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
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course I don't want to dismiss the fact that hentai manga for gay men exists,if one wanted it there is seinen yaoi, ie Bara manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which I attribute it to being less passive than just watching something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will say, I do think self-insertion is more effective in relation to videogames.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On this I as a bicurious man agree, when I read a romance story, I just want ad like a romance ore relationship story, its not special to me what the race or orientation of characters are.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My brother also felt that romance stories involving homosexual characters often falter in a space where the same sex pairing becomes more about pure novelty than just being a love story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Imredjimmy, who posted on here as a user before, he himself homosexual had issues with yaoi manga, feeling that it didn't address issues properly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He feels "All romance stories belong in the romance section and shouldn't be too categorized and that most yaoi/yuri isn't really for the homosexual audience"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Is it really fanservice for a homosexual audience though? I do find both male and female characters attractive as a bicurious man but it has to be admitted, shounen-ai and yaoi is really a thing for girls and bi men, I can admit that. My brother, a gay man is very critical of yaoi/shounen-ai as well as yuri/shoujo-ai.
Anonymous1831032
You are overly critical
Anonymous1831032
why can't gay people have 'fanservice' without being compared to fish blindly poking for worms and being caught by some manipulative fisherman? It's 'normal' for weebs to watch 'cutesy' or 'moe' shows.
Anonymous1831032
Who cares dude. I liked the show. The term 'queer baiting' is fucking insulting.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - I agree with that, there is a lot of meandering in Hourou Musuko manga, it makes it feel more realistic and grounded. But there's a reason many storytellers don't tell the most boring aspects of real life, like constantly pondering about what the future may bring.
Vonter
Pokemon and Zelda let the community make the conjectures and the creators mostly shy away from explaining them, because they fear they'll write themselves into a corner.
Vonter
I mean, not all things should make statements. Ranma 1/2 is recognizable, despite being a comedy. Conan is iconic and its just contained mystery stories, despite the themes of Evangelion the creators have admitted the use of christian elements was because of aesthetics, moreso than delivering a statement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Some felt that the manga for hourou musuko felt more low key in tone than the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Travlos, I've noticed the site seems to be giving you trouble setting a username sometimes, best to just create an account instead.
AidanAK47
@Anon, that respect seems on different levels for people though. I mean I seen people championed Yuri on Ice as a major win for LGBT representation in anime while I myself just saw it as queer baiting seeing as the series itself couldn't admit it's characters were gay.
Anonymous1829806
Travlos here: I know many of the AoTitan fans hate the new direction of the manga, but I love it. Gimme more war!

