Posted on 22 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Toward the Terra


Those who’ve been frequenting my blog for the past few months probably have seen me ramble about the “big three” of the spring-season: Bokura no, Kaze no Shoujo Emily and Toward the Terra. While a lot more excellent series have been released in the past Spring and Summer-season, these three form the cream of the crop, they’re all consistently outstanding in their own way and are without a doubt my favourite series of the past half year.

Today the first one has ended: Toward the Terra. It’s an epic science-fiction series about outcasts with psychic powers called the Myu. The storytelling is incredibly fast-paced. You hardly run into an episode that doesn’t have some kind of climax. While most other anime need aftermath- and introduction-episodes for fleshing out the characters, the episodes in Toward the Terra flawlessly combine the quiet moments along with the tense ones, and it works like a charm.

It’s clear that the writers have talent, because not only do they write some of the best action-scenes (which finally are more about the characters than the action itself) I’ve seen the past year, they also excel in the character-development department. If you watch the first few episodes, you might wonder why such a beautiful tale can come from just teenagers, but don’t worry: around episode ten, we see countless of time-leaps, and the real meat of the series happens when around ten years have passed since then. This provides countless opportunities for character-development, and Toward the Terra grabs all of them. Because of this, it features one of the best antagonists I’ve seen in anime, just because the guy gets such an incredible amount of development. Around the middle of the series, the plot-twists become so mind-boggling that you won’t be able to predict them, and watch out for episodes 21 and 22: they’re quite close to the best and most emotionally charged episodes I’ve ever seen for the past year.

In terms of production-values, Toward the Terra also delivers. While it’s impossible to beat El Cazador’s soundtrack in the past season, it easily grabs second place with a bunch of epic tunes, perfect for the fast and slow pacing. The graphics also look awesome, but be aware that the character-designs are different from usual. If you’re used to the character-designs of series like Kanon or Shakugan no Shana, then you’re going to have to get used to the character-designs of Toward the Terra a bit (see the screenshots).

Regarding the bad points, for me the quieter episodes near the beginning and the ending that weren’t as good as their preceding ones were a tad disappointing. I expected to be blown away by the episodes, and while some did with a huge force, others didn’t. The first few episodes also might be a bit hard to get into, due to the fact that the main character gets a bit whiny at times, but don’t worry: he’ll change into someone much better.

Posted on with categories: Toward the Terra


And so it has ended. Like expected, the final episode wasn’t better as the epic episodes 21 and 22, but it still was satisfying enough. Again a bit of predictability was the culprit, though that only was the issue with the main characters. The side-character’s conclusions were excellent.

Grand Mother just had to die, no question about that, and to be honest, Jomie’s and Keith’s deaths lacked the impact of Matsuka, Sam, Artella or Blue. It’s clear that their time was over, and that they were ready to give off their role to their juniors. This could have been saved if the production-values or the pacing would have gone all-out, like with El Cazador or Noein, but instead a “normal” pacing is chosen, and this pretty much looks like a normal episode, aside from the extreme details in Jomie’s and Keith’s final moments.

What I liked, however, were the elders. Both for the humans and the Myu, and how they sacrificed themselves for the younger generations. Their time has really been over, and they’ve felt out of place with the youngsters for a long time now. They’re the ones who really managed to convey the final message of this anime, which is to think about the next generation, and to sacrifice yourself so that your children can live happily. And how right it is.

Seriously, of the shows that arrived in the new spring-season, a huge amount of quality-ones emerged, and Toward the Terra became one of the best of them. In two weeks, we’ll see Gundam 00 taking over the timeslot. It’s definitely got something to do if it wants to live up to the shows that preceded it: Toward the Terra and Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi, two thought-provoking and excellent series. Will it live up to them or will it go down the path of Code Geass? I hope it’s going to be the first!

Posted on 15 September 2007 with categories: Toward the Terra


Interesting. The final part of Toward the Terra is going to be political. Instead of going in an all-out battle, this episode featured negotiations between the humans and the Myu. Because of this, it isn’t as emotional as the previous episode, but I’m quite interested in how the creators were planning to end this series. The episode ends with Grand Mother, finally showing herself, and I wonder what she’ll be adding to the ending.

