Posted on 8 November 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Sometimes you dread for the current state of anime: high school settings, cute girls, fan-service jokes, idol madness… that you wish for once to see something different, and out of nowhere an oddball like this just pop up: a wuxia puppetry show influenced by Taiwanese glove puppetry written by Gen Urobuchi. The sheer fact that it was greenlit at all was mind-blowing enough, but the most absurd things was the audience it aimed: the anime medium. Because no matter how you look at it: this isn’t an anime at all. Well, not even an animation to begin with. I’m not going to detail about it as I already addressed it in my weekly post. The fact that this is a wuxia puppetry show already makes it a unique show among anime world and all the more reason to watch it. But on top of all that, the show’s writing and execution are really excellent and refreshing. If the show just relies on its gimmick of being a puppetry show, it will fall apart very quickly, but Thunderbolt Fantasy understands that their characters are the real stars of the show, so they spend a huge amount of them talking to each other, explore their philosophy of life and the campy dialogues are entertaining and humorous.

Set in a fictional Eastern Asia settings, the show tells a story of a merry band in the quest to retrieve a legendary sword that was stolen by Mie Tian Hai, a skilled swordsman with a history of black magic. Our MC Shang Bu Huan is a mysterious swordsman who came from another area, that’s why he doesn’t know much about this place and thus got tagged along to the quest by Gui Niao, a cool-head strategist and the bunch of misfits including the naive guardian girl, the One-Eyed archer, the young Spear-wielder, a demon necromancer and the bloodthirsty assassin. The group, each has their own unique appearance and personalities with different set of goals head up to the Seven Sins Tower, and there were double-crossing, triple-crossing, blood-splattering, heads rolling and even demons, undead, skeleton birds join in along the way. Indeed, half of these characters here are easily villains in other story and the fun here is to see their huge ego crashing with each other.

Because this is a puppetry show, there are many elements that you won’t find in other anime. The characters, for example, have very static faces. Especially when they are in close-up, it’s hard to tell apart what they are thinking because of the lack of expression in their faces, but this issue actually works in the show’s favor, for how else would one portrait a group that double-crossing is the norm? Second, the practical effects are truly what set it apart from other anime. There is little amount of action for a true-action show, but when the action kicks in, it’s a feast to the eyes. Bloods squirming all over, bodies blowing up, heads rolling that you can actually feel the weight of the blood dripping are refreshing to say the least. Lastly, I have to highlight the costume designs because they really go all in for the costumes to make the characters as distinctive and stand out as ever.

The characters themselves is easily the show’s best strength. Each character is elegantly designed and all of them have their own unique mannerism, assisted greatly by the use of puppetry, something that ordinary anime usually lack. My favorite characters in that vein is the demon lady Xing Hai, as whenever she talks, it feels like she’s singing and whenever she walks it feels just like she’s dancing. Like Mayoiga, those characters all have interesting traits and utterly over the top but here in this show they can actually get loose and carry the story. Like for example, the show spends half an episode for Sha Wu Sheng the Roaring Killer Phoenix challenging Mie Tian Hai (and then loose despite knowing it all), simply because these characteristics are unmistakably Sha Wu Sheng. In Thunderbolt Fantasy, those characters embrace their roles to the bitter end. As a main character, Shang Bu Huan is like our blank-state who unfamiliar to this world (like ourselves) and he’s being the most sensible person in this whole madness. I particular love his stunning reactions every time something absurd happens. Moreover, he bounces off other characters very well, creating a rather great chemistry between them and the dialogues maintain the campy sense that so entertaining to watch. There are pure gold moments throughout the series like when Shang Bu Huan talks to each member of the group to find their real motives, or simple quick remarks like “the temple smells offensive” or even “it’s already a sitting fight before the sword fight” because of course they’re too awesome to fight it normal way. Like a puppetry show, these characters are just there to perform their larger-than-life roles, but they perform it so well that I have a very good time following them.

But this show is not only about characters having fun, there is a theme for the show if you want to look deeper. The notion of the sword is both mentioned various times throughout the series and the show twists that notion around quite wonderfully. In this world, swords represent power of destruction. Mie Ting Hai seeks out the most famous sword because he believes his technique deserved the best. The demon Yao Tu Li was put to sleep for 200 years because of the sword. The characters kill off hundreds of people through their swords… As long as you are good at swords, you have the ultimate power in this world. But not for our two mains Shang Bu Huan and Gui Niao. In fact, the series showcases two extreme spectrums from Shang Bu Huan that go directly against with the above notion. The “sword’ that Shang Bu Huan always carries around is just a piece of wood painted silver, because he doesn’t want to cause more deadly troubles with the swords, but when in needed, he could pull out 36 legendary swords (that he said he was about to expose them, sly guy!) to send the monster to the black hole (quite literally!), Gui Niao also hates using swords as a mean of killing. The legendary sword that everyone seek in the end was destroyed meaninglessly.

Thunderbolt Fantasy is the most entertaining series you will encounter this year. Plain and simple. Urobuchi writing is excellent in this show, both leaving enough room for the group to act, and maintaining the plot that both is fast and unpredictable, but always makes sense and a lot of fun. It appears that we will have an entirely new cast on the second season, plus our mains Shang Bu Huan and Gui Niao and if that’s the case then I’m totally on board. After all, Shang Bu Huan’s only weakness is his trust towards people and Gui Niao happens to be the master of manipulation; so I’m eager to see how our MC get himself dragged into Gui Niao’s little scheme next time. Like this first season already demonstrated, the world is simply too small for the two of them.

Posted on 4 October 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

As expected, Thunderbolt Fantasy ends with a blast. While it does close the arc nicely, I can’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed by the climax. This final episode ties up two main storylines: Gui Niao challenged Ming Tian Hai in swordfight, and Shang Bu Huan faced the fearsome demon god Yao Tu Li, and provides us a nice little epilogue in the end. Well, not the end exactly because it was announced that Thunderbolt Fantasy will have a second season. Way to go anime industry. The world needs more puppet shows. I already feel blessed with the news myself.

Back to where we left of last episode, Gui Niao decides to ridicule Ming Tian Hai on what the antagonist truly proud of: his swordfight. Turns out that Gui Niao is an overpowered badass who not only good at deceiving people, but also a master swordsman. To put it more coherently, because he’s so good at sword fighting he eventually gets bored and becomes a master thief instead. This of course doesn’t bode well for Ming Tian Hai. I died laughing at the ridiculous of it all, so was the guy. Literally. The battle is so over the top that it shook the world, apparently. At this point, Reigan’s voice on the other show keeps popping in my head: These guys are children who failed to grow up. The way Ming Tian Hai felt crushed because he is defeated by Gui Niao, that he has to break down the sword, let the world destroyed, and died laughing. These actions are not unlike those kids who their favorite toys taken away from them, so they just make a nonsensical scene. But Gui Niao actually falls for that. He expects Ming Tian Hai submitted himself as loser, so when things don’t go as plan he loses his cool for the very first time. Oh pride, the most serious sin of them all.

I love to point out how important the swords represent in this series. For villains like Mie Tian Hai or the Screaming Phoenix Killer Sha Wu Sheng, the swords represent power and destruction. Mie Tian Hai seeks the ultimate power in the legendary sword, while the Phoenix Killer mercilessly kills everyone stand in his path. Our two mains don’t see it this way. Gui Niao realizes that using the swords excessively would eventually lead him to the path of killing and villainy, which he despises. Shang Bu Huan witnesses many people misuse the swords, so instead he collected them in order to dispose them altogether. The sword he eventually carries around is a piece of wood that he painted silver, same as Gui Niao with his pipe-sword. The legendary sword, on the other hand, ends up being destroyed meaninglessly. That irony plays very well with both the tone and the theme of Thunderbolt Fantasy. The show never intends to be a straight wuxia show, so it only makes sense that Gen Urobuchi flirts with all the tired cliché and makes something new of it. Furthermore, In the world of Thunderbolt Fantasy, swords are ultimately just a tool for human, as Shang Bu Huan puts it: “Whether it cuts something or protect someone just depends on who uses it.” It’s nothing deep I know, but it’s thematic relevance.