While I love the ideas in Birdy the Mighty, the pace of the mangaka is maddening.
Anonymous1829447
Well, one last thing. I understand that anime like games or movies are a refuge for people who want to escape from politics for a second. But when mangakas bring those topics up themselves with stupid yaoi, gender bender, or yuri fan service, they're the ones politicizing anime and manga, not people like me. If they'd treat it with respect, then there would be no need for outcry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Eh sorry about that, I almost launched into a rant about tumblr.
Lenlo
Yeah, id prefer not to get to political in this chat, but I agree with Aidan. Theres a limit, and I strike that limit at the + of LGBTQ+. There comes a point where your just making things up to be special
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back I probably read hourou musuko initially to get a better understanding of the topic it covered.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not looking for cares/attention/fellating/self promoting, just felt a moment to pseudo-intellectualize because it was related to the identity topic.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From a psychological standpoint, apparently this is linked in with autism to some level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of cosplay as a thing is fascinating honestly as an escapist thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I imagine it would probably be easier to interact in a relationship as someone else, of course with them being aware of that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More in a religious/spiritual sense however and having a greater sense of identity/feeling through temporarily taking on the role of someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
but the person themselves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did have ideas after hourou musuko and also finding out someone was trans that that might have applied to me and I still use female names in some sites but I really just came to realize it wasn't about trying the female clothes thing numerous times, wasn't trans(vestite or sexual), really pretty much found out I temporarily can take on roles of what/who I dress as, not due to gender
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, tumblr sjws are a parody of leftism /activism .
AidanAK47
People have the right to be whatever they want to be. That said there is a line when it comes to respecting peoples choices. For example, I don't think we need Tumblrs 40 different Genders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I haven't read the lesbian experience one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Love my life was another good one, a serious shoujo-ai manga.
Anonymous1829213
That's unfortunate. TvT
Anonymous1829200
no thanks
Anonymous1829213
In the future though, I'd like to see something exploring sexuality as a whole even further. Even LGBT in and of itself implies a gender/sexuality binary. Let's get into the gender neutral/fluid, pansexuality, and so on as well. :.D
Anonymous1829200
and i like the
Anonymous1829200
i have one
Anonymous1829213
And I definitely agree - those manga exist and are excellent. ^_^
Anonymous1829213
*Shimanami
Anonymous1829213
And in regards to the celebrities themselves acting flamboyant or playing into stereotypes, why do you think those are the ones who are famous? They are allowed to be, because they paint a comical picture that is more easily accepted by the public. This is why Hourou Musuko and manga like Shiranami Tasogare/My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness are so amazing by painting people as actual humans
Kaiser-Eoghan
There ARE good shoujo-ai manga of course, girlfriends, aoi hana and yaoi like haru wo deiteita.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I notice that bisexuality isn't much addressed in these things , the coming out thing doesn't often come into it.
Anonymous1829213
@Other Anon: You might add that a lot of those shows also perpetuate some pretty extreme stereotypes and male light of other of serious issues (i.e. the perception others have of LGBT people and that LGBT people have towards themselves, the experience of coming out, etc. etc.)
Kaiser-Eoghan
By lol coincidence he seems to have also voiced a pokemon character too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*re-incarnation of, not evolved
Kaiser-Eoghan
Totally based, hilarious guy to, once claimed jokingly in an interview he was the evolved form of pikachu.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: There is a view of the transvestite as a "silly joke character" even in live action media there thats connected to homosexuallity but I'd say in most cases the person themselves is into it, Akihiro Miwa, famous Japanese gay actor played up that flamboyant drag act since the 60s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: That is well known to me. Also its seen as anti-conform and I heard that the teachers don't know what to do when people are bullied over it, some of them think its down to mental illness.
Anonymous1829154
How japanese media portray lgbtq issues is a problem to this day. Sure shoujo, gender bender, and yaoi genres are mainstream, but at the end of the day people are expected to eventually "grow out of it" and find heterosexual partners in the end. Pretty patronizing
SuperMario
Oh shit, I didn't realize I put Wandering Children instead of Wandering Son in the title. Thanks for pointing that out Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Shuu, mai precious lil' Babbu *hugs*
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol Okadas best anime work cause she didn't really write it lol
SuperMario
I will read on the manga to see how these kids growing up. Boy do i love this cast
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I suppose thats fair enough.
SuperMario
@Aidan: yeah, I know I stretched that image a bit but for some reasons I was goddamn hard to find an image for Wandering Son that I liked. Will make a slideshow later today to see if it looks better
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah I call them by their physical gender because at that stage, they haven't come out yet, right? If I remember correctly, Shuu still regards himself as "boku" rather than "watashi"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess this amuses me mostly because theres a jokey line later on in the manga where the girl with shu says "Ha, guess this makes me a lesbian"
Kaiser-Eoghan
There has been some theory/suggestion that Doi is attracted to shuu seeing shuu's femininty, seeing shuu as a woman .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Later in the manga Takatsuki stops having these feelings toward masculinity, which is addressing adolescent confusion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry about this really hope I don't come off as trying to start anything/an arguement/coming off as an asshole here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats really interesting about hourou musuko is that in addition to Takako Shimura being a Lesbian , by choosing a mtf character as the protaganist and with shuu's relationship with a biological woman later in the manga, she is dealing with an even more interesting issue of whats called by Lesbians as Trans-lesbianism.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Transexual, mtf or ftm are probably the more accurate words to use as transgender also includes transvestite which is a different thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its a very good review though, you don't have to change anything I'm probably being overly anal about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was wandering Children chosen instead of wandering son to avoid suggesting pronouns in the title? But then the text of the review uses shuus physical rather than psychological gender. I'm not preaching or asking for changes or complaining, I just found this somewhat contradictory.
AidanAK47
Oh Tomogui Kyoushitsu? That is a weird death game manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Checks manga cover* Goes in expecting bondage manga *its a cannibalism horror manga instead*
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably just me, but I feel the top two pictures should have a gap between them.
AidanAK47
I would recommend replacing the top image of wandering son. Cause you killed the quality of it by stretching it. Never stretch an image.
Lenlo
Id recommend some kind of slideshow or something Mario. For me, its a big sudden blob of images. But thats just me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny a single criticism of the Junji Ito adaptation, and yet despite it all it works for me , I forgive it because the imagination goes such a long way with me, I don't even mind that some of them aren't fully developed either, don't need things to be too tidy or explain everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Eh, Maverick was a fairly rubbish, thrown in villain but I liked Lunatics backstory how it linked in with the twist his father was that big hero guy mentioned at the start who ended up becoming a washed up mess.
SuperMario
And I won't take "No, you don't need these pics at all" for an answer
SuperMario
Guys, should I put the 2 arts back-to-back at the begin of the post like this, or should I use slideshow?
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: 91 Days was not too bad.
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: Thanks for those two historical manga's head-up.
Anonymous1828434
Akumestu soo satisfying to read
Anonymous1828321
Thank you
Lenlo
A shame. Kokkoku had the first truly dull episode this week. Suppose one had to come eventually, but this one was mostly an info dump.
AidanAK47
Like lightning, I strike. Junji Ito is basically interesting ideas with deeply flawed execution. It's not scary, doesn't really capture Ito's style and the animation is bare bones. While the stories themselves can have there interesting points, they are often not fleshed out enough. Honestly I am getting rather bored with it.
Lenlo
Holy bejesus Aidan. Nice triple post. :P