The best moment of the episode was when Terra finally appeared, though. It’s become one huge desert, how’s that for a disappointment! It seems that it’s still habitable, but only a few humans can live there, and it was a brave decision of Jomie to keep advancing, even after having seen this. He’s really evolved into a great leader.

The negotiations happen in a huge tower, which probably provides one of the few habitable environments. Perhaps this was handled a bit too quickly, either that or it was me, not paying attention. Before the negotiations happen, Physis visits Keith, asking what Blue’s last words were. Overall, I couldn’t follow most of the talking due to my limited Japanese, unfortunately.

There’s only one episode left. All that’s left to hope now is that the creators haven’t shot themselves in the foot with their planning, and don’t end up rushing the final episode. I’m not expecting anything, and I’ll assume that the best episode of this series will be episode 22. Making a good anime is one thing, but ending it well is an entirely different story. I’ve seen magnificent series with just mediocre endings (Escaflowne and Mahou Shoujotai come to mind), and it really takes something extra to make it original, not predictable and still satisfying. If I had to make a quick guess, then I’d say that out of all the shows I’ve seen up till now, only half a dozen ended up with a great ending, and that isn’t much. Most series either turn mediocre or just good, but way below the overall quality of the series.

Posted on 8 September 2007 with categories: Toward the Terra


Oh my god. Just when you thought this anime couldn’t get any better it surpasses itself! This episode was utterly, utterly incredible. Obviously, spoilers are going to follow. Do not read this entry if you have yet to see this episode.

This episode really blew me away, and it also convinced me that Toward the Terra is going to make it into my top-10 favourite anime ever. It’s just that good.

This episode was all about Keith, Tony and Matsuka. It starts with a small recap, after which we switch Keith and the commanders of the human fleet. Matsuka notices that something is wrong with Keith, but can’t quite put his finger to what it might be. He then retreats to his chamber, with Matsuka following him after being warned not to get used by Keith too much by the sub-commander.

Matsuka asks why Keith let him live, despite his belief that every Myu is a monster. Keith merely replies that he did this to fight monsters with monsters. When Matsuka asks what’s going to happen to him once the Myu are defeated, Keith merely answers that he’ll dispose of him as well.

Tony, meanwhile, has become infuriated with Keith’s new plan of using fellow Myu as a hostage near Jupiter, so he goes out on his own to stop Keith. Jomie meanwhile decides to head straight toward Terra, though he plans to save one ship and the three remaining Myu in order to save the space-station containing the Myu.

Matsuka meanwhile finds out why Keith is acting weird when he accidentally touches him: SAM DIED! God dammit! That’s why he gave Keith his toy: he probably knew that he didn’t have much time anymore. Keith immediately orders him to leave, which leaves him unprotected for Tony, whom Matsuka notices too late to come in action.

Tony introduces himself and tries to strangle Keith, as a revenge for his comrades who died. He makes sure to do it slowly, which turned out to be a grave mistake, as it allowed Keith to actually call out for Matsuka, and Matsuka to go berserk. This power allows him to become of equal level as Tony, so he decides to not waste time anymore and kill Keith while he still has the chance. Matsuka, however acts as a human shield for Keith, dying in his place. Tony retreats, suffering because he just killed one of his own kind.

Seriously, that was incredible. I’m amazed at the ease at which the past few episodes have made me cry. Also take a note when Keith was unconscious and struggling for his life: both Sam and Shiroe flash before his eyes, but he can’t reach both of them: both have failed to save him. And then Matsuka appears, and easily manages to grabs his hand and pull him back. It’s awesome to see that Matsuka has finally received his moment of recognition; he died like a true hero.

Posted on 1 September 2007 with categories: Toward the Terra


Excuse my fanboyism and rude language, but this episode was FUCKING EPIC!!! I never expected the first episode of the finale of this series to nearly surpass the previous highlights of this anime. The week-long break was worth it, because this episode was awesome beyond belief, and had me crying manly tears near the climax. Obviously, spoilers are going to follow.

