Posted on 6 October 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Made in Abyss

There are few series which can capture the mystery and wonder of a fantasy world as well as Made in Abyss. Their world is dangerous, brutal and unforgiving but beautiful, wondrous and exciting in it’s presentation. The story is of a ordinary girl called Riko and a mysterious cyborg boy called Regu traveling down the levels of a massive chasm called the abyss. With each level they encounter new people and monsters alike as they work together to survive the darwinian nature of the chasms ecosystem. The story boosts some of the finest presentation of the anime of the year alongside a gripping tale that never lets go till its conclusion. The characters are memorable though which each level brings a new cast to the forefront. Ozen and Nanochi are the strongest out the cast. But the dynamic between Riko’s optimistic easygoing attitude and Regu’s more negative questioning nature works well in exploring the morality and dangers of this world. The shows strongest aspect is the world building and atmosphere of the setting. Accentuated by the visuals the Abyss is truly a marvel of nature that makes for a fantastic backdrop.

The pacing may be a bit slow for some but I see no way to make it faster and the character designs may look kiddy and lighthearted but Made in Abyss holds darker themes. When it goes for the emotional gut punch it is often heavy and effective. It doesn’t shy away from the uglier side of nature and exploring as well as the dark parts of it’s history. Aside from one or two rare moments the animation in this show is excellent and the backgrounds are beautiful landscapes giving even the best artists in the industry a run for their money. Which isn’t all that surprising when you consider that a former Ghibli background artist worked on the series. The music is equally excellent with standouts like the series ending theme Tomorrow and Hanezeve Caradhina. Tomorrow being a personal favorite for how it closes out the series with melancholy nostalgia and wonder.

Sadly at the point of writing this review this is the only season of the series and the final episode does leave many loose ends behind. This season can be seen as a prologue of things to come and it’s lack of conclusion hurts the series as a whole. The pacing takes it’s time and because of it’s single cour length people could feel that the story didn’t truly get started. At the moment chances of a second season look promising but in the anime industry there are no guarantees. As such people could be left wanting more by the time the final credits roll which is something that could be considering a positive as this is basically an advertisement for the manga but I need to knock off points as this story works some much better as an animated product that I doubt the manga could match it’s level of presentation. Nonetheless what is present here is more than worth checking it out as it still has powerful moments, atmosphere and world building second to none. I have no doubt that this series will be seen as one of the best anime of 2017 in future years to come.

Posted on 4 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Made in Abyss

Normally when I finish a series I take a moment to think back on it and try to imagine just how I would make it better. Maybe better pacing or removing a certain character or story arc that went nowhere or just improving the animation at certain points. But with Made in Abyss I tried to do the same thing and found myself coming up blank. I really cannot see how this series could have been done better and in thinking of this I came to realise this series may have far more value that I initially realised. Potentially the value to be called a future classic of the genre but that may be me getting ahead of myself. Well the finale of this series goes out with a bang as we have a double length episode to close out the series. The majority of this episode detailed about how Nanochi began living in the abyss and how she and Mitty came to be twisted into the forms they are now. Finally ending off with Mitty being mercy killed and Nanochi joining Riko and Regu on their journey to the bottom of the abyss. I was right that with Nanochi added to the group that the group dynamic is far better as a whole. Nanochi adds a playfulness that makes the interactions more fun to watch and I am certain she would be a boon in the future of the story.

There were a lot of emotional moments during this finale and this may just be the best episode of the series. Bondrewd looks to be trying to make up for his lack of presence throughout the series by pumping all his villain credibility into this one episode wherein his actions are so morally disgusting that I was wishing for his death by the halfway point of this episode. The transformation of the two girls was absolutely brutal with Mitty’s horrific dissolving into a tangled genetic mess being the stuff of nightmares. I pray some ignorant parent does not mistake this show for a children’s cartoon or this would be a level of trauma they might not get back from. Provided they made it through the arm breaking scene. Though as disturbing as it may be that didn’t quite affect me due to my resistance built up over the years. However to my absolute shock the death of Mitty hit me harder than I ever thought it would. I didn’t think I would find her death so tragic but i found myself welling with emotion at Nanochi setting up the toys and comforting Mitty in her last moments. The dam broke when Nanochi had a brief moment of regret, calling off Regu and hugging Mitty while apologizing, only to walk back and ask Regu to kill her again. I didn’t cry buckets but tears did roll down my face and being the soulless husk that i am, I consider any show that can wringe that level of emotion out of me something truly special. As a side note i was surprised to see that Riko has a scar after all the treatment.With years of watching anime where in bandages heal all wounds without a single blemish it’s great to see some lasting consequences.

