Posted on 20 February 2018 with categories: 2011 Anime Retrospective, Hourou Musuko, Tiger & Bunny

It bares repeating for those of you who don’t know:

– For rating, I will use psgels’ 100 score system, but keep in mind that my barometer might be different than his. For instance, I consider 60/100 (not 50) as a line between mediocre and passable shows. 75/100 to 89/100 are recommended shows and from 90/100 upward are the masterpieces. In some rare occasions, I will include plus (+) and minus (-) but remember that they don’t have anything to do with the quality of the shows. (+) is awarded for shows that address the gender role thoughtfully, including shows that have strong feminine message. (-) is casted for shows with insensitive treatment to gender roles.

– There will be mild spoilers, as I will address the main theme of each show.

Wandering Son (AIC)

Boy, I know I’d come to enjoy this series given its thoughtful subject matter, but I’d never expect the show gets under my skin the way it did. Wandering Son turns out to be even better than what I expected. Yes, they nail it on the struggles transgender youth must face during their puberty, but at heart this is a coming of age story about coming to term with their own identity. Crossdressing is a way for the kids to express who they truly are, the self that they feel most comfortable with. One thing that struck me the most is how simple the show seems to be, but it’s anything but. From the soft watercolor background, to the simple and plain character designs (those are in the service of the show, as the main leads have their asexual appearances), to the way the story focuses on slice-of-life drama, to the equally soothing soundtrack. Everything seems light-weight at first glance, but inside it, there are many complex relationships and even more complex narrative. The transgender aspect never becomes to preachy or heavy-handed, for once, and the show makes itself clear that it never judges any of these characters. It’s just simply a normal growing up tale from a boy and his friends, nothing more, nothing less.

I also appreciate the anime for the fact that it left out entirely the first section of the manga, so many drama and characters have already been introduced before we get to know them. Fear not, since everything we need to know about the characters and their dynamic are showed and hinted subtlety over the course of its run. For me, the best parts of the show aren’t the subject matter it deals with, but the rich cast and their complex dynamic together. Take the latter for example, many characters form a very special relationship to each other (many has complained the characters behave too mature for their age, which I digress. We need more of these). And it’s these special bonds that made every single one of them interesting. Take Chiba’s love for Shuu: doesn’t matter how he changes, he will always be the special person to her. The same can be said for Yuki and Takatsuki. It often feels like they reach to a mutual understanding that other people can’t never comprehend. And I suppose sharing the same deep bonds as these makes up the reason why they can always rely on each other, even overcome their own issues to reach out for each other.

Shuu and Takatsuki made up two strong protagonists for this show, both because they’re trans who bothered by their own biological bodies, but also their special bond as well. Noted that while Wandering Son deals heavily in transgender issues, all the romantic relationships in the anime are heterosexual – most notably, Shuu and Anna’s love. Why? Because, of course Shuu loves her. Not in a physical attraction sense since I guess Shuu would never desired to kiss her, but in the intimacy sense where he loves her and cares for her like a sibling love. Is it make their relationship weird? Maybe. But it’s powerful nonetheless. Although I already enjoy the first half of the anime well enough, where they focus on the kids and their gender-bender Romeo and Juliet play, the second half is when Wandering Son hits me real hard. Insecurity plays another major role to these kids, as they are constricted by social norms, by the code of rules that dictates how boy and girls should wear and behave. Takatsuki comes a long way until she decides to cross-dress as a boy to school, but Shuu has it much harder by trying the same thing. The escalated tension when Shuu gradually believes that he should dress up in girl’s uniform because he feels comfortable doing so is one of the moment so powerful that it won’t leave my head anytime soon. It’s one hell of a statement right there and it’s more compelling than any LGBT campaign because it comes from very personal lenses.

As a side note, despite people often complain the show for the lack of proper closure, for me it ends in the best possible way. In that final moment, Shuu literally takes a step forward to the stage. That single image can signify many things: that he’s taking anew step towards the spotlight with his new body; that he finally let the dark and bullied past behind; that he moves on to the next puberty stage of his life. Shuu and his friends continue to live on beyond the scope of this little story.

