on what is seen so far it looks like they are trying to emulate Key.
Puran
Is that a new KyoAni anime?.. I have lost faith in them a long time ago. Last Anime from them that I cared about was probably Hyouka
SuperMario
Bring you some news, Violet Evergarden will be aired as an anime TV. Though many sources saying it gonna air this year, it has a better possibility to air next year
SuperMario
Well, aesthetically, he's pretty much on par with Yang and Wong. It's just that his films are often emotionally distant, feel more like watching the paint dry hahaa
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I connect more emotionally with Yang and Wong.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I went in expecting Edward Yang and Kar-wong-wai levels of quality, which may have been quite unfair standards to put him up against.
SuperMario
I myself find his films difficult to watch, but when the films end they usually hold up very very well. Both The Assassin and 3 Times in particular are my favorite of the year
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I completely understand your reaction because his films are demanding as hell. I remembered watching The Assassin in big screen, 3 people next to me fall asleep, one of them snoring and the other one fall asleep within the first 10 mins. That Hou Hsiao's movies for you
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its such a shame because he makes gorgeous cinema and City of sadness is actually pretty informative account of the times....I just can't jive with him and I actually like "slow cinema" but watching his work is insanity inducingly boring for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I'm really sorry, I don't mind long slow even spiritual, talky, non-narrative, old, complex,meditative , art films but I'm really really finding it hard to watch Hou Hsiao's work, I've tried time to live and the Assassin and I just bailed after 2 out of 3 hours on city of sadness.
KTravlos
I have to say Akko is developing nicely as a character in LWA. Also Magane in Re:Creators reminds me of Hannibal as palyed by Mads Mikkelsen. There is that same est for life married to sociopath that is a bit charming :) Mamika's character is also just cool. Beyond that AofT and Bahamut both delivered competent episodes, with Bahamut a good mix between comedy and tragedy.
K-Off
@Aidan Assault on Arkham was fantastic. Between that and Under the Red Hood, a classic.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have a lot to say in this week's Eccentric Family. Review will come up later tonight when I get back home from work.
AidanAK47
Seen Assault on Arkham or what it should be called, The animated Suicide Squad movie. Thinking of checking out Dark.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Have you seen assault on Arkham or the justice league dark film?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It isn't so much because its Talia x Batman, moreso that it feels odd shipping Batman with anyone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While kind of amusing, initially I wasn't too into Uchouten this week, the hot spring part got me groaning, but then someway through dramatically it really picked up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From reading comics a few years back, I still feel that they adapt better to animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: And I say this as someone who was able to defend Alien 3 and Ressurection.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Covenent felt like an Infantilized version of Alien.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't call either John Wick film or free fire amazing or anything but they had great fight scenes that were actually visually coherent , of course they weren't given a proper release.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not watching/paying for anymore of these reboots/remakes/shakey cam pg rated action films anymore. I'll stick with my balls to the wall Hong-Kong/Chinese ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: It also had really uneven pacing aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: ....The dialogue is so embarassing, they don't do enough with this backstory, they just keep teasing, none of the new characters have the same charisma , the editting in the action scenes shakes all overtheplace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I gave Covenent a fair chance, I thought it would be an exception to the reboot thing. I'll admit theres the sets, the atmosphere, Fassbenders performance , the idea to expand on the franchises mythos is cool but....
Kaiser-Eoghan
It really really hurts as a film fan, trying to find older, genuinely quality foreign films , finding that no-one is seeding them and theres no proper/in print dvd release anymore. Then finding some awful shakey cam modern American superhero film with billions of seeds and a bluray release.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I don't know. Todd was more the imperfect son always aiming for batmans approval. Damian is more an assasin wondering why the hell he can't just kill his enemies. I hear that Comic Damian works better than Animated Damian. I do think that if given a personality he could work but as he is currently you are right that he's essentially a mishmash of past robins.
Vonter
I watched Alien Covenant and I don't know if it improves by being more dumb and less pretentious or if it os the final nail in the Alien franchise coffin. Not since the StarWats prequels there has been a retcon that changes your view of the original movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can recall enjoying a certain Jason Todd centered story called Batman:death in the family.
K-Off
Well, even when Damian does completely cross the line and become a villain, he's not even that interesting, i.e Injustice. Yup, Jason Todd already covered everything, but better.
AidanAK47
Problem is that he's an edge lord cocky piece of shit that just doesn't have enough likeable traits for this to be compelling. What really pushed him over the edge was mocking Nightwing over his parents deaths. That shit is not on.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the contrast that Batman refuses to cross the line and kill but Damian has crossed that line. As well as his potentail to become a villain. Tim and Dick didn't really have that though Jason sort of did. Damian's arc is more about teaching him the morality of a hero.
K-Off
@Aidan I'm not sure I like Damian's concept to begin with. The Bat-son dilemma's inherently addressed by the Robins for all intents and purposes. Damian just goes through the same motion, only difference being he's biologically related.