Shang Bu Huan steps up for the climax against Yao Tu Li, the female demon god. It’s interesting that the only two demon gods we see in this series are female. It should make sense though because like a notion of life and death is meaningless among demons, the same could be said for their gender. The way they reproduce is more of the process of replication, right? It is then revealed that not only Shang Bu Huan has a legendary sword for himself, he has 36 of them. When the right time comes he would choose the checklist of his swords’ inventory like you’d choose a weapon on your crappy online games. By the way 36 is not some random number, that number (and its multiplication) have been widely used in traditional Chinese literature/text (36 Stratagems; The Monkey King knows 72 transformations, there are 108 outlaws in Water Margin) and I’m again amazed that Gen Urobuchi takes note of that. While this fight is amazing, I can’t help but feel that all this resolution is way too quick, and thus too easy, for our main characters, especially since last week they built the stake up really high. In the end, both Gui Niao and Shang Bu Huan are just too overpowered that all the suspense is gone through the back door.

But in the end, I had a lot fun watching Thunderbolt Fantasy, considered that I know nothing about its existence up until the first episode came out. Now 3 months later it’s one of the most entertaining anime I’ve seen this year. Well, I will tell you in details once the final review comes up. But definitely you will see me talking about this show again when the second season is aired.

Posted on 29 September 2016 with categories: Berserk(2016), Currently Watching:

I am truly sorry for the delay. I know I know … these excuses are becoming exceedingly homologous of a young student who has been procrastinating on his homework, but I give you my word, for at least what it’s worth, that this is certainly not the case. I have been preoccupied with my pet’s medical condition, and that has taken a toll on my time, wallet, and the ability to focus and attempt to give somewhat of a fair analysis. I thank all of you for your patience and support, and finally will attempt to dive right into the first cour finale, titled ‘Those Who Cling, Those Who Struggle’.

The episode picks up right where the last one left off, with our heroes torch in hand ready to brave the encroaching horror that is engulfing Albion. Down by the courtyard we get one of the last scenes of Luca comforting Nina and once again endangering herself to shelter her. Nina has the bulk of her growth in this very episode, which basically adds up to her accepting her weaknesses and choosing to follow her destiny; wherever that may lead her.

Now we head back over to Guts and company on the ramparts, attempting to ward off the encroaching phantasm. I took extra note of Isidro’s remark regarding the fact that if the miasma is powered by human suffering, then how come the whole world is not already engulfed by such a conglomerate? However, the fact of the matter is that Isidro is still unaware of the significance of the event unfolding at the tower at this particular night; which has rendered the boundary between the physical realm and the astral world especially uncapacious.

Farnese’s whimpering has also become rather grating by this point, but thankfully this will be the turning point for her. What is refreshing though is her newfound admiration for Guts. This follows a trend that has been steadily developing, but as I will explore in my season review this still doesn’t necessarily lead to her becoming a more compelling character in the future. I liked Guts’ remark about not wasting time on prayer, as she will need both of her hands for fighting. This is on the surface referring to the physical gesture of holding hands together during prayer, and also insinuating that any preoccupation with faith and prayer will only detract in a real battle.

At the top of the newly-formed Godhand tower the Egg of the New World is about to hatch. Puck remarks that the mass of souls are all screaming in unison. It is implied that the spirits are all pleading for some form of salvation to come and free them from their hellish existence. Griffith reborn as the Hawk of Light pierces the darkness, and seemingly offers respite to the damned souls; albeit the truth is far more sinister than what meets the eye. Upon the completion of the reincarnation ceremony the tower crumbles and all the ghastly tide retreats back towards the depths of the Vortex.

We get a brief introduction to Schierke, her master Flora, and the female elf Ivalera, as the percussions of the ceremony are felt throughout the land. This is a very significant event in the world of Berserk, and it can be argued that everything since the Eclipse has been leading up to this moment. The new series has also been emphasizing this, by creating a momentum through its pacing that has steadily marched towards this encounter. For such a long build-up and implied preeminence, this moment was handled rather poorly. Any gravity that is present here is mostly achieved through the viewer’s familiarity with the world and the characters, while the contributions of the actual show add up to bot all that much.

The gang’s reunion is interrupted by the appearance of Silat and his Bairaka clansmen. He uses the term “Krishna Sena” to refer to Gut’s party, which upon some research seems to roughly translate to ‘God’s Legion’. This might be a reference to the perceived supernatural circumstances that Silat has come to associate with each of his prior encounters with Guts. We get another action scene, which while short-lasting is still done more competently than some of the previous ones. We get Guts cutting through a whole squad with a single slash, as usual, while Serpico utilizes an interesting triple Remise to neutralize three opponents (this is a fencing move that is achieved by rapid thrusts without withdrawing the sword after each attack). Jerome, Isidro, and even Azan join in the fray, and for a moment we get a glimmer of the harmony that the original Band of the Hawk displayed during the Golden Age.

This continues until Zodd makes his re-entrance. They translated one of the soldier’s remarks regarding Zodd as “Bada”, which I can only assume is a stand-in for the word ‘beast’. Seeing Zodd can only mean one thing: that Griffith is not too far behind, and right on queue- here comes the bride! Guts is about to go full berserker, but seeing the distress in Casca reminds him once again of his priorities, signaling a growth in character that has taken him far past his Black Swordsman days. The Skull Knight also drops in to make this a proper family reunion.

The final section is dedicated to tying up some loose ends, and establishing Guts’ new fellowship. Luca is found to have survived by falling/hiding in a well. This serves as a clear parallel to the old lady who survived the atomic blast in Nagasaki by accidentally tripping into a well, as illustrated by Fred Weiner’s famous 1978 World War II documentary The Unknown War.

We proceed to set up each character’s objective, and this serves as a segue into the inevitable second cour. All in all, this finale was not as bad as I thought it’d be, but to be fair my expectations were very stunted by this point. The whole thing was true to the source material and quite serviceable, but also devoid of much real joy and excitement. Not all of this is the fault of this series however, and I will soon delve into all of that with much more detail in the upcoming season one review. I am already working on that, and aim to make it the most critical and literary analysis of the show as a whole. Thank you for your time and continuous patronage, and stay tuned for a comprehensive look at Berserk 2016.

~Bam~

Posted on 26 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

Now, we just have one episode left, but things get even more intense and crazy by the minute, to the point I don’t really know how they would wrap it up neatly. At the beginning Shang Bu Shuan was mocked by Juan Can Yun that he should be titled “Edgeless Blade”, because his sword-style is all for show and has no edge at all. The sword that Shang Bu Huan is wielding, as it turns out; is not a dull blade after all. Well, to call it a sword would be an exaggeration. He just takes a piece of wood and paints it over, because apparently if he uses a sword with sharp edge he would cut the mountain in half (just from seeing how he cuts a person in half with this piece of wood). The trick is that he’s a master of using energy flow (Qi) to form force, so even a piece of wood (or his more extreme examples: a cloth or hair) can split flesh if using the right force into it. If we put it that way it feels much more like a martials art than a swordfight, but nevertheless it remains awesome.

After this episode, I’m more convinced that Shang Bu Huan might actually been in the demon realm already. He’s already in doubts that the demon Yao Tu Li was in the demon realm, which pretty much set up nicely to the last half’s development. If the demon Yao Tu Li isn’t in the demon realm, and it has disappeared from the human realm for nearly 200 years; where has it been then? The answer is he has been sleeping under the seal of Tiang Xing Jian sword. The nature of that sacred sword is become much clearer in this episode, that sword is never meant to kill the demon god (because the demon gods can’t be killed, when it’s destroyed it’ll transform to other forms), or send them back to demon realm (because then they will cause havoc again the minutes they come back to human realm), but to put the demon to ‘eternity’ sleep. I can understand that rationale, but I doubt this is the only function that sacred sword Tiang Xing Jian can perform. I’s amused to see how this most powerful sword be handled by Shang Bu Huan (famously known as the man who doesn’t need sword). That moment will come my friends.