Rating: 92+/100

Tiger & Bunny (Sunrise)

It’s amusing to note that these two shows received the same rating 87.5 here in by psgels, my opinions on these two couldn’t be more varied. Let’s start from its best components first, Tiger & Bunny is the show that has novel concept, a commercial Superhero reality TV show in the neo-modern city that looks like a glamourous version of Gotham. It’s a pretty cool idea and moreover, the concept of commercial superheroes and their ability “NEXT” have potential to develop into heaps of interesting scenarios. It helps that the show makes these superheroes and their moves as flashy and over the top as possible. Another plus for the shameless corporate sponsorship’ logos that pop up in the team uniforms. Flashiness and cool factor have never been this appropriate. The art design is awesome, especially the city itself that feels lush, noisy but gritty at the same time. The production values, for the most part, fulfil their roles quite remarkably. The fights are dynamic, and those action sequences are always damn fun to follow to say the least. The CG department, however, is wacky and looks out of place whenever the two leads are in the combat suits. Take Tiger & Bunny as a purely action show, it certainly satisfies your cravings.

But Tiger and Bunny is more than a mindless action show. It consistently develops into overarching arcs with more serious tone, and that, my friend, is where the show becomes hit and miss. On positive notes, these arcs make Tiger and Bunny more ambitious than your normal Superhero show and the main leads do grow a bit in their character development. The titular Tiger and Bunny, in particular, share some solid chemistry together. The show, on the other hand, has the Western Superhero and Hollywood as their inspiration and it unfortunately inherits the stupidity of Hollywood’s script as well. There is little to no grey area, the heroes are mostly your hero of justice and the villains get more and more evil as the story progresses. I don’t mind about some casual plot holes or some character inconsistencies because… you know, ACTION show, but the last arc, in instance, is so ridiculous and laughable bad that I have to mark the show down several notes. In this last arc, the whole superhero team suddenly becomes puppets with no personality, or even worse, betray their own personality. Kotetsu is being hunted by the police and being broadcasted live, and suddenly, all these developments are set aside for some more plot twists that go nowhere, fighting with Barnaby for no good logical reason and some other bullshits about androids. And I can never get why the main antagonist thinks it’s such a great idea to brainwash dozen of superpowered and influential people, instead of just eliminating Kotetsu in silence.

Character-wise, I regret to say that although spending 25 episodes with them, at the end of the day I don’t know, or care much about them. Both Bunny and Tiger are your stereotyped JUSTICED superheroes, with Barnaby’s backstory is the one we all heard before (Batman, anyone?). Other heroes each have their own episode that flesh them out a bit, but still ain’t enough to make them stand out at all. Villains are over the top in a no-good way and Lunatic (an anti-hero of sort) has never developed into his full potential. Overall, Tiger & Bunny is an adequate take on the same old Superhero genre that make some good use of the old ideas, especially in their brilliant main concept. The mixture of buddy actions, hero of the week, drama make this show consistently entertaining to follow, despite more often than not they follow the same old formula that been around since the creation of Western Comic.

Rating: 78/100

Welp, turns out I finished these two faster than I originally planned. Have you watched either Wandering Son or Tiger & Bunny? What is your take on those shows? Next time, we will meet a girl who plays karuta and a girl who is a NEET detective. Yep, I will review Chihayafuru and Heaven’s Memo Pad. See you in 2 weeks or so (this time is for real). Until then.

Posted on 18 September 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Tiger & Bunny




The past years have shown a sudden influx of superhero series. It started with Ultraviolet and the Batman movies, then Heroman came and Madhouse had its Marvel series. The best of the bunch however, is Tiger and Bunny.

What this show did was quite special: it didn’t just pick a bunch of superheroes and had them fight crime. It constructed a very creative concept and setting around them: making them tv-stars. In the world of Tiger & Bunny, cameras follow every movement of the heroes as they catch bad guys, and they have been turned into a television phenomenon. By turning superheroes into celebrities, funded by sponsorships, this show is both able to celebrate, and criticize modern media.

The characters really succeed in making such an interesting setting come alive. One of the biggest strengths of this series is how fun the main cast is to watch. Especially the episodes that focus on just a few of them and explore their characters shine in their dynamics. This series is able to create very strong stories that are above all very fun to watch, making this one of the most enjoyable series of the past half year. Nearly every single episode delivers, and at the end of the series the cast has grown tremendously with powerful changes.

