Posted on 25 June 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, X-Men




Overall, the past season has turned out to be excellent, but there is one interesting are where it is below average: the animation. Unfortunately, the earthquake’s mark on the anime industry shows up the clearest here. And so we got quite an interesting series to walk away with the award for the best animation of the season: this one.

This series doesn’t look as good as Madhouse’s best looking series, but it still is a wild and vivid looking series. the colours are really varied, the animation is bold and strong and the character designs are completely unlike any other anime out there, even considering that this is based on an American franchise.

If you’re also looking for good action, then this show has it, and buckets of it. It’s a really well directed show in technical terms: the action is plentiful and always moving, making sure to alternate enough between characters to keep everything dynamic. Couple this with the gorgeous animation and you’ve got a very entertaining series to watch.

Now, where this show falls down a bit is the plot. It’s not bad like Iron Man or anything, but it made a number of core design decisions that prevented the story from fully delivering. The creators unfortunately tried to do two things at the same time: first of all they wanted to make an epic and action-packed action series, and on the other hand they wanted to create a serious drama about mutants and teenagers with powers and the people around them. These don’t really blend well together.

The result is an action-packed series that tries to be deep, yet doesn’t have the time to actually flesh out its characters. It has like five different villains who all are tied together, and yet it has nowhere near enough time to focus on all of them, leaving some key villains as dull and uninteresting. On the side of the good guys meanwhile, the creators introduce a rather annoying new character. You want to see the X-Men kick ass? Well, there’s a Mary Sue amongst them who keeps stealing their spotlights. This reduces Storm in particular to someone who doesn’t just do anything, but the rest of the cast also particularly near the end is ignored in the favour of some random whining teenagers. Essentially the entire final conflict is nothing more but dictated by Teenaged angst and emo. This doesn’t work with characters who aren’t well fleshed out!

This is a shame, because the parts about the X-Men themselves are quite good Wolverine in particular is a lovable character, but the tension between them is also healthy and interesting, and whenever the teenagers aren’t at the centre of the attention this show really kicks ass. It’s just a shame that the finale of this series, the place where everything was supposed to come together, gets completely dominated by teenagers who don’t know what they want to be. Compare that to the Wolverine series: it knew exactly what it was, it knew exactly what it wanted to do and all of the characters knew their roles and were fleshed out sufficiently, while at the same time the series delivered a lot of neat action. Its acting and production values may have been horrible, but this balance is something that unfortunately the X-Men lacked majorly, and that’s why they get the same rating.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Doesn’t know what it wants to be, and therefore doesn’t come together at the end leaving a bad taste. It’s really good at writing action scenes, though.
Characters: 8/10 – A bit of a mixed bag, but most of the characters are interesting enough to keep watching. The teenagers just aren’t.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Gorgeous animation and visuals and a strong soundtrack to boot.
Setting: 8/10 – The backstory behind the X-Men remains a fascinating one.

Suggestions:
Wolverine
Toward the Terra
Read or Die OVA

Posted on with categories: X-Men



So, I guess that this is where the string of awesome endings ends then. This episode on its own was already pretty lukewarm, but I have to be harsh after having seen such a string of fantastic endings: this episode could have been much better.

First of all, the technical terms. This series had consistently the best animation of the entire season, so you’d expect the animators to really go all out this season. And instead they come with a finale where people mostly stand and talk about cheesy morals and values. Oh sure, there was eye candy, but everything suddenly happens in still frames. It still looks better than many other series this season, but it just didn’t live up to the standards this series set.

The production values weren’t necessarily the problem, but the dialogue was: it was dull. not well built up and wasn’t what this series had been building up to in the first place. Characters just stand helplessly after attacking… once, and they just talk about trying to convince Takeo not to emo. That’s just cheesy.

In the end, my biggest fear for this show turned out to be true: Hisako is a freaking Mary Sue. None of the regular characters did anything in this episode, just so that Hisako could take the spotlight. This series refuses its cast to shine just because of Hisako. Cyclops only got a few lines to get over Jean’s death while this episode just kept repeating Takeo over and over.