Now we head to the clash between demon and human, which I admit that I had never thought it would turn out that way. Xing Hai once again steals the episode’s best moments (or is it just me? I simply can’t get enough of her) as it is revealed that she goes along the plan of stealing the guard back, just so that they can release the demon Yao Tu Li. She even singlehanded strangled her partner Shou Yun Xiao to death, disrupting his plan to seal the monster back again. The most similar comparison I get about those characters are those of Baccano. In Baccano, the writer Ryougo Narita once mentioned that his characters write the plot. He thinks about how those characters would act in that specific situations, and then manage the plot accordingly. As a result, there are many characters who are more active than others, but they would never betray their set of standard. In addition, there’s always a room for those characters to breathe. I have this exact same feeling about this set of characters. They have their own over-the-top way of acting, their worldview, their philosophy and they stick to those principles till their last breath. Sha Wu Sheng the Screaming Phoenix Killer never forgets that he’s an assassin, or Xing Hai always reminds us that she’s a demon through and through.

Finally, to our master thief Lin Xue Ya, I’m amazed that even at this point (when the most fearsome demon is about to wake up), he only thinks of the way to steal from Mie Tian Hai. It comes as rather childish to me. He eventually figures out that the legendary sword Tiang Xing Jian is NOT what Mie Tian Hai treasure the most, but it is his own swordplay. He’s too proud of his skills that he thinks only the scared sword would be worthy for he to wield. As a result, Gui Niao intends to fight him, if he wins the duel then it would prove that Mie Tian Hai’s swordplay is not that extraordinary… you know, that kind of logic. But how well Gui Niao is at wielding sword? Especially that pipe-sword? Thunderbolt Fantasy is getting to an end, but there’s still plenty of tricks up its sleeve and I can’t wait to see how it all wraps up.

Posted on 23 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei

I will be the first to admit that this season of this series disappointed me. I still stand by my word on this being better than previous seasons of the show but watching it fold out in animation has made me begin to think I was overstating just how good it really was. Though part of the problem is that Sliver Link really cannot match the level of quality of Ufotables adaptions though at times they can reach it temporarily. At the end of the series it’s clear that the budget or time constraints got too tight and sadly they ended up ruining what was to be the best moment this season had to offer. I will give credit where credit’s due as Silver Link did deliver on providing a new version of the Emiya theme. To anime only viewers this may have been a good scene but to those who have read the manga we know as to how good it’s supposed to be. The events may play out the same but how they were shown is worlds apart. You can take a quick look at chapter 23 of the Drei manga and you will likely see what I mean. You would be surprised in how a change of framing can affect a scene.

Overall the climax played out decently with naturally a Deus Ex Machina by the name of Tanaka needed to turn the tides. Bit confused on why Julian gave permission for Beatrix to vaporize both Illya and Miyu with a thunderbolt when he intends to use them as holy grails. His motives still remain unclear as well as he states that even if Illya can save Miya and the world then that’s all she will be able to save which is a bit to cryptic to pick out his true intent. Still it rather annoys me the small changes Sliver link makes that only really serve to worsen the series. For one they have always tended to cut out a bulk of the humor and treat it a bit more seriously when the manga tended to throw out jokes even at the dire points of the story. If one thing suffered in these adaptations it’s certainly the humor. They also have this strange tendency to add a big friendship speech at the end of each season that was never in the original material.

Here they have Miyu giving one to Shirou which really did feel like they added it merely to eat up some spare time. Another thing is the fanservice, I would say there was no fanservice in the manga because their most certainly definitely was but in these adaptations it really has been turned up a notch. For example this episode had a small extra scene showing Rin and Luvia in the bath for pretty much no real reason. But especially undignified with the Miyu scenes in this season as I notice a small shot in the last episode of Miyu struggling in the mud as it drags her down and they decided to add a blush to her cheeks which seems to suggest that “Yeah, she’s into this”. I am not looking too much into that, go ahead and see it yourself. I am not foolish enough to believe this show got four seasons because it’s Fate related and people were in it for the story. But can we not have some self respect here? If someone calls this show Loli porn I want to be able to deny it without hesitating to think about it.

Now there’s word that a Prisma Illya movie is in the works which actually has me intrigued. The only material left of the manga is a flashback arc with Shirou telling his story as shown by the end of this series. Quite frankly this flashback arc is the best part of the entire series and the choice to make it a movie may have been quite wise. That way they can give it the budget it needs so we don’t have a repeat of what happened here. But also this flashback arc is too short to fit into another season and if they don’t shove anime original content in it then it should fit nicely into a hour and a half or two hour movie. (The only anime original content I want in my Fate adaptations is more fight animation.) The way the flashback is structured as well makes it fairly self contained and manages to provide a satisfying climax which should serve as a great final act for the movie. All and all I approve this move but remain skeptical that Sliver Link can pull it off. I am also more than a little worried that they might try to shove in more fanservice into the story and I have made my stance on that point clear enough.

I am not really in a mood to write a review of this one so I might forgo doing it. Sorry to let down all five of you who actually care about these reviews.(Five may be a generous number) For the most part I covering this series was for my own self indulgence but even then I was surprised at just how little I could say about it. I thought I would be able to blab on and on about Fate material but as the pace slowed down I found myself with little to work with. Maybe I will be able to indulge myself with the fate material coming next year as we ain’t doe with this franchise yet. We got the heaven’s feel movies, a Prisma Illya movie and a Fate/Extra tv series coming. On that last one I couldn’t really care to be honest as the story in that game wasn’t noticeable and pretty much the only redeeming factor would be red Saber. A Fate/Apocrypha adaption would be a much better choice seeing as it’s the closest thing to what people could consider a Fate/Zero 2. Well till then people.

Posted on 20 September 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

I will be the first to admit that this is very much a biased review as I have come to love this series very dearly and will now proceed to devour every piece of entertainment related to it that I can find until the day a second season is confirmed. The story involves a boy who is suddenly transported to a fantasy world while shopping and follows his adventure to save a girl from a gruesome fate. However what makes this different for the usual fare is that our protagonist has no magic superpowers or special abilities besides one. When he dies he returns to a point back in time and can use his new knowledge to guide things to a better outcome. With this the story follows the Subaru’s tale as he goes through time loops till the point when he can make things right. All the while dealing with the heavy psychological scars of suffering death time and time again. As you can tell Subaru is the one with the most focus and also gets the bulk of the character development for the show.

His transformation is a fascinating one which makes him one of the more interesting protagonists to come out of anime in a while. Subaru is flawed selfish character which differentiates him from the heroic white knight he wishes people to see him as. It makes him remarkably refreshing when compared to the heroes of these kinds of stories as he is unmistakably human. Subaru usually doesn’t truly fight the villains he faces but instead helps and guides those who can defeat them. The story can get quite dark as Subaru deals with some pretty heavy PTSD and a world that is outright cruel and unforgiving to a normal human being.

White Fox did a great job in bringing this story to life though the art style could be better and when compared to the animation powerhouses of Ufotable or madhouse it does fall short. But it gives the fights of the series the dynamic movement and focus to make action exhilarating. Presentation overall is marvelous and adaption of the source isn’t perfect but is pretty good nonetheless.  The music deserves special mention as the staff aimed for a more cinematic feel to the sound and it really shows. The thing that really makes the best moments of this series hit hardest is the music playing at that time. Though equal praise can go to the voice actors who just did a great job throughout.

One particular standout choice when adapting this was to on several occasions cut out the opening and ending to put in more content. As a result the opening and ending of the show is not often used but in exchange we get over an extra episodes worth of content from the series. As sparingly used as they are, the opening and ending do a decent job of showing what the show is about and the songs are serviceable. Animation remains fairly consistent throughout the run with the director compensating for what drops in quality there are with atmosphere and suitable use of still frames.

Despite my praises for this show I will admit that there are a number of things here which could not to be to anothers liking. I do adore this show but it is far from perfect and if some cannot find enjoyment in it I can at least see why. For a few examples, the main heroine of the show remains a fairly bland one dimensional character for this season and for the most part is completely overshadowed by the female cast of the series second half. As the series continues she seems to assume a role of a plot device to keep the story moving forward. Subaru’s meta jokes can be rather annoying and can grate on a viewer’s nerves. As well as Subaru’s general attitude which can border on obnoxious at times. The villains of each arc while serviceable and likeable to extent lack any real character depth and have motivations that range from gleeful sadism to just performing a job.