The format of this series is that it consists out of two halves. Each half starts off with a number of episodic stories that are meant to flesh out the cast and build up the story, after which a continuous story produces a climax. The plot of this series deserves praises especially because of how well it builds up. In fact, this is one of those stories where the build-up is actually more interesting to watch than the finales themselves. The creators throw in a ton of details as they slowly show more and more about the multi-layered storyline, while at the same time creating interesting individual stories for each of the cast members. it blends in seamlessly.

For me, the major flaw of this series was really that the finales went fairly straight-forward, and just not as interesting as the rest of the series. The cliches that were brilliantly used in the majority of the series in order to achieve some very creative effects suddenly became just… cliches. And that stood out a bit. The journey to the destination however was more than worth it.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Weaves various plot-lines very nicely throughout the story, is very well paced and above all really fun to watch. Albeit the finales are the least interesting parts of the show.
Characters: 9/10 – Awesome cast, wonderful development.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Yoshihiro Ike’s soundtrack rocks, the CG works, but often moves jerky, and the 2D animation also has its moments of inconsistencies. It’s a very colourful and bright looking series, though.
Setting: 9/10 – This series is very creative with its premise, and makes brilliant use of it.

Suggestions:
The Big O
Zone of the Enders
Mobile Police Patlabor

Posted on with categories: Tiger & Bunny



Aw. To be honest, I found this to be a rather lukewarm ending. In the end, the best parts of this show were its build-up. This really was a series where it’s the journey that is important, not the destination. Both the Jake arc and this finale were the parts of Tiger & Bunny that impressed me the least. But hey, we’re getting a sequel.

The best way for me to describe this show would be “half-baked”. The creators kill off Kotetsu. Oh no wait, he’s just knocked out from the huge blast that conveniently managed to just destroy his suit. There are more androids! Oh now wait, there is a safety code now. Kotetsu is retiring. Oh no wait, he isn’t! Barnaby wants to live his own life now. Oh now, he isn’t, he’s just going to act like nothing happened!

I hate to call it, but I really think that the Sunrise executives had a role in this again. The thing with the sequel is that it wasn’t planned right from the start. The only single hint to that throughout most of the series was the fact that the entire city of Ouroboros was corrupt. My guess that originally the creators wanted to tie Maverick in with that. Instead, they were probably forced to leave open the option for a second season, which lead to the awkward plot twists in this episode that actually negated most of the character development for the different characters. These kinds of plot twists can be done well, but this was just too Ad Hoc and forced.. Because of that I’m a bit iffy about the announced continuation: I really suspect that the creators are going to have to write a completely new story on a really short notice. The last thing that happened was with Marie & Gali, whose second season was completely ruined by the inclusion of a scrappy.

Overall, I still love this show, but it didn’t make my favourite Sunrise series. My top 10 of Sunrise TV-Series probably looks something like this now:
10. Gintama
9. Seikai Trilogy
8. Witch Hunter Robin
7. Tiger & Bunny
6. Gasaraki
5. The Big O
4. Zone of the Enders
3. Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto
2. Cowboy Bebop
1. Visions of Escaflowne
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 11 September 2011 with categories: Tiger & Bunny



Now, this episode did pull a bunch of cheese balls for its penultimate episode. With that, I mean common tropes and cheesy cliches that get pulled over and over. Because of that I had a few problems with this episode, and unfortunately it’s been the least impressive Tiger & Bunny episode I’ve seen in a while.

Basically there are two main points that annoyed me. The focus on the power of friendship had its cheese moments, but it was perfectly in line with this series. What wasn’t in line was the robot guy. The creators have such an interesting villain with Maverick, and here this episode focused instead on this stereotypical evil guy that the rest of the series did so well to avoid, and who also pulled a number of strange actions that made it a bit too easy for the main cast to just escape I mean, if you’re an evil genius, at least remember to have more than one guy in your security department.

The second thing that bugged me was the end of the episode, which pulled the dreaded “let’s pretend to kill off our lead character”-twist. This twist annoys me in particular because hardly any show who pulls that actually pulls through with it. At the very least though; this episode did put a lot of meaning behind Kotetsu’s “death”: the decline of his powers has been building up for ages. It was a nice moment for this to really show.