K-Off
Yup. Wonderwoman either doesn't need to have a love interest, or it needs to be with Steve Trevor, the two have a solid backstory that the movies unnecessarily removed.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, I don't mind the Taila X batman pairing. Makes more sense than Batman and Batgirl. But if there's one pairing pushed in the new movies that I just find wrong is the Superman X wonder woman. I just don't get that one.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the concept of Damian as a character. But it's executed so badly.
Anonymous1105941
Teen titans needs one more season to wrap up all the loose ends. Such as what happens to Slade, and Blackfires revenge. The creators clearly wanted to explore those plot lines but got cut short.
K-Off
Teen Titans hasn't aged very well, but one thing I still do like about it is how contained and local the setting and cast were for the first half of that show. When godly superpowers are involved, that appeals to me. Much of the same reason why I like Logan and Raimi's Spiderman so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Very rarely watched teen titans when I was younger, I was vaguely interested in slade, stopped watching around when Terra appeared. I actively avoided comics where Damien appeared, never liked that Talia x Batman pairing much, I can only imagine how much worse it is to listen to Damien than read him.
K-Off
@Aidan, I like some aspects of those movies, but I'm not a big fan of the new continuity and art style in general...and yeah it doesn't help that Damian is irredeemably unlikable.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, There is also the DC animated Teen Titans movies like Teen Titans vs Justice Leage and Teen titans the Judus contract. Though it's not the same as the the TV series and Damian is such a dick.
K-Off
@Anon I don't think Teen Titans needs another season. The last season wasn't that good, but the movie ended the series on a high note and Young Justice pretty much rebooted everything, at least in terms of replacing people's want for a more mature DC cartoon about the Titans.
K-Off
Yeah it's become more of a hassel (for myself and my friends) to set aside time to go to a theater.
SuperMario
I guess in the end it all comes down to how easily it reaches the viewers. Give us a hard time and we don't give a damn to check the new movie/show out
SuperMario
... otherwise have to wait for a year, even more before it reaches Australia. But many companies will raise in the wake of Netflix and that will be where problems arise
SuperMario
This trend isn't happening within the anime industry, but it's happening in the movie world as well. In the past 2 years, Netflix starts to exclusively distribute many films, meaning that they won't have theatrical release, but straight to Video on Demand which caused quite a stir in the industry. Personally, I actually don't have much problem with it as now I will get a chance to see a film that
SuperMario
Dive!! , a series that will air next season on noitaminA slot will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Not that I'm eagerly looking forward to Dive, but that news again makes me frustrated. No one will watch it and then all the hypes it might have will die down eventually.
Anonymous1105394
Considering I didn't even expect a season 5 it's more than I could've evr wanted. Now if only if only Teen Titans could get the same chance.
Lenlo
Oh yeah, it turned out well. Didnt mean to say it didnt.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Considering that the ratio of great to alright episodes is 8 to 2 I say that it turned out pretty well.
Lenlo
I have to say, the Samurai Jack season started stronger than it ended imo
AidanAK47
So this is how Samurai Jack ends. 16 years in the making. Honestly considering how much needed to get wrapped up I knew the ending would be a bit flawed. Really think Gen should have givin it one more episode to flesh out the ending and then it wouldn't feel so rushed. Overall despite it's flaws, it's a decent ending. Not prefect by any means but it will do the job.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol theres a surprise, seriously, Black Lagoons manga is updating again.
KTravlos
worst recap ever for me? Gangsta. That was a stupid recap episode. Really like a Public Announcement. Useless, stupid, and ruining atmosphere. Utter stupidity. There I got it our of me :p
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Unfortunately too far behind in the sequel manga to catch up, I did take a look at THAT in the latest chapter though.
Masky
Huh, for some reason thought Tokyo Ghoul was under shonen when its seinen. Welp now that makes more sense, I was thinking story about cannibalism would be kinda absurd for shonen.
Spike
They serve no purpose except to fill airtime when production gets fucked up. They have 2 bad choices - run a recap or run an unfinished episode. Recap is generally the less dogshit choice. I've seen a few anime that ran the episodes with unfinished animations and still frames.... the backlash was about 100x what a recap is.
SuperMario
I'm about to say that to you as well Kaiser, maybe watch the recap and then continue on. The only thing I kind of take from the recap episode is the editting: how they chop off the fat of 6 episodes to still give you important developments. But as a way to catch up/ to reintroduce the series, it's freaking useless
Anonymous1104087
I don't think anyone should start from the recap episode. Unless there was a long hiatus, a recap in between episodes is unnecessary for new viewers and old
Lenlo
I mean, aside from whatever happens with Mugaro.
Lenlo
Next episode seems early, out of 24 episodes, for Nina to learn the Prince is Chris, yet that seems to be what the confrontation is leading towards, and then she freaks out and he learns shes the dragon. Becomes the conflict for the rest of the season?