When a story arc of the series ends the series feels rather directionless up until the point that Subaru starts looping again. Despite the series going to great lengths to show Subaru as an average human being with no superpowers, the story still cheats and has him perform some clearly superhuman feats such as welding a club his own size with one hand and performing some ridiculous midair acrobatics. This is also the question that the story tends to veer away from is the matter of Subaru’s past and more importantly the family he left behind in his old world which is never addressed or elaborated on.

Due to the adaption cutting out material it can seem at times that Subaru is pulling solutions out of nowhere. The level of sadism the plot pushes on our protagonist can get a bit too much, particularly during the middle part of the series. This sadism is offset by the times when Subaru gets his act together and suddenly everyone is praising him which can feel disingenuous on the author’s part. Moreover even if the story does aim to go against the trends of standard Light Novel storytelling, it still does rely on standard tropes for the fountain of the cast. Therefore the cast that doesn’t get developed can be a bit run of the mill, a primary example being Beatrix who by all accounts is a pretty standard tsundere loli. Subaru also appears to be gathering a harem of girls by series end. Lastly the entirely of this 2 cour series feels only to be a prologue of a much grander story to come which at this point in time may not be animated. Yes if you dislike this series I can at least get as to why that may be but even if the reasons above are not contributing factors, the story is of a kind of love it or hate it quality.

That said if you do take a liking to it then it will have you hooked from start to finish. Re:Zero uses a lot of cliffhangers leaving you scrambling for the next episode and has a very addictive quality about it that can make episodes breeze by in what feels like minutes to the viewer. Characters may start out stereotypical but quite a number of them become absolutely lovable by the shows end. The battles in the show feel high stakes as with the nature of Subaru’s power allows the possibility that everyone can die at any given moment, giving battles a tension not seen often in stories. The cinematic feel can lead to some truly outstanding moments with the end of episode 15 being a massive high point. Re:Zero is a story that starts good, becomes very good ten episodes in and by episode fifteen it becomes great. I do think that this will be an anime to be remember and one still recommended years from now.

It ends with a fairly decent conclusion but it is true that this really needs a sequel to truly make use of the plot points brought in it’s last episodes. Even if you hate it, you must admit there is a reason this show is as popular as it is and when it comes to over excited new anime fans, which would prefer they be throwing at there friends claiming it’s is the pinnacle of anime? This? Or Sword Art Online? An anime where you have to work and suffer to earn your happy ending? Or an anime where everything is handed to you, you are praised for being super special and important for no reason? I know which of the two I prefer and I say instead of a new SAO movie we just pump out two more seasons(Or more) of this. I don’t care what needs to be done to accomplish that, get on it White Fox. Good work, keep it up, I look forward to buying the Blu-Rays and Rem is best girl. I will accept no debate on that last matter. Good day.

Posted on 19 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

Well it’s over and what a ride it was. Betelgeuse is defeated, everyone is saved and Subaru gets to confess his love to Emilia to leave the series off on a hopeful note. Only thing that would have made it better is more Rem but let us be frank, there is never enough Rem. I did wonder just how Subaru was going to stop Betelgeuse from possessing his body but the way he did it was the ultimate way to take him own. By bringing Sattella out while Betelgeuse was possessing him, he gives Betelgeuse a chance to meet the witch he so desperately loves only to have Sattella herself reject him. He’s crushed, the person he has adored and worked for all this time bashes him out of Subaru like batting away a cockroach. What little sanity Betelgeuse had left is surely gone now but what I find most interesting is the words he shouts to Subaru as he chases him in his new demonic form.

“I haven’t forgotten a single moment of all the things you did for me. Even if you have forgotten.” This words sound oh so very familiar. In fact they sound exactly like that of what Subaru said to Emilia. To a strange degree, Betelgeuse’s and Subaru’s objectives may indeed be the same. Though Subaru wishes to save and repay Emilia. While Betelgeuse wishes to save and repay Sattella. Perhaps Betelgeuse is also someone who was taken from his world and thrown into this one. He may have even had return by Death at one point as he speaks of Sattella not remembering him. Perhaps what Subaru is going through right now is some sort of rite of passage for an Archbishop of sin. Perhaps he is pride after all.

While Subaru’s intentions are for the best, I feel he is being somewhat rude to Emilia in how he planned to keep her out of this as much as possible. It goes to show that he has not got over his issues yet but it is surprising that Emilia took being deliberately removed from the equation so well. Even setting her up with the kids to insure that she didn’t do anything reckless. I seen it a bit in the last episode as well where Emilia seems disappointed in the fact that everything had already been worked out without her involvement. But it seems that any misgivings will not be addressed in this finale. As finales go this was somewhat predictable but not unwelcome as Subaru is given a last minute mission to reach emilia before the bomb he forgot about in the last run explodes. With Betelgeuse chasing after it gives Subaru a moment to shine before the end.

Particularly like that Otto redeemed himself for his actions before and even the oil he bought is put to use as Subaru uses it to set Betelgeuse on fire. Still it was interesting that Subaru kept sidestepping telling Otto what exactly was chasing them as he likely remembers what Otto did before to save his own hide. Subaru save Emilia and confesses his love to her with admittedly some words he outright stole from Rem’s confession. Got to admit that was a really scumbag move to use the words of the girl you rejected to snag the girl you wanted. But C’est la vie. They went overboard on the brightness at the end that it was near blinding but still it’s a good note to go out on.

Overall I see this a very solid ending though I do see there is those lamenting that White fox left out the full ending of Arc 3. Having spoiled myself on what exactly that is I wholeheartedly disagree as if they did go with that ending I would have had to buy a plane ticket to japan, visit White Fox and hold them at gunpoint till they made a second season. This ending at least gives Subaru a happy finale for now and while there are loose story threads at least if this turned out to be the only season of this show we get then this makes for a fitting end. Plus it’s not a filler ending so I believe White Fox can pick up right where this left off with no trouble. So we get a satisfying ending that leaves room to make a sequel so all and all I believe this to be a perfect end point for now. A second season is pretty much guaranteed considering the popularity of the series but when we get it might take a while. After all Attack on Titan is still waiting on it’s second season. For now I would like White Fox to confirm that a second season is planned. It’s highly likely but just having the confirmation would put my mind at ease. Though one thing we can take into account is just what Re:Zero’s success could mean for the industry as a whole.

Chances are that more web novel adaptations are coming our way and there’s even one about to be announced for a Knight’s & Magic web novel series.(Not confirmed but they said they have an important announcement and whenever something has an important announcement, it’s an anime.) Considering that web novel is pretty much trash that doesn’t make me too happy and this does have me concerned that an abundance of utterly terrible web novel adaptations are coming. I mean I wouldn’t turn away a Rising of the Shield Hero or Mushoku Tensei adaption but let me say if you think light novels are horribly written self indulgent power fantasies then web novels are going to be so much worse for you. I hate that a good show like this could lead to a worsening effect on the industry as a whole and thus garner unjust hatred towards this series. Let us hope that is merely pessimism speaking on my part and that doesn’t happen.

Posted on 18 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

This week things escalated pretty quickly. Our helpless MC Shang Bu Huan shots himself in the foot pretty quickly. I already suspected it’s a matter of time before his scam will be exploited by Mie Tian Hai, but I surely never would have guessed it’s that early. Shang Bu Huan, hilariously, is just plain terrible in whatever he’s acting; and curiosity got the better of him that he actually discusses with Mie Tian Hai (already a bad move, but then again these characters in Thunderbolt Fantasy love to chit-chat) on his motive of acquiring the legendary Tian Xing Jian sword. The sword, apparently, is the only sword that can actually destroy monsters, while other “low-ranking” swords can only send monsters back to the death realm, which the only exception is Yao Tu Li. That monster, unsurprisingly, is the most fearsome monster that somehow still got stuck in this world; therefore, Mie Tian Hai wants to attain Tian Xing Jian sword to slay the monster. It’s actual very noble of him when you think about it. But due to the very late nature of this reveal, plus the fact that Gen Urobuchi love to toy with our expectation, I suspect that the monster Yao Tu Li was already slayed by Shang Bu Huan. It’s not based solely on assumption though, judging the way Shang Bu Huan actually understands exactly what Mie Tian Hai implied about the death realm.