So overall how is Junji Ito? From what ive read so far, it seems pretty hit or miss on the horror/gore front. Failing to live up to the manga. I havnt read it though, so im curious what ya think
AidanAK47
Akumetsu?
Anonymous1828142
Wearing a mask
Anonymous1828142
What was the name of the manga where the main character is some superhuman high school student who goes around fighting Japanese politicians
Lenlo
On a side note, I should really start Violet Evergarden at some point...
Lenlo
"Anime is dying" is just a meme that gets thrown around because of Miyazaki.
Lenlo
Maybe. I dont think average score per year is a good metric though, as the cash ins are increasing, but I doubt the passion projects are decreasing. For instance we had /alot/ of duds this year, but people only really remember/care about the good ones of which there was a fair number. It wasnt a bad year for decent/good anime.
AidanAK47
Well yeah, but they didn't have as many Animation studios back then as we do right now. So it's not so much that we lost artistic merit but rather the number of studios cashing in on popular trends for a quick buck have increased. Even then, I am willing to put money on there being just as much harem anime in yesteryear as we have cute girls shows in present.
Lenlo
Perhaps, but I would argue those were on smaller scales, and even then, thats not so different from Western animation or movies. Just look at Warner Bros and their DC push after the success of Marvel. Every industry has those who chase successful trends, yet they arnt failing
AidanAK47
@lenlo, the thing is though that before Moe crap there was eva copy crap and before eva copy crap you had space opera crap and before space opera crap you had hyperviolet OVA crap. The industry has always tried to cash in on a popular trend.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel people went apeshit over, say highschool of the dead because they never saw a bunch of old B/exploitation films, thus that show was never special to me and even failed at an imitation of such.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think people getting to excited for it being unique to a single medium or for, its setting themselve up for disappointment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just think its incredibly limited thinking to base it all on just ONE medium, you CAN hold up anime to film when anaylzing anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Why should 91 days get a free pass just because its an anime about gangsters? Go watch a film about it instead which theres probably many of, joker game fail you as the mature spy thriller it ended up not being, who cares, Tinker tailor soldier spy exists.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I dislike this "Its unique for an anime/manga to do this, so instantly lets latch on to it, despite fact that same something is already extremely prevalent in other mediums "
Kaiser-Eoghan
Case in point 91 days and Joker game "It has adults, lets pre-rejoice before the show even came out"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel though because of the level of dissatisfaction with said moe shows that people are going to leap far too quickly on anything just slightly different, getting their hopes up too high and end up feeling let down.
Lenlo
That, or it all comes crashing down around our ears. With stuff like Houseki no Kuni and Made in Abyss from last year however, I think its going to be ok. We are just getting inundated with crap right now.
Lenlo
I do think that some of the artistic part of it has been lost, its gotten diluted in the never ending river of Moe crap. But that doesnt mean its gone. Just harder to find. Eventually all the random moe shows no one cares about will fail and stop getting made. But the anime audience will still be around, to enjoy the better stuff thats left.
Lenlo
Same thing happened in the mid/late 90's and early 00's to American cartoons.
Lenlo
Eh, I dont think anime is dying. Changing no doubt. Its going through a rough growth stage right now. It has a bigger audience than ever and people are trying to cash in on that with lots of shows that are basically the same
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Tank you and damn you for posting screencap of loli-tachibana, I now have cuteness overload a diabeetus =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
I realize thats a very minor detail to focus on though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I can really really get into a history manga if the art is top quality, the costume designs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the historical thing, I have a massive I repeat massive thing for full body medieval armoured characters hacking the shit into things or just the armour in general , especially templar armour designs. I also have an little obsession with male aristocratic army uniforms from the Prussian era and world war 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That recent Urasawa manga Travlos mentioned is ending also
@Mario: We might get a complete adaptation of after the rain, the manga is ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More historical manga I found, haven't read the second one however, I didn't hear those two mentioned on here either before.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Hawkwood
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Ad-Astra-Scipio-to-Hannibal"]
AidanAK47
@Anon, yes clearly you know better than everyone else on the planet despite having no evidence whatsoever to back up you claims. Thank you nameless Stranger, we owe you a debt for telling us the same thing we hear every year. Let me congratulate you by kicking you out the door.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can generally come up with an opinion for what I follow/watch/read , but I don't really have one on kokkuu.
KTravlos
Well we watched the first episode of Kokkuku. Interesting. The ED theme is quite the fanservice.
SuperMario