At this point, I doubt whether this series will really have one of the best endings of the seasons, but it’s still possible to end with a bang. It really needs to use the build-up of this episode, plus give a good part to everyone involved. A standard ending however isn’t going to cut it for me at this point.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 4 September 2011 with categories: Tiger & Bunny



Now, this episode was build-up, so it was not as impressive as the previous episodes. That pay-off had better be worth it, because a show as awesome as this one deserves an awesome finale.

And yeah, I applaud the creators for avoiding the cheese when getting Barnaby out of Maverick’s memory control. Tiger’s attempts to get through to him had a great emotional response, and yet it was a simple insult that did the trick. That really was a great anti-climax, and at the same time it was a great conclusion to the bond between Kotetsu and Barnaby.

But Christ, we’ll already be ending in two weeks! This really strikes me as the show that’s gonna end with a one-episode epilogue (or at least an epilogue that will take a significant amount of time of the final episode for that epilogue), so we’re going to get the meat of the ending of this series next week!

The big potential pitfall I think will be that the ending is going to get too mundane: at this point, all of the mysteries are solved, and the struggles between the main cast are gone. It’s entirely about trying to defeat Maverick and that Robot now. This is really something where the creators are going to have to go over the top.

That ending is going to matter a lot, whether I’m going to rate this 90/100 or 87,5/100. These numbers may seem random, but let me put it this way: this series still has the potential to become my favourite Sunrise series of the past ten years. If that ending is good, it will probably stand on top of my current top 3 of Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto, Zone of the Enders and The Big O (Gintama unfortunately doesn’t count because of its second half). If the ending is mundane, it probably won’t make that top 3, so I’m really eager to see whether this series will be able to do it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 August 2011 with categories: Tiger & Bunny



Um yeah. That’s possible too. I really kept wondering on how the creators would end up solving the memory alterations of Maverick. The previous episode built up an epic plan to do that, and it really looked like Tiger was going to have to try his best to both convince everyone, while not being too cheesy at the same time. Or just wait for Kaede to show up and zap everyone back.

It’s a bit weird at first, but as the episode went on I really appreciated what a great anti-climax this was. After all, this episode did avoid exactly what I was afraid of: cheesy monologues for every single one of the side characters. Instead, Tiger’s attempts were shown to have some subtle influences, but they just weren’t enough for the team mentality of the heroes who worked together. In the meantime, Sky High’s brilliant action of touching Kaede on the shoulder still leaves the perfect opportunity for Kotetsu to really scrape the barrel in trying to get the memories of his friend back: for a lot of different characters, this indeed would have been rather weird.

Added to that was that the characters were just incredibly enjoyable throughout the entire episode. Just about everyone shined and was fun to watch. The cast of Tiger & Bunny really has what I’d like to call the X-Factor for me: it’s hard to describe, but beyond well developed and acted, they put in this extra bit to make them even more interesting, and make them consistently enjoyable, even when they’re not doing anything. For me, this is one of the greatest heights a cast can reach. This series has had episodes that hinted to that very much in the past, but this episode sealed the deal.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 21 August 2011 with categories: Tiger & Bunny



Okay, so Maverick’s plan myay have holes, but it’s damn fun to watch it unfold. It’s bold and imaginative, and yet not completely stupid or overly complicated, and Tiger is really going to have to put in effort in cleaning his name. This episode was wonderful in showing his confusion in trying to figure out what the hell happened. He had no reason to doubt Maverick until it really became obvious what was going on through that news broadcast, so he was constantly trying to figure out what the heck happened. His acting was excellent throughout this entire episode.

Oh, and Kaede also stole the show in this episode. She really showed a different side of hers in this episode, and I loved the way she reacted to Kotetsu’s real identity. Now, furthermore: the creators introduced her powers for a reason, meaning that she’s not simply going to play the role of hostage. I’m really looking forward to seeing how she’ll end up getting used.

Now, the big challenge for the creators will be to convincingly return everyone’s memories. We’ve already seen how Maverick’s powers work: they malfunction when they start to believe something that contradicts their fake memories. Barnaby really believed that Jake didn’t murder his parents after Kriem’s confession and the fact that there was no Ouroboros sign on Jake’s hand. In other words: this really will be up to the scriptwriters. They have to take the current cast of heroes, and make us believe that they believe that Kotetsu (a complete stranger in their minds) isn’t a murderer. This can VERY EASILY lapse into cheese.