For once, the always-sneaky Gui Niao is actually behind everything happening and he spends this episode to get all the clues and try to catch up with everyone. For all the little details that he managed to get, it’s awesome that he actually figures out all the players in play and now plans to getting ahead (he’s no Shang Bu Huan after all). When he realized that the safe was empty, he understands that the main boss has something up his sleeve, the way he confidently carries out the piece with him. Along the way, Gui Niao gave one of the most ridiculous (thus, the best) speech about opening the keyhole is even more delicate and temperamental than a fine lady (whatever that means). When he saw two addition plates on Mie Tian Hai’s dinner table, he immediately figures out that his comrades the Archer and the Necromancer had sale him out. Finally, when he recognized that the lock in Dan Fei’s cell is unlocked from the outside, he understands that Juan Can Yun has helped the girl to get back the real guard. Upon figuring out all that, he decides to head to the temple that hold that blade to set out his traps. Well, getting the legendary sword sure is complicated.

Meanwhile, in a Limitless Temple, it turns out that Dan Fei and Juan Can Yun have been followed by the Archer and the Demon Lady all along. And they appear to be who they truly are, a villain. After all, getting the Tiang Xing Jian sword is what they’re after, so it doesn’t matter who they tag along with to achieve that goal. It’s still a very cool way to know about the Giant Spirit tree and its Spirit Veins that lead to the temple (also I feel kind of glad that we finally head back to the sunlight after spending too many episodes in the dark. At least now I can get much better screenshots). I’m also a fan of the elegance of Xing Hai, the way she dances around and proudly announces that her student would have noticed they’ve been followed at least 5 TIMES. The two pairs fight, but it comes to no surprise that the wiser team is a much better team. Still, poor Juan Can Yun gets shot in the eye by his ex-mentor and lose the guard; thus Dan Fei has to retreat. This very action marks the grow in Dan Fei’s character. She used to be the one who fight to death for her honor, but now because she doesn’t want anyone else to get hurt, she’s willing to step back. It’s nice to see her grow more trust to other people, and they really make a good pair if you ask me.

Next week we will witness the fight between our Shang Bu Shuan and Diao Ming, one of the subordinate of Mie Tang Hai. Although we pretty much know the outcome, it’s still interesting to see our MC get into a real battle the first time after the first episode. I’m also eager to see what kind of traps Gui Niao will prepare this time? Are they all going to fall for it? Until then, mi amigos.

Posted on 13 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Thunderbolt Fantasy

This week is a calm before the storms episode, as this episode is all about scheming and no actual action. But things slowly progress to an epic final.

Shang Bu Huan again gets the short straw by letting Gui Niao manipulates him into his plan. With the help of the magical hood that transforms anyone wearing it into… wait for it…. Gui Naio himself, he makes the laughable impossible scenario become possible. Shang Bu Huan, in Gui Niao disguise, will travel with Mie Tian Hai to retrieve the real guard (I thought it was a handle last episode); while the real Gui Niao will stay at the tower to steal the handle. Sound like they could pull it off, right? Until you realize that the plan only needs one Lin Xue Ya in play: the best option would be him to go with Mie Tian Hai, and TELL Shang Bu Huan about the whereabout of the handle and how to open the safe. Our poor MC not only could be easily exposed by the big boss (remember by just a glance he could tell that the guard is fake), he also has nowhere to run, and worst of all he doesn’t even know where the guard actually is. How did you agree on such a lame deal like that Shang Bu Huan? All odds are against him indeed.

One thing that I didn’t pick up last week was that Shang Bu Huan carries a dull blade. That explains a lot on his not-too-sharp attacking style a while back. Now either his dull blade functions like Kenshin’s reverse blade sword that reduce the damage to the opponents (because he’s too awesome to carry a real sword), or this is a legendary ridiculous long-lost sword style that no one but him could master. From the reaction of Gui Niao though I think it’s more of a latter, as he himself called it a dreadful weapon. It happens too often with the wuxia/ martial arts universe, sometimes those ridiculous fighting styles just pop up from nowhere and become an ultimate martial-arts moves that make absolutely no sense in real life whatsoever. My favorite has to be a drunken boxing style (which actually based on a REAL martial art, Zui Quan), where you have to be… ahem… drunk to triggers all the secret moves; and of course the only one who could master it was the only person who allergic with alcohol.

The ridiculous humor in this show still bright shines, as I can’t help but laugh with the claims Gui Niao made on his schemes that help putting the villains to live out their days quietly (Sha Wu Sheng, for example, had been quietly killed off everyone that might have a connection with The Enigmatic Gale); or Juan Can Yun after 5-minutes of extreme cautious when rescue a damsel-in-distress Dan Fei, suddenly came to realize that Shang Bu Huan, along with his actual prison-cage, were vanished. Keep that humor up Thunderbolt Fantasy.

It seems like the final battle will be at the Limitless Temple (remember that place? Yes, the place with offensive smell that is). Looking through a preview next week, there will be a big stand-off there. There are Shang Bu Huan and Mie Tian Hai group, Juan Can Yun and Dan Fei also make their way to the temple, and most surprisingly, Shou Yun Xiao the archer and Xing Hai the necromancer will be there as well. Gui Niao has mentioned to our MC that the main reason to he included Shang Bu Huan in the first place is to serve as a distraction for those two, so that they don’t have time to scheme anything against him. Well, it still doesn’t justify how Gui Niao so desperately to keep the man that he offers his own head to Sha Wu Sheng, but I let this pass for now. For now, what I’m interested the most is the intrigue role of the Archer and the Necromancer. Are they going to be comrades and help the gang to get back the sword safely; or are they going to be every man for himself, Tarantino-villain mode where every heads will roll? Right at this moment I would say the latter, but really the story could go anywhere depending on how high Gen Urobuchi was when he wrote it; and that thrill is precisely the reason why I’m still waiting for more Thunderbolt Fantasy week after week.

Posted on 12 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

Things seem to be wrapping up as things approach the finale and one of my previous assumptions turns out to be correct in that Subaru died last episode and his “save point” was updated to the point after the White Whale. This really does show that this curse doesn’t just randomly decide where to bring Subaru back to, but it feels calculated. Decided by another entity, namely the jealous witch. Speaking of her we learn of the reason as to why the witches cult is after Emilia and it looks like they plan to test whether she is an appropriate vessel for Satella. However what is interesting is that even if Satella rejects Emilia’s body the witch will still be reborn in some fashion in the future. Given that Puck has frozen over the manor(Or if his contract is true, the world.) in all of Subaru’s previous loops, it’s safe to say that Satella rejects her body as a host.

Perhaps this is merely because it isn’t the right time as I believe Satella really did bring Subaru to the world to protect Emilia till the day she takes her over. On that note Emilia has a small moment as Subaru incognito helps her recognize that the children don’t hold the same animosity towards her as the adults do. Even with this I can’t help but notice that right up to the end of the series she has been a rather flat character. I have heard tales that might change in the future but as of now I see Rem as the true series heroine and Emilia as more of a plot McGuffin.

When I see Subaru succeed it fills me with conflicting emotions. On one hand it’s a great payoff to the long journey of agony he has gone through to reach this point and is is quite satisfying. However when the story turns like this then it edges towards becoming the generic Light Novel setup that it has actively avoided. It is a somewhat silly worry of mine but I know of how fast a story can slip into the trappings of this particular genre and end up derivative. The common main fall factor is when the protagonist gets god modded and thus the remainder of the story becomes a string of battles to show how amazing the main protagonist is to other people. That’s why when I see Subaru succeed and everyone praise the hell out of him, I worry that the story may take a turn into wish fulfilment power fantasy.

But then I remember that the author is a complete sadist and the chances of that happening are quite slim. I will admit that the author has done a great job of setting the tone as in this episode everything goes exactly as planned. Thus because everything is working out it leaves the viewer with immense suspicion that something is going to go wrong. Because we have been here before and last time punched us in the gut. As Subaru leads everyone to a complete perfect victory I had a small part of my mind preparing for the story to stab me right in the heart. The problem is I have no idea as to when the attack comes.

Subaru did remark about how terrifying his existence must be to the witches cult and honestly he has a point in that regard. We know what he has gone through to get to this point but to anyone looking from the outside, Subaru is some random person who showed up out of nowhere and knows your every move. I interests me as to how this will affect Subaru in the future as he is given off the impression that he is some master Tactician and earning massive respect from the people he is leading. What makes this troublesome for him in the future is that he cannot possibly live up to that respect without abusing his “Return by Death” which is ultimately a gift from the final endboss of Re:Zero. When it comes time for him to face Satella then he will be at a massive disadvantage as Satella is most likely not going to let him repeat till the point where he can beat her.