In the end, I’m unfortunately going to have to rate this as high as Wolverine. I still think that it’s better than Wolverine: its action and animation are just too superior for that, but the plot of the X-Men just turned out to be a disappointment. The only thing that I can really praise is the way in which Sasaki Yui was actually the villain, but even that was just glossed over in this episode thanks to Hisako’s “Sasaki is a good person!”-thing. The thing is that I really like a good action series, but this series ignored just too many chances to shine thanks to Hisako. Storm and Cyclops got reduced to mere side characters who never got to do anything. The direction of the series in the small scale is really good. In terms of the bigger picture though, it left a lot to be desired. Compare that to Wolverine: it knew what it was, it delivered on that and it made sure it was really entertaining in the process. The token female also knew who she was and what her part was, and it nicely made all its subplots come together and give all of them a nice conclusion in the end.

It’s a shame, because I saw the two big flaws of this series coming from very early on in the series. The way in which the series kept juggling around villains was bound to backfire: Sasaki Yui was the big exception because she tied the U-Men together, but when the focus suddenly turned to Takeo the show fell apart: we know just too little of him, and the cheesy messages to get him back in this episode had no meaning behind them whatsoever. It’s just the same cheesy morals that you see everywhere. We never really saw anything from Takeo to warrant this.

It’s the thing about enjoyment again: I really enjoyed the X-Men, but the flaws are big enough to leave a bad taste; especially this episode. Wolverine in comparison was consistently entertaining and left no bad taste whatsoever. The big problem with this series in the end was that it didn’t know what it wanted to be: on one hand it wanted to be an action series. That’s fine, but then don’t throw in Takeo or Hisako. On the other hand they wanted to focus on child mutants and their issues. If that’s the case, then drop the action or at the very least make it a much less significant part of the series, get a good voice actress for Hisako and focus more on their characters. This series tried to do both and got tied up.

And I now just realize that I typed up half of the review of the actual series. Um yeah. Expect a lot of repeats in the actual review…
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 18 June 2011 with categories: X-Men




Hostages are a very common trope, but then again it’s no big surprise because it’s often the most logical thing to do. You have a bunch of people who don’t want to listen to you? Just threaten to kill their best friend and they’ll squeak differently. With all tropes, there are a ton of ways to do this, whether good or bad. The first half of this episode of the X-Men showed a bit of a strange version though.

The guy with liquid powers could have killed Cyclops, Sasaki and the others that he caught easily if he wanted to. the result was that Storm and Cyclops just stood there while they easily could have zapped everyone, and the only one who did something was Hisako, being the only one stupid enough to not understand the implications of her actions.

This is where Wolverine (the TV-series) stands above the X-Men. Wolverine’s storyline was simple but effective, and was really just a bunch of powerful men duking it out for the sake of romance and stopping at nothing until they achieve their objectives. In the X-Men, the plot is dictated by teenaged emo. That’s just… less impressive.

Having said that though, this episode once again looked absolutely gorgeous, and the adults here were as good as ever. In terms of building up this series only manages to increase its tension and atmosphere, exactly as an action series should. Compare this to Sengoku Basara Two, which spent a ton of time building up to a final episode that ultimately was a let-down. Despite its plot issues, this show remains engaging and well told.

Oh, and this episode also showed a new trailer for Blade, and unfortunately it seems like the acting is going to be a problem again. That’s the thing with Madhouse: they always have great and unique visuals and character designs, but because of that they get really hard to animate consistently. The footage was only a few seconds long, but that was enough to show that the animators didn’t avoid this and the show will be full of stiff acting again. It’s a shame, because the X-Men avoided this really well.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 12 June 2011 with categories: X-Men




Seriously, now this is what I’m expecting out f a great action series. This episode filled in what this show had been missing so far: an engaging storyline. It finally revealed why everyone had been doing the things they did, and it worked wonderfully. It was a bit of a wait (heck, the series will be over in just two episodes), but this episode was exactly what this show needed to really put that sense of urgency to the whole conflict. I admit, Sasaki Yui turned out to be a great villain.