Oh, and on hindsight, I also want to praise the creators for the use of the red herring of Dorothy. It both was a great way to give character to Sky High, explain what Barnaby’s parents were doing, and reference back to The Big O (a uniquely great but underrated series). Sunrise, I’m really glad that you’re going back to the habit you seemingly abandoned five years ago, releasing all kinds of interesting and original premises. Here once again we have a show that worked out amazingly.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 15 August 2011 with categories: Tiger & Bunny



And with this, Maverick sold me: this guy is one great villain. Most of the time when an old guy is the main villain, just about all he does is sit on a chair and order around. This guy however has found a great use of his powers and position to attempt to wrap up his own past. It’s great to see that here, the villains don’t have this flimsy plot that depends a lot on “we are the strongest! muahaha!”, but instead one where they also use their heads, and make it profitable as well.

What’s more is that he also makes very good use of his control over the mass media and the status of Hero TV, where he can pretty much convict anyone he wants to, without any counter-opinion on TV. I will play Devil’s advocate a bit though, because it remains a bit of a shaky plot, considering the amount of people it involves. Maverick altered the memories of the people he drugged, but what about their colleagues? I mean, tiger was pretty well known. They will probably find it strange that suddenly these people don’t know who Tiger is anymore. There’s just one of them who needs to raise a voice, and there will be a bit of a problem.

I also love how well this plot is created on hind-sight. I mean, it was clear that Maverick was the bad guy, but the creators did this without obvious foreshadowing. It’s just that some of his actions subtly gave things away, but you could only see these when looking for the bigger picture. Take the city that’s shaped like Ouroboros’s logo: at first I thought that they remodeled the city after the logo, but instead Maverick probably modeled the logo after the city for some reason.

Think back to that one prisoner who got caught by Tiger, who was ready to give himself up and go to prison before Lunatic murdered him. On hindsight that didn’t really look like your typical criminal: he’d be pretty pissed that he got caught and had to go to jail, giving up his freedom. It seemed more like this guy was a prisoner that was used by Maverick. He probably got a lighter sentence if he cooperated. That logo could be linked to one of the prisons of the city.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 7 August 2011 with categories: Tiger & Bunny



This episode contained the big plot twist. The one that had been looming for ages now and had been hinted at numerous times. It’s again the characters who made it awesome, but I do have one problem with it:

The ending would have been a great cliff-hanger if it wasn’t so bloody overused. Maverick is a great villain, but he also falls victim to the “let me tall you all about my evil plans, because I’m going to kill you afterwards anyway”-syndrome. At least I can understand the reasoning of him: his powers are convenient, but take a long while to load, so without some kind of precaution, nobody is stupid enough to wait for that. It’s a good way to tell about his plans in order to buy some time. Just… don’t pretend that it’s a cliff-hanger and that we don’t know what’s going to happen next.

As for the rest of the episode… is it really that weird for Kotetsu to have trouble saying that he’s losing his powers? How does that make him a ‘retard’, when his pride refuses him to expose a weakness to his partner, who he always tried to look cool in front of. People really aren’t that eager to share their personal problems with others. In fact, just about every character in this series is full of inner struggles, and throughout the entire series we’ve had the people around them just guess what’s up. It’s not like this is Kimi ni Todoke, whore the characters spend an entire season dodging their issues.

This episode, on top of having the big plot twist, also probably marked the depth in this series, where the relationships between the characters are at their lowest. Tiger who tried to keep both of his promises has instead gotten into a big fight with both Kaede and Barnaby, and the next few episodes will probably focus again on him, trying to make up with them.

The big question mark right now lies in the kind of villain that Maverick is: one kick and he’ll be out. At this point, the climax will be either en over the top fight with Lunatic, or a plot to expose Maverick’s lies to the public: something that also could be done by people without superpowers.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 1 August 2011 with categories: Tiger & Bunny



Yeah, this really was meant to be a hard to watch episode. Finally Kotetsu mans up and settles down in order to raise Kaede… and then his partner breaks down. This was something that was bound to happen: Barnaby’s rise in popularity couldn’t last forever, and with this he didn’t just find out that Jake wasn’t the murderer of his parents, but someone has also been screwing with his memories.