The first half of the episode is still a bit of building up, focusing at Swena, who is still reporting, Toni, who doesn’t notice that Artella loves him and wants attention, Jomie, preparing to warp to Jupiter along with five battleships he snatched from the humans, Keith, preparing to defend Jupiter with his fleet consisting of Myu-proof weapons and Leticia and Jomie’s parents, being moved to a special ship near Jupiter.

But then, the plot really gets fired off again. You really should see it for yourself, and it’s no use describing it, but it was so incredibly exciting, a new and awesome background-tune got introduced and NO LESS THAN THREE natural-born Myu die, Artella included!!

With only three episodes left, Keith has threatened to use the Myu he has captured as a hostage, to make Jomie cooperate. Now it’s up to Jomie to make the right decision. The finale is promising to become awesome!

Posted on 18 August 2007 with categories: Toward the Terra


Interesting, yet another episode without Jomie. This one basically is the calm-before-the-storm episode, and its major purpose is to bring Keith to Terra with an army that can beat the Myu. He’s turned into quite a celebrity, by the way, and he now really is one of the highest ranked officials out there.

What’s interesting is Grand Mother’s interference. Am I the only one who thinks that she’s a bit too keen on helping Keith? I mean, she basically used her power to overrule any objection against Keith’s proposal of wiping out the Moby Dick. The eye she shows while doing that suggests that she actually has a human form. Is that in the same way as Mother Eliza, or is she a real woman, who controls everything behind the scenes?

Anyway, people have managed to make a weapon that can break through the shields of the Myu, and they’ve been testing them throughout the episode. Tony and his companions are going to have to face them, so the odds are starting to move against them. And what about Matsuka? I mean, his secret will come out, that’s inevitable. What’ll happen to him and Keith after this?

An interesting twist came when the episode started focusing at the girl we saw in the previous episode. I first thought that she was Swena’s daughter, but she turns out to be the new child of Jomie’s parents. I loved it when they started to compare humans and Myu with wolves and rabbits. Interestingly enough, the girl yet again turned out to be a Myu. The question remains: how will they contribute in the finale?

Posted on 11 August 2007 with categories: Toward the Terra


And the current small arc is already over. Still, despite the short length, it is a major arc. Especially this episode gives us lots of new information. In the next episode, the finale of the series is going to start, with only five episodes left. It’s promising to become an epic ride.

The very first scene already comes with a major plot twist: Physis isn’t a Myu. When Blue found her and rescued her, he found her inside a test tube. This doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s a Myu herself. Toni tells this to her, and he lets her know how much he disgusts humans, and so Physis. He also partially blames her for killing his parents, due to her similarities with Keith. He then gets chased out of the room by Physis’s assistant.

In the meantime, Shangri-La has been hovering in the sky for quite a while now. We next see Toni, training with his comrades, and he’s way too harsh on them. He’s clearly struggling about what to do. Jomie is meanwhile in his room, along with Swena. She tells him about the things he did with E1077. Swena now also needs to find something else to do, since her original mission of finding the Moby Dick has been fulfilled.

The other Myu have meanwhile gotten access of the Universal Computer, and they’ve located the data that tells about Terra’s location. It’s being protected by a rather nasty password, though, so it’s going to take a while to crack it. We meanwhile see Keith, inside E1077, and Jomie, boarding a space-ship, while getting bugged by Swena about her daughter.

Keith then turn back on the power source of E1077, and heads to the room with Mother Eliza. And now, we finally get to know the link between him and Physis: They’ve got the same DNA! They were both the products of the first successful attempts to create “superhumans”, if I had to guess. For the same experiment, about a dozen clones were made. Physis was the female part of the DNA, Keith the male. Physis got saved by Blue, while Keith was let out of his capsule as an experiment, and it worked perfectly. I wonder why the others weren’t released as well…

Back to Jomie, he finally gets to see Swena’s daughter. She’s now in the care of new parents. He then says goodbye to Swena, which probably was the last time he’ll see her. When they’re gone, Toni (who has gone along with them, along with Rio) protests how he can be so friendly towards the humans, who are supposed to be the enemies, though Jomie reassures him that he too is a human. Toni just can’t believe this.