@Ktravlos: If your like to check out some other shows this season then I'd definitely recommend After the Rain.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: at least Kino is thought-provoking. I can't say the same for Violet Evergarden. In fact I remain skeptical with VE
KTravlos
I am quite enjoying both Violet Evergarden and Mahoutsukai. Violet gives me similar vibes to the first Kio series, though obviously Kino was a better series.
SuperWooper
EPIC post, anon!
Anonymous1825128
Of course, as ardent fans of anime, the writers of this site would not deign to agree or even entertain the idea that their passion is no longer the same artisanal endeavor it once was.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Oh. Actually surprised I forgot about that. Yeah, when it comes to something being described as edgy I think Goblin Slayer fits that definition perfectly.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, You can still throw down your take if you want.
Anonymous1824209
AidanAK47 - Or the women shields.
Lenlo
You know, sometimes I dont regret forgetting about this chatbox. Missing the "anime is dying" conversation? One of those times
AidanAK47
Oh, Goblin Slayer is getting an anime adaption. I was rather lukewarm on it but I wonder how the anime is going to handle the rather unsavoury aspects. Like the rape. Lots and lots of rape.
AidanAK47
I remember the last guy said he would make a chart and I thought it was a brillent idea as at least something useful could come out of this old dead horse. Then his chart turned out to be a useless jpeg with series thrown to the left or right.
AidanAK47
It does stir up conversation but it's really just the same conversation repeated. I remember stating the exact same points Nayrael and Bokusen are saying around a year ago when this last came up.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Indeed Ratings are subjective but it would at least be a general mainstream consensus of the quality of anime over the years. Not final but at least it's better evidence than one persons general assumption. And other factors are impossible to quaitify.
Nayrael
A good parody of the "Anime back then and now - what happened? meme (if the links are not blocked here): https://i.imgur.com/JZqxz6f.jpg
Nayrael
Not to mention that back in the olden days you didn't see every Anime that aired. Official translators and fansubbers selected the best stuff, which resulted in you seeing the best shows and never even knowing about the shit-tier shows.
Bokusen
I think that people who say "anime is dying" are just getting too nostalgic. It's easy to remember the hit series from earlier seasons. It's less easy to remember all the forgettable generic series that you dropped after 1 episode, and so anime tends to "seem better" back then because of people's tendency towards selective memory.
Anonymous1820731
Why are there more bad anime? Because there are more anime being made. That means the good ones are buried under the lots of bad ones. But saying "anime is dying" from that is like saying "music is dead because I don't like Britney Spears." Why does this conversation always come up, its obvious conversation bait.
Anonymous1820589
@Aidan: You are the first to obsess over the fact that reviews are subjective. And since they're subjective, looking at anime 'ratings' over time does nothing to gauge the measure of effort and artistic talent that goes into making anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which I got my answer by the way.
SuperWooper
>average review scores
What do those have to do with whether anime is "dying" or not? You'd need to look at the money.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to add that I agree with both you and Aidan, only brought up those two topics back there because I wanted to know what shows now will be popular in the future.
SuperMario
I'm on the side of Aidan regarding to this. For me it's not neccessary means the anime industry has become "better" or "worse", it's just that it takes new shape and trends and based on the number of anime produced, the industry isn't going down soon
AidanAK47
Am I really going to draft up a chart gathering average review scores of the past 25 years just t shut up this talk of anime dying?
But even if I did that won't toss aside this nonsense.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this is complete guesswork.
AidanAK47
Plus the industry is dying? Bloody hell, we got major companies FUNDING anime. Streaming services and more anime coming out that ever before. You can argue that this new anime is weaker but honestly it's just misguided. It takes time but great shows are still coming out. Just like back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well thats kind of what I meant, what, when passage of time comes into it are going to end up being classic based on that, speculatively speaking.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats probably a much better way of phrasing it, inheriting mantles. I'm going to say that promised neverland is presently along with Titan a BIG modern shounen.
AidanAK47
Anyway my point is that the shows of the past, the so called classics, are just as flawed as the shows of today. It is only through the passage of time that they become classics. When Stein;Gate finished airing, I seen no one call it a classic. Same goes for Madoka and Fate/Zero. Now, you have people putting up the pedestals.
AidanAK47
Though if anything has inherited the Shounen mantle, it's likely Boku no hero.
AidanAK47
There is no big three Shounen and that's honestly for the best. Because in generally the declining aspect of Naruto and Bleach was mainly due to the pressure on the mangaka to put out chapters on a weekly basis. In fact it's pretty much the primary factor in Bleachs decline.
AidanAK47
Bebop is great but even it is hit and miss by nature. Doubt many remember much about the casino episode and the Alien spoof episode is likely not anyone's favorite. Eva is massively flawed but no one wants to admit it due to the massive amount of praise it receives and influence it has on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But what is the new big three shounen?
Total users: 41