But that is a conflict for another day. This day has Betelgeuse being rightly bewildered by Subaru’s ability to see through all of his plans with little effort. This looks to be the end of the demented psychopath which I admittedly took a liking to despite his crazy act being ridiculously over the top. I think the turning point was when I stopped looking at him as a menacing villain and more see him as a evil anime Jim Carrey. Then his whole act just became rather charming. There were some animation blunders(Namely one point were Julius’s mouth disappeared) but the action in this episode was fairly solid and we have a nice lead into the climax of the series.

Well it’s been a long glorious ride of ups and downs but we finally reach the end of Re:Zero. The next episode should be the last unless there is a 26th episode I am uninformed about. The big question is just how White Fox plans to wrap this all up. I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume a second season is guaranteed as this show has been immensely popular not just in Japan but outside it as well. However I have said before that an ending can change everything when it comes to a show. A bad ending is the thing that can change a shows impression from “great” to “very good”. There are worries that the ending will be rushed to accommodate for a lot of material at the end of the arc and there is the question of this last episode being able to provide a satisfying conclusion while leaving room for a sequel.

The absolute worst case scenario would be the series ending on a sequel hook as that would be cruel beyond measure to wait for the light novels to gain enough material for another season. There enough of web novel material, that’s for certain but I highly doubt they will go ahead with a second season using that. My wish is that we leave this story with a nice temporary sendoff that leaves us happy and patient enough to wait for a sequel. But let us remember, this is Re:Zero. Where suffering is the name of the game and nothing goes according to plan. I can hardly predict what cruel machinations Tappei Nagatsuki has awaiting us poor unsuspecting viewers but I can say that my Sundays will be very lonely from now on without this show. This year’s winter looks to be cold indeed.