Jomie then heads to the place where he was born, much like Keith, who is now cursing his clones and Mother Eliza. Shockingly enough, they both end up destroying their birthplaces. Jomie destroys the cave which carries the tubes with newborn children, and even though it would have been awesome to see Keith’s clones in action, Keith kills them all, along with Mother Eliza and E1077. He leaves Peter Pan behind at Shiroe’s former dormitory.

After destroying the tubes, along with the computer that protected it, he leaves the keepsake he got from Sam there. With this, he finally closed off his childhood. We close the episode with the news that the location of Terra has finally been discovered, and Keith, getting a new mission from Grand Mother, which probably involves stopping Jomie from getting to Terra.

This episode was more about its revelations, than the addictive pacing and tension of the previous arc, but it still was awesome watching it. With five episodes left, there’s plenty of time left to finish off this series, and I’m curious to see how it’ll end. At the end of the previous episode, Keith looked surprisingly human, when he was heading to his birthplace. At the end of the episode, though, he’s back to his old self, and we’re supposed to hate him again. We know he isn’t going to make it easy for the Myu, and something’s telling me that he’s going to slaughter the children of the Myu. The question is: how?

Posted on 4 August 2007 with categories: Toward the Terra



Boy, this series surely is on fire. After the climax of the previous episode, you’d expect a quiet episode as an aftermath, but this series wastes no time to head to its next target. It’s been only one episode and Jomie is already on Artemesia at the end of it. There’s also no time-leap, surprisingly. Toni and the others just grow up incredibly fast.

The episode starts with the return of Swena. She’s been tracking the sightings of the “Moby Dick”, which seem to suggest that it’s heading back to Artemesia. Meanwhile, she sees Keith on television, and the fangirls’ reactions to him. We then cut to a scene where the children ruthlessly kill off an enemy fleet, with the biggest of ease. The crewmembers are shocked by the amount of destruction they cause.

We then see Swena, who went to visit Sam, who now has the mentality of a 8-year old child. This seems to be a progress on what it was before. Keith has also come, and Swena starts asking him questions. Naturally, she doesn’t get much out of him, though she does give him Shiroe’s Peter Pan-book, and she tells him that Station E1077 has been destroyed, ten years ago. I’m surprised that Keith didn’t know that.

The elder members of the ship then complain to Jomie (who now has the title of “Soldier”) about the behaviour of the children. He simply says that they’re the best way to achieve their goals, while one of them notes how Jomie has changed. We then see some crewmembers talk about how scary the children have become, after which the children themselves appear with confident and cocky smiles on their faces. They basically make fun of the others.

We then see the same older embers complain to Physis, but she is in too much doubts to give a good answer, and tells them to trust Soldier. We then see Toni report to Jomie. Toni is clearly impressed by Jomie, but Jomie replies emotionlessly. We then cut to Swena, as she visits the guy who spotted the Moby Dick, and delivered her Peter Pan. When she tells him that it’s going to head for Artemesia, he gets enthusiastic and agrees to go with her.

Keith meanwhile reads Peter Pan, and suddenly finds a microchip, hidden in one of the pages. He plays it, and finally Shiroe’s message gets revealed. He’s inside of floor 001, where he shows Keith the place he’s been born. We then switch back to Physis again, when she has flashbacks of Blue. How he rescued her, and took care of her.

The next scene features the children, who come back from another mission, and the crewmembers are getting ruder and ruder in their comments, when they try to speak behind the children’s backs, which misfires because they somehow can hear everything that’s being said. When they’re alone, Artella suggests taking over the ship, for Toni to become Soldier, but Toni is the only one who opposes this plan. He then ends up being made fun of.

We then switch to the time where the Myu arrive on Artemesia. People are evacuated to safe spots, and Swena arrives on the planet as well, after being early blown up by Toni. The defence system of the planet is easily blasted to smithereens, which makes for some nice fireworks for the people on the ground. It’s also interesting to see that Shiroe’s parents have a new daughter.

The Myu then land, and a group of five people exits the Moby Dick: Jomie, Toni, Artella, Rio, and the commander-guy whose name I forgot. Swena is the only one who dares to greet them, and the two of them finally see each other again. We then turn to Keith, who is travelling with Matsuka to E1077, and the episode ends.