Star Crossed Anime Blog

3 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kokkoku – 6/7 [The Sixth/Seventh Moment]

Hello and welcome to another bi-weekly checkup of Kokkoku. This time we have one episode of action and mystery, while the other is the first dud of the season for Kokkoku. Apologies in advance, this is going to be a shorter one as there simply isn’t much to talk about. Lets jump in! To start […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore – 04[No Faith may King]

Well is it just going to be a thing from now on to have Nero take a bath in between floors? The large amount of Nero fanservice seems a bit of the excessive side and I feel like shaft is to blame for that. As a matter of fact now might be a good time […]

Darling in the Franxx – 06[Darling in the FranXX]

Today on Darling and the Franxx, Hiro pierces the heavens. Darling in the Franxx manages to carry itself on the action of this episode as it was quite the engaging spectacle. Nearly a constant episode of action which is bad news for me as these are often the hardest to blog. Animation remained pretty consistent […]

Junji Ito Collection – 07[Used Record/Town of No Roads]

This has to be the weirdest episode of this show yet. The first story was rather standard, namely about a record that causes people to become obsessed with it upon listening and seems to lead to the owner’s death. Not much to say about this one as what you see is what you get. I […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 19 [Any port in a storm]

Hello and welcome to a very… contentious episode of Mahoutsukai, at least for me. This week we have two halves of the same episode, with wildly different tones and quality. The first half being inconsistent and dull, while the second is interesting and successfully, but slowly, ramps up its tension. Overall concerning, but lets jump […]

After the Rain – 06 [Fine Rain]

This week is another light week in terms of central romance development between our leads, as the first half spends its time to Haruka, Tachibana’s childhood friend. Thank God, even with this segment that feels more like a side story, Ameagari still continues to hold up very well. Haruka always feels that she is left […]

Violet Evergarden – 06 [Somewhere, Under a Starry Sky]

This episode of Violet Evergarden, Violet learns the feeling of loneliness, AND I find myself largely indifferent to it. Not a bad episode by all mean but when the show makes same old beats and adds little thing to the table, it doesn’t leave much lasting impact. Let’s get to the positives first, I really […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 07 [The Ship That Sees the Universe]

“I boarded this ship to do catchy, witty, sensational reporting! I want to open the treasure chest of Antarctica that my mother wrote about with my own hands! Everyone, let’s go to Antarctica together!” Although Universe is a show about the girls heading off to freaking Antarctica, the last couple episodes make it clear that […]

Darling in the Franxx – 05[Your Thorn, My Badge]

Today on Darling in the Franxx, Hiro gets a STD. This was a surprisingly good episode as I found myself pretty engaged with the goings on of the plot. Now previous episodes of Franxx haven’t been all that bad besides the excessive sex symbolism but up until this point I would have deemed this show […]

Latest Reviews

Mary and the Witch’s Flower – 73/100 (Joint Review)

Wooper: Mary and the Witch’s Flower is the first feature film from Studio Ponoc, which spun off from Studio Ghibli in early 2015. Given Ghibli’s towering reputation, the bar was high for this inaugural flick, which recently made its way to U.S. theaters, giving Lenlo and I a chance to see it on the big […]

In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]

Fate/Apocrypha Anime Review – 64/100

I was quite excited for Apocrypha and in the so called year of Fate adaptations, it looked to be the crown jewel. Sadly, partly due to lacking adaption and the source lacking in areas, this anime turned out to be not quite the jewel I thought it would be. It’s hard to call this a […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World Anime Review – 73/100

One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up […]

Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

It would not be an exaggeration to say that my favorite type of anime is the political-military epic. This comes partly out of my profession, I study war and politics, but also my hobby, as military and political history is something I enjoy. When it comes to anime there is a clear sub-category that can […]

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) Movie Review – 92.5/100

“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]