Now, this episode did have a few problems, but those are just minor bugs. It’s a bit strange why everyone just stood around casually chatting while the big bad guy was already getting his hands o the ultimate super weapon. They were lucky that he was waiting for his subordinate to arrive or he could have just left without any of them noticing.

a subordinate who looks downright creepy by the way. What I also liked about this episode was that despite the fact that it was an exposition episode, it still had plenty of action that just kept moving forward. In fact, that’s always been the strength of this show: the way it balances its action. There’s neither too little nor too much, and what’s there delivers. This episode only reinforced my beliefs that this show has the best animation of the season.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 5 June 2011 with categories: X-Men



Now this is what I call great action. The X-Men set out to create an exciting series, and really: they delivered on that. Wolverine’s strength was that it had solid action that despite the bad animation kept changing and was dynamic. The X-Men may have less action, but it’s all better built-up, it’s better directed, it’s better animated. It’s once again a major step forward for the Marvel anime.

Also, for once the villains are actually a bit menacing. I also like how the main villain isn’t the type to just sit on his chair and let his minions handle everything: instead he’s been infiltrating a research facility while the X-Men were fighting the (still pointless though) U-Men. Now, this episode did take away all doubts of Emma ever turning into a morally ambiguous character, but on the other hand: it is a solid explanation of what went on in that first episode, and it was definitely worth the build-up.

Also, Blade: the trailer and staff list have been released. In the trailer it looks less artsy than the X-Men, but we will be getting our first black main character since Michiko e Hatchin. The director is a very interesting guy: he was the assistant director of Gungrave, Shigurui and Tokyo Tribe 2… and the director of Chi’s Sweet Home and Kobato. Those just don’t mesh: as an assistant director he’s only after mafia, blood and gore, whereas the shows he has directed are incredibly cute. It has potential though: he really is an excellent director and I especially loved his work on Kobato. Meanwhile, it will be written by a guy who has only done live action adaptations so far. Again a completely new writer in terms of writing entire anime plots. It has potential, but because it’s going to air in an awesome season, I don’t think that I’m going to end up blogging it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 May 2011 with categories: X-Men




Here’s the thing: after eight episodes, I can pretty much say that X-Men has the best animation of the season. Sure, some of the slice of life series may have more fluidity, but they also are a lot easier to animate and keep consistent. The animation with the X-Men is wild, vivid, colourful and very diverse. C has this too, but at the same time it does have a lot of off-model shots and CG. Tiger & Bunny meanwhile also has the CG working against its otherwise great eye candy. Ao no Exorcist is animated consistently meanwhile, but it instead just looks too mundane too often. The X-Men, while it may not be amongst the Madhouse series with the best visuals, still stands apart with its consistently interesting visuals and excellent character designs. This episode again looked excellent. Perhaps only Nichijou has better animation, but I have seen too little of that to really say something about that.

Overall this turned out to be quite a solid action series: the action kicks ass and appears often, there is intrigue, the characters all have their issues that blend together quit nicely. It’s only the storyline that I’m not yet convinced of: at this point it still feels a bit too random and unconnected. What was the purpose of the U-Men beyond just kidnapping a bunch of people? They really could have used that time to focus more on the characters and real villains.

Apart from that, this episode was really meant to build intrigue, and I’m curious to see whether that will pay off or not. A lot of the series this season are very big on the build up, and most of them are doing a great job on that, though X-Men still feels a bit iffy here. I’ve said before that the main villains here are uninteresting. Wolverine’s ending worked so well because it had a really charismatic villain. What X-Men meanwhile needs to do is build a finale around Sasaki and Xavier on one hand, and Cyclops and Emma Frost on the other hand. It will be much more difficult than just “have battle to defeat the big bad”, although that part definitely must not be half-assed either.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 22 May 2011 with categories: X-Men



With this episode, this show proved that Madhouse’s Marvel Franchise isn’t going to be purely about action. The talk between Scott and Emma? That was some good drama there, and it had nothing to do with action.On top of that, there was this entire air of mystery around this episode that made all the build-up really intriguing. That’s what build-up episodes should be: they’re mandatory for good storytelling, but at the same time they do not need to break the mood. This episode instead just changed the mood, and I’m glad to see that it worked out well.