Of course he doesn’t know yet that Ouroboros is as corrupt as hell, so he can probably only guess what the hell happened there. It’s a really scary thought of suddenly figuring out that half your memories may be fakes. My guess is that his mind was probably changed in those relaxing chamber thingies, in order to 1) divert attention from the real killer, 2) boost Barnaby’s popularity, 3) boost ratings, and possibly even 4) get rid of Sky-High, who still is by far the strongest hero out there. Just try figuring that out from Barnaby’s position, though.

Now, thanks to Kotetsu this episode wasn’t as enjoyable as the previous ones, but the creators were really deliberately trying to turn him indecisive. With this, I can understand the creators’ decision to make him retire a bit more: he will probably retire, but this will most likely happen at the end of the series. Just randomly quitting right now would be too irresponsible to Barnaby, while not quitting would be too irresponsible to Kaede.

These are some very interesting dilemmas here, and I hope that the creators won’t a) use something cheap by turning Kaede into a bad guy or b) come with some very convenient solution out of nowhere that allows Kotetsu to solve both. If this doesn’t happen, then the finale has just become even more potentially interesting.

Also, who the hell in that village has magnetic powers?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
Anonymous3070771
Also, anybody notice Blanca's VA is Kira (from Diamond is Unbreakable)? What a wonderful duwang!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: The producer guy Miyano is voicing, much like the show is irritating because the show has this "look at me look at me" feel to it, it just comes off as desperate to me and this is just going by the one episode I watched and hated.
Anonymous3070771
What's that damn piano song that plays when Ash and Eiji are talking about Japan. It's too good. For some reason, it's really magical
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was the one who said that.
@Niello: You don't need to see steins; gate zero, myself and lenlo discussed it to death as it was airing, its all over the place. I like the original too but after a while of the first half being fun, I just wanted it to start.
Anonymous3070771
Phew, great episode of BF; whoever said the gang war stuff was the weakest point was right. this stuff is getting fantastic again.
Niello
Also I agree, Zombieland first episode was amazing, second episode is still rather great, and then the other episodes have just been meh.
Niello
In Zombieland it doesn't help that the character he's voicing with that tone is an asshole, which isn't a good combination because it's making him more annoying by the episode.
Niello
Steins;Gate is pretty good, but I don't think I like it nearly as much as most people do (I gave it a 7/10). I also haven't bothered with Steins;Gate 0. And although I didn't mind Myano in Steins;Gate, I didn't particularly like his voice there either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the sombreness of Blanca's character. Poor Ash, so broken in this episode.
AidanAK47
Yeah after episode 2 it's been a downgrade. Zombieland is still alright to watch but it really has become what it parodied.
Vonter
Zombieland sadly has winded down. I mean it was expected but still I was hoping some more creative attempts to use in the typical genre. It'll have been better if they had waken up more slowly in order to flesh the archetypes a bit more. It still has charismatic moments though.
Lenlo
Really Niello? See, I like it because it's the voice we never got in Steins;Gate 0. Its Okabe's Kyouma voice, and I have a nostalgic love for it
Masky
Wasn't gyary isekai another one that existed?
Niello
I hate Miyano voice in Zombieland Saga and find him annoying tbh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am getting sick of self aware humour though. I see this show as something that was fun to make (such as Miyano seems to be feeling based on performances) but not fun for me to watch and that kind of extends to the manager who while I agree would be the best part of the show, I stopped finding funny after the joke was done.
Lenlo
For me, the main selling point of Zombieland Saga was always Miyano. I love this mans crazy voice.

And in regards to Isekai, discounting this most recent one, SAO actually is pretty good this season so far. Kirito is still bland, but its taking things a lot slower and actually building the world. Its taking its time with 52 episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the sound of it, if some who liked the first episodes don't care for the ones beyond those two episode, then I'm glad I stopped watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did flick through episode 2 but the rap battle thing was particularly awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I couldn't stand the humour and have up on the show after the first half of episode 1.
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Ah Banana Fish, back in form this week. Ash and Eiji act like a married couple, Blanca show’s everyone whose boss and Yut continues to have no idea what’s going on. Lets jump in! On a general note Banana Fish is really picking back up. The Gang War/Hospital were easily the weakest part of the […]

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