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Anonymous533091
This is a mess
Anonymous532773
So the what out there y'all
Anonymous532773
And so number one out there
Anonymous532773
And some new anime
Anonymous532773
So what's new anime y'all seen
Anonymous532773
That's what. I think
AidanAK47
@Anon530022, I am not going to deny being arrogant. That's just my nature. But you are going to have to explain how wanting a show to have a genuine gay romance is homophobic? Kinda missing the logical steps on that jump. Anyway you being gay is irrelevant as I have a bisexual friend who says the romance isn't realistic in the slightest.
Anonymous530636
real interaction which makes everything feel fake. (sorry about the test walls)
Anonymous530636
I love basically any sports/romance anime so Yuri should be straight up my alley, but instead it just fails at both, mainly the sports part since it does try to focus on fanservice of the relationship between Victor and Yuri. I don't feel like the relationship between the two of them is real whether it's romantic or not. They keep having characters voice their thoughts about each other but no
Anonymous530636
Hi random long-time psgels reader, personally I think Yuri on Ice has kind of lost on trying to be a real romance and a real sports anime. It's characters are pretty weak and combing from someone that actually reads BL manga, I agree that their overt level of fanservice like focusing on the two of their lips and the rings, etc doesn't match their level of outright talking about shit.
Anonymous530138
I like a good dickin
Lenlo
tl;dr, chill its an anime.
Lenlo
Age gap isnt that big, and its not homophobic or arrogant to say a show isnt selling an aspect of itself well in his opinion. Lastly, romance for every person is different, so dont expect him to share your experiences/views on it.
Anonymous529997
Also, how Viktor's choice to become Yuuri's coach might have been initiated by not just Yuuri's skating, but Yuuri himself.
Anonymous529997
@Mario: I agree on the strip dance. Like, holy crap. But overall, I really like how episode 10 reframed the series from Viktor's perspective. Like, at first the whole commemorative photo thing made him seem like a jerk, but now we get to see that he had actually had a great time with Yuuri and was probably being genuine about it...
Anonymous530076
What happened to angry german kid
Anonymous530022
You just want them to identify themselves. You feel as if it's your right to know that they are gay. Well it isn't. It is their life, their story. You are being homophobic. You are being close minded. You are being arrogant. You are, indeed, very arrogant.
Anonymous530022
It is a mixture of admiration and lust and because it is hard to distinguish between the two it is difficult to express your feelings directly or even admit it to yourself.
Anonymous530022
As a gay man I attest that this is how romance works, ESPECIALLY when there is an age and experience gap.
Anonymous530022
This shows romance is actually reaistic, but you are still rejecting it. Yuri literally said he had found love. He said neither way who it's directed towards yet you are SO INSISTENT that it is towards skating. in the episode Victor even expressed admiration to Yuri's own dispositions beyond skating. He clearly was 'watching' him.
AidanAK47
If they planned to take such a hands off approach to romance then it would be better if they just focused on the skating. But well then the fujoshi's wouldn't be buying the Blu-rays now would they?
Lenlo
I can understand that, thats a problem I have with alot of modern romance's. Im just not seeing the backing off that happens in those romances. They just seem to raise it more and more in Yuri, without ever crossing the line, rather than toeing it then backing off.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, To me I find it aggravating. They go so far to portray them as gay yet when it comes to the final say they keep backing off. Hey I want to be more that friends...just kidding! Hey I love you...just kidding! Hey lets get married...just kidding! It like how harems constantly tease the main getting together with each girl when by shows end you know he's not going to get with anyone.
SuperMario
@lenl: agree. I'm still enjoying the hell of the show. A bit out of the blues thou when it comes to the strip dance (they shoulve planted that before), but it's a joy to watch every week
Lenlo
Eh. As I said, I think its above bait below romance. Either way im enjoying it and thats the important part.
SuperMario
For me they're just too much at the moments but unless they confirm it, nothing changes.
Kaiser Eoghan
Y'know I kind of wish Rorico would just come out and directly say he feels too old for most anime, its not really surprising a man in his 60s would be so cranky when it comes to this stuff.
SuperMario
@lenlo: I think it's more about statements. Yes, we understand the context of rings and engagements but unless they confirm it, nothing set in stones. And "hinting" is what they love to do, you can see just by the 2 shows I've coverage myself: Sound Eupho (Reina & Kumiko), Flip Flappers (Papika & Cocona) and people saying those same underlining context things.
Lenlo
I think its beyond baiting, below full blown romance at this point myself.
Lenlo
Does a show have to confirm and say "They kissed" to make it true? Seems along the same lines as "Fade to black" for sex. Then theres the ED which also made the start of the show much more interesting, as with this ED not its Victor that was jilted at the airport, when Yuri ran away.
Lenlo
See, I dont understand why they have to come out and say "We are gay" for you to accept its an actual romance. I dont see how this is baiting anymore either, as the rings and the "Engagement" seem pretty clear to me. Also, without knowing the current climate on the matter in Japan, this could be the clearest they are allowed to make it, while still fully intending for it to be a real romance.
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Agreed. I said before that I would like to be proven wrong on this but this series doesn't seem to have done that yet. I really will admit I am wrong to Anon2 if it does provide proof but it would need to be far more substantial than this.
@Anon2, Girl, boy, whatever.
Anonymous529668
I'm not a girl.
Anonymous529660
Even that is just grasping at straws though, haha.
Anonymous529660
@Aidan: I think the only thing from that scene that hints at actual romance would be where Viktor says something along the lines of a lot of other people got their L words from Yuuri, which he had earlier stated are "Love" and "Life." Honestly, even this is pushing it though, but the fact that he said it like that suggests that both he and Yuri got "those words" from Yuuri.
AidanAK47
Way I saw that scene was the guy saying "Fuck you, you think Yuri is so great. Well I am gonna be better than Yuri. Just you wait and see" and then Victor remarking on how Yuri awoke his competitive spirit. Aka his love for Skating.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Although I like both, I always prefer impressionism better. Expressionism for me tend to be a bit overwhelming and a bit subjectively. But mind you Flip Flappers still has moments of Expressionist as well (Episode 6: Irochan's parents)
AidanAK47
@Anon, I got the context you saw fine. About him getting mad over the "Good luck charm". You are being baited girl, hook, line and sinker.
Anonymous529618
You are missing context. You don't know anything. You don't even know why Yuri was mad do you? Why the fuck would he be mad about loving skating.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I bring up the impressionism vs expressionism thing because I feel that the impressionistic aspects of say a Tarkovsky film, Malick film and flippflappers feel superior to me over expressionistic style because its more emotionally satisfying while ALSO being athmospheric, Whereas expressinistic visuals are ONLY atmospheric.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Flippflappers has now reached a level where I feel the impressionism has gone beyond simply visual immersive in a way that makes us part of its world and has become more emotional.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: You mention impressionism in your review of flipflappers, in general do you feel on a visual level you respond more strongly to expressionism or impressionism?
SuperMario
I watched the whole thing so I know that in this episode, except the time they're giving rings to each other (in the name of "good luck charm") and Victor somewhat pump Yuri up for the Gold medal by Not Denying it; they still haven't admitted anything.
AidanAK47
Perhaps I am not the one who is in denial.
AidanAK47
Oh I think I see it now. Yeah this is nothing mate. The conversation was about skating from begining to end and Victor mentioned that he wasn't the only one to get his "L words" from Yuri. Pretty clear he means how Yuri helped Yurio awaken a love for Skating. Romantic love doesn't really make sense within the context. But yeah, they admitted nothing.
AidanAK47
Quite frankly if they don't have the balls to admit they are gay by this point they are just not going to.
AidanAK47
Time stamp means the point in the episode he actually said it. Like 18 minutes 20 seconds in or something. You should be able to get one. But maybe you can't find it either. Only thing I found Was about yuri teaching victor through his life and love but that's ambiguous enough to refer to his love for skating.
Anonymous529435
Don't have time stamp
Anonymous529435
Episode is narrated by Victor
Anonymous529435
At the end Victor admits he's in love and mentions the other person is also
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can you give me the timestamp on the episode? Scanning through it I don't see anything that suggests that.
Anonymous529150
Not joked
Anonymous529150
They admitted
Anonymous529150
No those were both me it's just the chat doesn't show it immediately so I posted again
AidanAK47
@Masky, He's denied it before but it's pretty obvious he's trying to make it seem like someone's agreeing with him.
AidanAK47
@Anon, admitted or joked?
Masky
So wait, is that same anon repeating himself or two different anons where second one copy pasted part of first one's post
Anonymous528870
They literally admitted a love triangle between the three main characters. You're in denial.
Anonymous528815
Are you kidding? This episode they outright admitted a love triangle between the three main characters. You're in denial.
AidanAK47
I actually was going to admit that I was wrong when I heard about the "Kiss" and gladly do so. But when I watched the scene in question it's clear what I said is still correct. They will dance around it, sure. But never outright confirm it.
AidanAK47
@Anon, discussed this before when the "Kiss" happened. Despite the series hinting it, and hinting it hard, it still hasn't outright confirmed it. While I am sure it is head canon to the watchers, the series itself is just queer baiting.
SuperMario
Okay... Just watched this week's Yuri on Ice. Haha things got weird again... and they so nailed Barcelona here, I recognized most of the places.
SuperMario
@anon527634: actually about that, I am a bit let down that after that "supposed kiss" in episode 7, no one in the series mentioned it again. Just like that "kiss" never happened.
Anonymous527534
So when is Aidan going to publicly admit he was wrong about the Yuri romance?
Lenlo
I loved the special ED so much.
Lenlo
Alright... Yuri this week was interesting in so many ways.
SuperMario
I'm also planning to catch BBK/BRK before the year end soon. I'm also find that series entertaining despite its obvious flaws
Kaiser Eoghan
But come to think of it, I do know what its like to enjoy something admittedly flawed, the first season of utawerumono was like that for me, I have nothing but criticism of it in all aspects but yet ended up being one of those things I somehow enjoyed watching.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, only flippflappers, natsume, drifters on my end.
AidanAK47
I wonder if anyone here is still watching Bubuki Buranki? It's weird but despite how deeply flawed it is I find it fairly enjoyable. Though that fantastic soundtrack certainly helps.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Oh they announced a Sonic movie too. Apparently it's a mix of live action and animation.
Anonymous525559
I am suprised SEGA didn't announce an Sonic movie and went with games like Altered Beast and Crazy Taxi, they probably could have just ripped off one story from the Archie Sonic comics and make an movie based on that, preferably the story where Sonic travels in the multiverse to fight an super powerful Sigma alongside Classic Megaman and Megaman X,Steet Fighter cast,Breath of Fire 3 cast and more
AidanAK47
@Anon, A parody Grindhouse film actually could work. I consider Overkill the best of House of the dead. Thing is there actually is already a house of the dead movie so this would be their second attempt. The first attempt...lets just say it didn't work out.
Anonymous523336
And House Of The Dead: Overkill is probably the best game in the franchise to adapt, i mean, it has Isaac Washington in it and dude's awesome.
Anonymous523336
None of those games have much of a story, but at least House Of The Dead could make for an entertaining silly movie, i mean House Of The Dead: Overkill is freaking awesome and has silly cutscenes at the start and end of every level.
Kaiser Eoghan
At most moonbeam city seems sylistically interesting.
Kaiser Eoghan
Archer I simply lost track of and it ended up getting to long to catch up on it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Relatively old news, although I've been joking with friends about what if scenarios for a streets of rage film. I know there is a cg/live action hybrid sonic film in the works. I kind of want to think a shinobi or streets of rage film could work if they went full on 70s style action film.