At the moment, there are two major pitfalls right now for this series. The first is its bad guy problem: they’re all boring and uninteresting. The two minions that were introduced in this episode? Who are they? The major bad guy? Why should I care about him? The sole salvation for this series at this point will be for them to turn that Sasaki teacher into a bad guy: this episode turned her into the by far most interesting villain here, her co-workers included. With an episode named “betrayal”, there were enough hints that the creators are actually planning this. Heck, screw the rest of the bad guys. Focus more on these guys!

Also, this episode confirmed my fears: Hisako is turning into a walking plot device. It also doesn’t really help her case that she has by far the worst voice actress of the entire series, but it’s also the way in which her only purpose in this episode was to prepare for her to run into Sasaki in the next episode. I still find it strange for the X-Men, who take care of who knows how many mutant children, would just insert her into the X-Men like that.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 14 May 2011 with categories: X-Men



So, the animation received an obvious dip in the past two episodes. It’s unfortunate, but that earthquake also hit Madhouse hard. The good thing is however, that despite the less impressive animation, this show still knows how to deliver great action scenes. The battle scenes are all well choreographed and they’re all balance din terms of the characters involved. It doesn’t stick with one character for too long, and instead of endless talking the X-Men actually do something, and do this efficiently. It’s a stark difference with Wolverine, who without the X-Men was like a wild beast who just kept charging.

Now, I’m impressed that the creators actually revisited Hisako’s parents. what made less sense is how they just allowed her to become a member of the X-Men, which is far too dangerous for her. Overall though, I’d still say that the worst part about her is her voice actress. She neither turned into someone who hogs all of the attention nor someone who constantly has to be rescued, and yet remains a young girl without her powers.

And the biggest potential pitfall for this series has not changed: the villains. They hardly have any build-up, and so far the best they did was prove to be menacing villains as soon as they started fighting. This show does a good job of building up the bond between the different X-Men, but the villains are just completely ignored. This episode even didtched the U-Men for another different villain who has even less build-up.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 8 May 2011 with categories: X-Men



Well, the message at the beginning says it all: last week, an episode of the X-Men was scheduled, but it didn’t air. Madhouse too was hit hard by the quake, and this was one episode that they just couldn’t finish in time. The irony is that this episode, despite being an obvious step back, still delivered. Compared that to Iron Man, which also suffered from production issues thanks to Redline: there it didn’t even look like they were trying.

So yeah, this was a build-up episode. It’s quite early, especially compared to Wolverine, but that series also had quite a simple plot. This episode was all about developing the trust between the old X-Men and their new characters. It’s the kind of episode where you can only tell whether or not it pays off when the series is finished. At the very least though: this episode gave some really clear hints that the bad guys will indeed get some major development as well. That’s good.

The thing with Hisako is mostly that she just feels out of place. It’s great to see an entire series about adults, and the tension between Emma and Scott is just much more interesting at this point than Hisako trying to gain control over her powers. And yet, I totally understand why the creators put her in the series. The X-Men have always been about providing a stable environment for mutants to grow up in. Youth is a very big theme in the franchise, despite the main cast all being adults. And Granted, Hisako could have been a lot more annoying. She may be whining, but she’s always to the point, and… well, with the way she’s been treated, I don’t blame her in a lot of cases. Just… don’t let it go on for too long. The key to good whining is balance and granted, this episode did not have a perfect balance there. My main issue with her is just that she may have been a little too quick in becoming a part of the X-Men…
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 23 April 2011 with categories: X-Men




This episode had two action scenes. And BY GOD where they excellent! This episode had a number of some people from the animation team of Birdy the Mighty Decode on it, and it really showed. The X-Men is a perfect series for these people to show their talents. These scenes were raw and brutal, and drawn with a ton of force and movement. Definitely the best action scenes of this series yet.

The last episode left me rather disappointed by that “fluids”-guy, but at the very least this episode really gave him a great action scene to close off. But Wolverine’s aerial fight against that flying mutant was awesome as well. More episodes like this, please!

As for the story, that also was quite neatly developed further, when Emma Frost of all people turned out to have a second mutation. The creators made good use of the fact that that one bad guy didn’t show himself in keeping the suspicions around her. These mutants with this second mutation are at the moment far more interesting than the U-Men, but let’s see what this series can do when it starts to develop these people in its second half.

Oh, and I also cracked up at Wolverine playing snooker.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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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