I must say, I LOVE the new dimension that the children have given. They may have great powers, and they may have grown up incredibly fast, they form a great problem for the Myu in the future. Simply because they don’t have a clear raison d’être, and yet have enough power to easily retaliate. The original Myu all were exiled, looked down upon and generally treated badly, after they were saved by Blue. Even the youngest ones knew the feeling, and they were grateful to the people like Blue, and later Jomie who were willing to lead them to happiness.

The children, however, have never known suffering, apart from Toni. Because he lost his parents early, and he was alone for a time, he wasn’t influenced by his own power, and grew up like a normal boy for his first years, he developed a huge respect for Jomie, through his parents. We even saw him claim that his “grandfather” was his raison d’être at one point. Artella is clearly in love with Toni, and she will go wherever he goes, he’s his raison d’être. The same doesn’t go for the other five, though. The only thing that holds them together is Toni’s authority. If you threw them a knife, they’d kill.

What also surprises me: Keith is opening up more and more, while Jomie is turning more and more stoic. I’m surprised, but Keith will not be playing a major role against Jomie in this arc, as he’ll be busy to figure out what happened in E1077. Matsuka is one big reason for this, I believe. Jomie is also going the wrong way, after Blue died. Before, he had to prove himself worthy as a leader to Blue, whenever he might have woken up. Now that that is gone, I fear that he’s turned a bit too unbalanced, and he doesn’t have anyone to look up to anymore. We don’t see him socializing with the crew anymore, which may turn out bad, in combination with the children.

Now that Makoto has started subbing this series, I’m not sure for how long I’m going to continue with the extensive summaries, but I’ll continue for now, since the previous entry got a lot of positive comments for this. Besides, this series is just way too awesome to neglect.

Posted on 28 July 2007 with categories: Toward the Terra


I’m going to be a bit more extensive for this review, because it seems that the subs have stopped due to the licensing of this show, and Toward the Terra is just too awesome not to get subbed. It’s such an incredible shame that so few people are talking about this series, because this one definitely is one of the best series that’s currently airing. This episode again was just awesome. It marks the end of the Nazca-arc, and with such an end comes an amazing climax. Let’s just say that things turn into a bloodbath.

We start the episode with where we left off at the previous episode: Soldier Blue, trying to stop the huge planet-destroying beam that gets fired at them. In the previous episode, Keith made clever use to hide behind a gas-planet to avoid detection, which is why he blew right through it. I originally thought that that would be the thing to kill Blue, but things didn’t go that easy. He gets help from Jomie, who rushes to his side, and quite surprisingly, Toni and the other naturally born children! Not only that, but they also grew up a bit!

The attack is deflected, but Keith is still there with his cannon that can be ready to fire again within minutes. Nazca is also done for it, and large cracks appear on the surface. Blue orders Jomie to bring the children, who most of all have fainted due to the strain, into safety, and get everyone else off of Nazca, while he himself goes off to stop Keith and his weapon (which is called “Moby Dick”, by the way. Jomie objects, but Blue reminds him that he is the leader of the Myu, and bringing them to safety takes priority.

Keith, meanwhile, waits for Soldier Blue to come to him. He doesn’t even take Jomie into account, it seems. For him, Blue seems to be the biggest threat. Meanwhile, on Nazca, people are trying to evacuate, but earthquakes really limit the process. There is one problem, though. Rio realizes that a few of the Myu have retreated into a shelter, where they are planning to sit everything out. They were the ones who wished to remain on Nazca, and had no intention to return to Terra. They don’t realize the danger that’s upon them, so they refuse to let Rio in. Among them is Kim, the one who Jomie punched in one of the first episodes.

On a side-note: Whoa, there sure are a lot of Myu there! Up till now, we’ve only seen a relatively small amount of people on the ship, but there really are more than hundred my that were on Nazca and had to be evacuated. With this, things do make a bit more sense. I originally thought that after Toni’s birth, every young Myu sought out to have a baby, but only seven couples actually formed. That’s relatively few, instead of the relatively large amount I originally thought them to be.