Lenlo
Seems I was right, Azazel didnt predict that Nina might not be so easily riled up as she once was. To bad so sad Azazel, she has someone she loves now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How useful are these recap episodes anyway/actually? Hypothetically lets say I was feeling lazy and decided to watch tsuki ga kirei starting from the recap episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="https://www.anirena.com/?s=blame

http://anilinkz.io/blame-movie"]
Lenlo
So long as there are consequences for how hes acting, then I am ok with it. I just dont want him to turn into some MC hero when hes acting like this.
AidanAK47
And in Re:Creators Sota is still being a goddamn pussy. Now that the exposition has gone down I am really starting to hate this kid.
SuperMario
It's the presentation that they differ. Ghost Hound focuses more on the atmosphere, so those details I mentioned before work for their benefits; whereas Sagrada Reset focus on plots (and confusing themes) so those stick out like sore thumb.
SuperMario
4 episodes into Ghost Hound so far. This show also reminds me a bit of Sagrada Reset this season- the way they both emotional distant, complex plots; keep viewers away at arm's length, and feature characters that have robotic facial expressions. Yet I enjoyed Ghost Hound so far and couldn't engage in Sagrada Reset at all.
SuperMario
@Spike: I was like... "tsuki ga kirei has a recap episode, so let's move on to Kado"... another recap. Tsuki ga kirei I'm not too worry as it confirmed that it'll have 12 episodes, but I'm not confident on Kado
SuperMario
@lenlo: in a sense you have to suffer it all alone. No worries thou as I intend to binge watch it when this season's over
Spike
Kado team crumbled under the pressure. Recap this week.
Lenlo
@SuperMario, im happy I dont have to compete with anyone to cover Berserk :P Got it all to myself to whine about, though its been ever so slowly improving.
Anonymous1100725
Ranka is ranka in any verse.
Anonymous1100725
Bahmut no spoilers. Ranka Lee. She just doesn't get it so everyone dies. As she stands around wondering.
SuperMario
In fact, Okja will play in the Sydney film festival next month, but seeing that it will stream in Netflix at the end of June I think it's best to wait until then
SuperMario
@Kaiser: great, I'm super hyped to watch Okja. Always enjoy Boon's movies. The critic's reviews from Cannes on Okja should come up soon I believe.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I watched Lain many times over as well but I'm sure that I didn't pick up everything. That show required multiple-viewing anyways.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Good news, netflix will stream Okja at the end of this June.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its not often that I rewatch things, but years ago I've seen Lain at least three times, its also one of those few anime series where I felt to look up deeper analysis into it. It had a tremendous atmosphere and was ahead of its time.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: watching Ghost Hound made me want to revisit Serial Experiment Lain and give my episodic thoughts on that. Not gonna happen soon as I have my hand full right now but I swear I'll get to that one day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I actually am planning to rewatch ghost hound soon, so I'll give you my new thoughts on it then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always avoided Altair mostly based on it being a shounen action series. Kakeguruis premise involves gambling games, which I don't find interesting.
KTravlos
Kakegurui is on my list. I thought it would be crap (terrible setting etc), but the manga won me over. Princess Principal will be given a chance, so will Shoukouko no Altair.and perhaps Reflection. We shall see. Also Twilight Axis Gundam, as I love the manga team.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Recap episodes exist because of production troubles. Sometimes shit happens when you make an anime.
You are being a bit overally argressive but I do agree with the statement that Ntr is pathetic power fantasy. It really is.
Anonymous1099236
Ntr is a pathetic power fantasy for pathetic people
Anonymous1099236
Why the hell do recap episodes exist. Do they think we're that autistic
SuperMario
I honestly don't even what NTR is so I had to look it up. Interesting
SuperMario
Just a quick remaider that Tsuki ga Kirei has a recap episode this week. And yep, after watching this week's Sakura Quest I think I'm gonna stick with it
SuperMario
Flipping through the list, I'm also pretty know what I'm interested in, most of them are original anime, which is a plus
SuperMario
@Aidan: I'm still amazed that us never have to fight over covering shows, except for that one time with Flip Flappers. Always thought that crappy tastes are the same
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Those two comments were refering to NTR trap
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would really genuinely like to see some of these smut manga actually functionally use fanservice and romantic sex scenes rather than just cheap titilattion
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Poorly done ragey drama with bad comedy bits , I've reached a point with it where I no longer want my time wasted by it.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I admit to having passing interest in Princess Principal but not enough to fight you over it.
And Tsurezure Children is actually really really good. Really fluffy love stories with great comedy.
SuperMario
haha, even me who love slice-of-life won't fall for Tsurezure Children
SuperMario
@Aidan: Princess Principal
SuperMario
@Kaiser: The character designs on Centaur kind of weirds me out though
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Ugh...that one. Imagine a discount scums wish and you get the general idea.
AidanAK47
Mate if you are talking about Fate then let me say there is no way in hell I am not covering that.
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