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
@Mario: And because of the negative space in the picture and guy in the background, it might also emphasize distance.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: This was an obvious shot choice (come on, because they KISSED), but the one I liked the most was the top right one. The characters aren't in the center of focus, and a bit too close to the screen tell us how much Chinatsu wanted to get close to Kotarou, at the same time we feel a bit uncomfortable just like him (too close). Smart visual telling there
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should start giving attention to shots in anime as I do in art films. You've chosen a good one for tsuki ga kirei on the bottom right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Speaking of shots....some of the static photography is Tsai ming liangs Goodbye dragon in is stunning. I saw an Ozu film where the framing was absolutely masterful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The eyeball scene in the restaurant OMO, scenes like that had very good way of creeping up on the viewer.
SuperMario
... and the fireworks in the end. Emotionally satisfied for that bleak film
SuperMario
Thanks Kaiser. Still think Black Coal is a very stylish and well-done neo-noir. One shot in particular still stick with me is the one long, unbroken shot that combine the past with the present.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*reviewing
It was your review that got me interested in the film mario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I know that feeling, having to get out all my thoughts immediately. I also stream of consciousness what I write whether it be a poem or review then go back to edit, shows the passion a person has for what they're review.
SuperMario
It was just 3 years ago. I think I MUST review everything as soon as I finish, otherwise I will forget. Getting old now. Dang it
SuperMario
It was a great review, Kaiser. I also feel comparing Black Coal to Memories of Murders don't do this film justice too (although to be hinest I don't see the comparison). Your review just reminds me that I did review that film on Letterboxd, thou for the life of me, when I read ny own review I had no clue that i did write it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Constantine was really the only reason I would have considered seeing the film, as I enjoyed some of the comics he appeared in.
Lenlo
Yaaay! Favaro is back!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Ah, now I remember, I stopped watching ghost hound at around episode 14 or 15 years ago.
K-Off
Justice League Dark ended up being one of the weakest among the recent animated dc films. The opening was intriguing but it drops the ball as soon as it focuses on Zatanna and Constantine...The demonic manipulation of people isn't tied well enough to the villain, so that premise ends up feeling pointless, everything is inconsequential by the end. Why was this even made?
SuperMario
And for once, I feel that developing the characters isn't a appropriate choice for this type of show. The main cast need to develop, yes, but most of the supporting cast was presented as ambiguous and mysterious, thus making them change in the end feel just wrong
SuperMario
The main kidnapping was never addressed thoroughly, and it should be the main overarching arc, instead of this ending.
SuperMario
So... I've just binged through Ghost Hound. It starts as a compelling psychological mystery series, and ends up being... thriller of sort? The first half, building up stage was its best, and then unfortunately it run out of steam
KTravlos
Hey Favoro is like a good whiskey. You gotta drink it slow and enjoy it :)

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

http://anilinkz.io/blame-movie"]
Lenlo
So long as there are consequences for how hes acting, then I am ok with it. I just dont want him to turn into some MC hero when hes acting like this.
AidanAK47
And in Re:Creators Sota is still being a goddamn pussy. Now that the exposition has gone down I am really starting to hate this kid.
SuperMario
It's the presentation that they differ. Ghost Hound focuses more on the atmosphere, so those details I mentioned before work for their benefits; whereas Sagrada Reset focus on plots (and confusing themes) so those stick out like sore thumb.
SuperMario
4 episodes into Ghost Hound so far. This show also reminds me a bit of Sagrada Reset this season- the way they both emotional distant, complex plots; keep viewers away at arm's length, and feature characters that have robotic facial expressions. Yet I enjoyed Ghost Hound so far and couldn't engage in Sagrada Reset at all.
SuperMario
@Spike: I was like... "tsuki ga kirei has a recap episode, so let's move on to Kado"... another recap. Tsuki ga kirei I'm not too worry as it confirmed that it'll have 12 episodes, but I'm not confident on Kado
SuperMario
@lenlo: in a sense you have to suffer it all alone. No worries thou as I intend to binge watch it when this season's over
Spike
Kado team crumbled under the pressure. Recap this week.
Lenlo
@SuperMario, im happy I dont have to compete with anyone to cover Berserk :P Got it all to myself to whine about, though its been ever so slowly improving.
Anonymous1100725
Ranka is ranka in any verse.
Anonymous1100725
Bahmut no spoilers. Ranka Lee. She just doesn't get it so everyone dies. As she stands around wondering.
SuperMario
In fact, Okja will play in the Sydney film festival next month, but seeing that it will stream in Netflix at the end of June I think it's best to wait until then
SuperMario
@Kaiser: great, I'm super hyped to watch Okja. Always enjoy Boon's movies. The critic's reviews from Cannes on Okja should come up soon I believe.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I watched Lain many times over as well but I'm sure that I didn't pick up everything. That show required multiple-viewing anyways.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Good news, netflix will stream Okja at the end of this June.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its not often that I rewatch things, but years ago I've seen Lain at least three times, its also one of those few anime series where I felt to look up deeper analysis into it. It had a tremendous atmosphere and was ahead of its time.
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