While Blue is heading for Keith, Physis holds his headgear, hoping that he’ll return safely like he promised. Jomie, meanwhile, arrives and saves a few ships that can be used to transport the Myu that are till on Nazca to Shangri-la. Rio then tells him about the people in the shelter. Jomie then tells Rio to save himself, while he himself will try to do something about the shelter. Keith, meanwhile, is ready to fire when Blue arrives. He manages to take out some of the surrounding ships of the fleet by making them shoot at themselves. He then penetrates Moby Dick, with the intention to blow up the firing mechanism.

Keith has been waiting for this, and he personally goes out to meet Blue. He leaves the command to one of his subordinates, and moves to the centre of Moby Dick himself. Jomie, meanwhile, failed. He sees a few Myu who were unfortunate, and crushed by the rubble, caused by the massive earthquakes, and when he reaches the shelter, everyone is already dead, and Kim only has the ability to utter a few words to Jomie himself.

While that scene already was amazing, things only get better. We switch to Soldier Blue, who is struggling towards the core of the Moby Dick. He’s exhausted from beating up so many soldiers, when he runs into Keith, who deals him a few deadly blows. Before he dies, though, he manages to accomplish his mission and blow up the firing system, preventing it from firing. With this, though, he gets caught in the explosion. Matsuka manages to save Keith. The rest of the crew decides to detach from the Moby Dick, before it explodes. Jomie meanwhile reaches the Shangri-la, which quickly warps away from the area.

We then turn to the commander of the fleet (the one who we saw in episode six as well), as he comments on the destruction that Keith caused. He may be a soldier, but he doesn’t consider this a battle, but a slaughter (or something similar). When looking at the two nearly destroyed planets, he sees Keith as some kind of monster. It’s interesting, because on first sight, he really looks like some kind of villain.

Strangely enough, despite the awesomeness of these scenes, my favourite moment of the episode was the aftermath. Seeing the old guy eat a tomato, to be strangely enough exact. With this, he finally acknowledges the Myu who died on Nazca. Everyone on the ship is mourning about them and Blue.

The episode ends with Jomie, announcing his new plans. People start to confuse him with Soldier Blue, as he claims that this showed the true colours of Artemesia (which I assume is the general government from the humans). He can’t forgive their system. From now on, not only will they continue to search for Terra, he also plans to go to Artemesia, in order to fix their system, and forcibly obtain Terra’s location.

This episode truly was epic. The most important thing was obviously the loss of so many characters, both important and unimportant. Another interesting issue was raised, which is the huge power of Toni and the other children. At such a young age, their power is already equal to Jomie’s and Blue’s. Now I understand why they’re going to play such a big role in the future.

Posted on 21 July 2007 with categories: Toward the Terra


One thing I love about Toward the Terra is how it manages to keep every single episode high-paced for the plot. There are no silent episodes, there are no episodes which are solely meant for building up, like you see in so many other good. Instead, it builds up its characters more logically, instead of the forced episodes which leave out any major plot-elements for the climax-filled episodes, the characters here get developed between the different climaxes and revelations of the episodes. While there have been really good anime who attempted the former, the latter approach really remains the better one, and towards the Terra shows it. Its pacing really reminds me of a crossing between Red Garden and Visions of Escaflowne somehow.

In any case, I think we all know that the next episode is going to be a special one: Blue is going to die. There is no way he won’t, based on the cliff-hanger. He kept giving hints that his time was over, and that the Myu should be lead by Jomie, and the episode ended with a planet-destroying beam fired at the poor guy. I wonder what role Toni will have in this, as his awakening must mean something, otherwise the creators wouldn’t have shown it along with Blue getting hit.

And we finally know the link between Keith and Physis: they were both raised in the test-tubes for the first years of their lives. Physis probably got out of them when she was around five or six, when she was rescued by Blue. Keith probably left them when he entered the school we saw in episode six. I suspect that Keith and Physis at one point were linked to each other, which is why his Mother Eliza looks so much like her.

This episode also surprisingly gives a proper introduction of the different babies that have been born on Nazca, now that the Myu have been forced to leave Shangri-la: Twellen, Pestazio, Cobb, Tardyon, Artella, Takio and Tony (surprisingly, only one girl among six boys). Does this mean that the journey will now be continued in the space-shuttles we’ve been seeing throughout the episode? I’m anxious to find out. :)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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Kemurikusa – 03

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