AidanAK47
None of these games are played for the story. You would be better off just making a new game for them instead of a movie.
AidanAK47
I haven't even seen Archer. On another note SEGA is planning a bunch of live action movies of their franchises and boy do they all sound like a horrible idea. Shinobi, Golden Axe, Virtua Fighter, The House of the Dead, Crazy Taxi, Streets of rage and Altered Beast.
SuperMario
@Anon522497: hmm, I found Moonbeam City underwhelmed and for Archer up until their last season I actually got a bit tired of the cast (couldn't finish that season 7)
Anonymous522497
If i wanted Archer i would just watch Archer or Moonbeam City like everyone else.
Anonymous522338
Bloodivores
SuperMario
Anyone here watching Pacific Heat? It's an Aussie Archer-ripoff aired in Netflix last week. I actually enjoyed the 1st episode, not that great but everyone panned it like a plague.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Who?
Anonymous521123
#StephanieJaworowiczIsBeautiful
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: That'd be the compiliation film. I watched that based on hearing that the film version trimmed back on the shows weaker moments.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: was it the compilation film or the series itself? That scene is the highlight of that first season. I'm always a fan of KyoAni so it's very natural that I enjoy this series a whole lot.
Kaiser Eoghan
I watched the first season of sound euphonium, not much to say for it other than I liked the teacher guy and the scene where the black haired girl tells the main character that she thinks shes hiding behind a mask. Animation was as expected of kyoani good. All of those emotion shots though and some of the melodrama...
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, it does stop if you make an account.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hmmm there we go again, it delayed sending my message for longer than it should have.
Kaiser Eoghan
Anyone notice today and last night that the site has had some loading issues? I kept getting an error page for a while and it was also loading a bit more slowly. A server issue?
Lenlo
Have to say, Flip Flappers ep 5 was pretty good. I love atmospheric settings like that.
Lenlo
Looks like an Epee. The large bell guard, the fact that they are focusing on thrusting attacks instead of slashing (mostly). Fencing is alot of fun. Be prepared for some bruises though, as some people put their full body weight behind their thrusts.
SuperMario
I have one last dumb question, Can you tell what types of blade of Juri in Utena? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGsVSSUv_i0
SuperMario
@Lenlo: the more you described the more I found fencing interesting. I might take a look around my town to see if we have Fencing here (the curse of living in a small town).
Lenlo
Blades are slightly different, yes, but mostly just in their guard and how much they bend. Sabers bend easily, Epee's not so much. Surprisingly Epee is the slowest, because people tend to be more careful. Saber is actually the most aggressive of the blades, atleast at my skill level
AidanAK47
That's all they had to do. Just stay inside and let it pass. But for some weird reason they just keep panicking over nothing.
As far as time/alternate world stuff goes this was ridiculously underwhelming. Just finished another movie called triangle and now that's how you do Time travel mindfuckery.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I am not fond of movies where people make stupid decisions for no good reason. For example:
"We should just stay inside"
"No, staying inside isn't realistic"
WHY IN THE HOLY HELL ISN'T IT REALISTIC.
SuperMario
Showed that movie to a bunch of friends last year and I remembered one of the girl just shut off the movie after 15'
SuperMario
@Aidan: too bad. I found Cohenrent really funny and entertaining. Some of their twists are stupid but I was actually invested in much of their characters. Maybe because I always love movies about a bunch of characters in an isolated setting
SuperMario
@Lenlo: sounds like Epee is the most "all-out-attack" and aggressive one. Their blades are different as well I assume?
AidanAK47
Just watched a movie called coherence and man, what a bunch a pseudo-intellectual garbage that was.
Lenlo
For Right of Way, its basically Person A attacks, Person B parries, Person A hits, Person B hits, Person B gets the point because they took right of way with the parry. Saber and Foil both have that, but Epee does not. Epee is simply "Whoever hits the opponent first, doesnt matter where, whole body is target area"
Lenlo
Theres Saber, Foil and Epee. The main difference is this thing called right of way, but there are other smaller ones like how Saber can hit with the edge and Epee is allowed to hit the entire body, instead of just the chest like Foil
SuperMario
For news, Blood Blockade Battlefront getting second season next year. As it was one of my favorite last year I'm really lokking forward to this second season
SuperMario
@Lenlo: that sounds great. From what I know from fencing there are 3 different types of blade right? So what are the differences between them? (Fencing 101 here)
Kaiser Eoghan
Although a fantasy sports thing could also generate interest, such as combining sports together to create something totally new.
Lenlo
@SuperMario, Fencing was great. Favorite sport ever and it helped me stay in shape in College. I find Epee to be the best blade, mostly cause I fenced it, but its a very intense 3 minutes. Unlike sports like Soccer and such which is alot of sustained running, Fencing is 3 minutes of Dont-Stop-Moving then wait till next match. Gets really fun once you figure out your own style.
SuperMario
haha, I wouldn't mind either if each episode focus on a single sport/ character/ country. Or even the positive aspects like role models, sports inspirations and stuffs
Lenlo
That Olympic anime sounds great.
Kaiser Eoghan
And it would be a good excuse to have characters of multiple backgrounds included too.
Kaiser Eoghan
Could be an 13 episode ova series with 48 minute episodes, and if its to be an ensemble character drama you could have 10 minutes to a each character (the ones being focused on in that episode) in each episode.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah yes, aswell as cheating it could also get into "stage parenting", "abuse", "Disabilities" and also the general politics of sports, the backroom stuff.
SuperMario
I'll be the first in line if that olympic anime ever come out. Could be interesting to see the interactions between athletes in different sports, and then fans/athletes/coaches relationship, then the gold rush, doping... So much to talk around to
Kaiser Eoghan
I don't think theres ever been a manga about hurling either. Hey heres an idea, someone do an ensemble drama anime that deals with the olympics, fit in multiple sports that way.
SuperMario
Personally I find Australian football much more exciting than rugby. Or crickets.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: ha! Interesting that you mentioned Gaelic football, because in Aus we have AFL (Australian Football League), that really similars to Gealic Football to the point sometimes we have the 2 national teams compete each other with modified rules
Kaiser Eoghan
Hmm, lets see, sport under-represented in anime? Fencing, golf , Gaelic football, bowling, boat racing.
SuperMario
Hey, fencing is actually really cool. How did you like it Lenlo?
SuperMario
You have your point there Topgavin, as I clearly remember many instances where players' legs, backs or even necks got snapped during rugby's tackles. But in regards to Rugby I never really care about it. That and car racing
Lenlo
Its mostly the type of injuries you get that differ I think. Football you get concussions and broken bones and such, while in Rugby you probably get alot of bruises and cuts. Granted I have played neither, I was a Soccer man in highschool and fencing in College
Lenlo
American football has alot of rules, and really is just a bunch of millionaires running around chasing a ball. Rugby however, as Topgavin said, has no pads so when you get hit you get hit HARD
AidanAK47
I never ceases to surprise me just how high and mighty visual novel fans can be over Mosaics present in localized games. I mean they are literally complaining about not seeing genitalia yet the way they phrase it, it's like they are fighting against great injustice. If these VNs were Nukige they might have a point but in most cases the sex scenes in question are pointless and shoehorned in.
Topgavin
@Mario Rugby is more extreme *because* it has no protective gear. No hiding behind helmets and cushioned shoulder pads when ya get bowled over.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I'm no expert but isn't American football a variation of Rugby? And I believe american football is more extreme, considering they have to wear helmets, protection gears and all that
Lenlo
I dont think theres alot of manga about it because its simply not that popular outside the US. As far as it being a battlefield, eeeeh? Not really? You want a battlefield watch Rugby.
SuperMario
I can think of other cool sports that could be interesting to see in anime: Kick Volleyball (Sepak takraw), Bossaball (combined soccer, volleyball in a trampoline), or in the same vein of skate figures this season, why not pole dancing competition???
Anonymous504493
What other sport is cool and popular that remains original to write about by now? There isn't a lot of manga about it compared to anything else.
Anonymous504493
American football looks like a battlefield with a visible battleline and everything. Id like it if there wasnt so many darn commercials.
Lenlo
I mean, its a sport. Far cry from best, but its definitely a sport.
SuperMario
@Vonter: or maybe because american football IS the best sports ever?
Kaiser Eoghan
@Vonter: Most likely due to the middle section of the original anime being the most popular bit.
Vonter
Can someone explain me how Cobra, is apparently getting an anime around some sort of space american football? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54kNWPr43zE
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Its not safe enough a film for me to properly recommend. Even to exploitation fans, they might find it too slow others would be too sensitive to it. Really una vita violenca, mamma roma, accatone, hawks and sparrows are what Pasolini is really about.
SuperMario
Now that you watched Salo, would you recommend the film to other people? I personally think it's a masterpiece but it's one of the title that I think people would break up with me if I show them this movie
SuperMario
@Kaiser: even him as a director, both Braveheart and Apocalypto don't do much to me, will see if Hacksaw Ridge going to change my mind (but I'm not to fond with war movies in general). La Notte is in my sooon-to-watch list for years, haha
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Mel Gibson as a director, not as an actor =)
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Thats why I prefer the neo-realist/quasi-neo-realism stuff as it deals with the worse off in society. But Antonioni was the master of being able to do films about angsty well-off people, L'aventura, the passenger and La notte for example
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Its not so much that I dislike post 50s fellini moreso I feel that his throw everything at the screen and hope what sticks method can be hit or miss.
SuperMario
While I don't really mind his later stuffs because he was masterclass, I have a pretty hard time for Paolo Sorrentino's later works. The thing is I don't care much about the high class society so everything is just ridiculously over the top and glamour and I'm tired of it.
SuperMario
I haven't watched nights of cabiria but I did watch La Strada and boy, I was sad for few days after watching it. Fellini mentioned that he was inspired to make this movie when seeing a woman pushing a cart from behind. The film really carry that sense throughout its running
SuperMario
Michael Haneke put Salo in his top 10 films. Quite understandable when you think about it. Still for me one of the movie that affected me deeply.
SuperMario
I really admire Elle for its ability to maintain its sharpness because under other inexperienced directors it could easily becomes a mess. Mel Gibson, really? He's one of the few actors that I absolutely dislike
SuperMario
@Kaiser: The Red Turtle remains one of the the most refreshing time I had this year in cinema, but then again I haven't watched much films lately. Agree with you on Sonia's performance, and I still think they could cut out the first 20' of the film because it feels out of place compare to the rest of the film
Kaiser Eoghan
Debating whether to bother catching up on I am a hero or watching the film adaptation. I haven't read it since they got rid of that one female character.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I've a feeling you'll like nights of cabiria, Fellini was cranking out some solidly effective social-realist dramas in the 50s before he fell into self-indulgence.
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I have that sound euphonium compilation film downloaded, I should get to that sometime.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also finally watched Salo, I ended up meeting it pretty much halfway. Some parts still retain the ability to effect a modern viewer, having seen his other works though its crazy just how different Salo is to them.
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