Sadly though I say I have trouble imagining this show being better, if there is one flaw I could truly pick out it would be this. The show ended at the point it wasn’t supposed to end. In the final minutes the main cast has come together, the main villain(At this time) has been made apparent and this truly is the real beginning of this story. Suddenly roll credits. Want more? Read the manga. The chances of a second season are not quite grim and I would like to believe that a show as good as this would get the sales it deserves. However anime continuation has always been tied to the sales of its source and no matter how good it is, if there is no return from that then there is no second season. It’s a sad thing that adapting a source to competition is the exception rather than the norm. I thought about picking up the manga again on this series end but as I saw the small balloon float through the various beautiful levels of the abyss with that evocative melody playing I realised that without the music, sound, colour and gorgeous backgrounds that this series just wouldn’t have the same level of impact. The artwork of the manga is nothing to scoff at but I still doubt it can bring forth the same magical feeling and atmosphere of the anime. So I will hold off on reading this group’s future adventures until I can be certain no second season is coming. Then I will jump in due to necessity. Hopefully that will not be the case. For now despite it’s incomplete nature I am willing to say this will be making it into my best anime of the year list.

Posted on 2 October 2017 with categories: 18if, Anime Reviews

Allow me to skip over the last episode coverage for this full review of 18if, since I was too underwhelmed by the finale to have anything concrete except pointing out how messy the ending was. The first thing you need to know about 18if is that it’s a multimedia project (along with a mobile game and VR game), which can probably signal you about the overall quality of the anime version. The concept that each episode our main character Haruto will need to save a Witch of the week – make her confronting with her dark and learn more about herself – in a dream world could lead to interesting places. Here’s the main catch for 18if: each episode is handled by different directors with different animation styles AKA the directors’ own take to the world of 18if. This format results in 18if as an inconsistent show by design. The quality of each episode is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you gonna get. That unpredictability in plot, the surreal nature of dream world and the diversity in animation styles are what I was personally looking for coming to 18if. For the most part, 18if stays true to itself, albeit below-average. The ending, however, tries hard to connect the dots and runs out of its steam fast with confusing tone, weak writing and nonsensical message.

For one thing that 18if does quite consistency despite its format, it’s that the show explores the real-world issues of multiple teenage girls in a dreamy surreal fashion. These girls have a nervous breakdown and struggle to find happiness in the real world, thus succumb to the dream world in the form of Sleeping Beauty Disease where they can do whatever they like, most of the time destructively. Those issues range from the pressure of being idol, bullying or even witnessing their family members murdered. They don’t often succeed on bringing the girls’ negative emotions to light, but their personal issues work as an emotional core for each passing episode. In addition, Haruto’s job is to confront those witches and only casually does he have some chemistry with the girls. In some episodes he only serves as a witness to watch the story unfolds.

Its episodic nature, where different directors handle different episode, is what 18if’s most unique factor. You can see the styles change in the character designs of Haruto. Most notably, in episode 7 the show hits the mark in full force with its European-influence aesthetic and tells a beautiful children story about the broken friendship that would be right at home with the classic works like The Little Prince. The genres and the tones change randomly as well as in one of the episode, 18if went full horror, other time it became an arthouse animation-showcase and at times it’s just flat out goofy. The quality of each episode also ranges from plain bad, “WTF did I just watch” to really great. As of now, I’d only recommend a handful of episodes instead of suggesting a whole package. Although possess a wide range of animation style, judging the show as a whole, the episode doesn’t add up much to the grand picture. There are no set rules (like in episode 4 the girl’s still fully awake despite the rules imply that all of them having Sleeping Beauty syndrome), there’s no deeper implication to takeaway after each episode (like episode 2 shows us that the dream world can affect the real world, which ends up being wasted). Each episode hardly connects to each other except for the main cast and the trouble climax. Since nothing adds up at all, most of them fall flat on their faces.

The main leads – consist of Haruto, his mysterious sister Lily and his mentor the anthropomorphic cat – don’t develop at all despite appearing in all episodes. Haruto, in particular, changes his personality from each passing episode in accordance with the Witch and frankly that makes it hard to get invested in him. There are some attempts, however, to give Haruto a backstory but the end result is so absurd it can’t be taken seriously (Adam and Eve nonsense). I’m personally all in for having a proper closure and it’s always welcomed to see those girls back for action but18if further loses its sparks when it tries to close up the arc with a very patch-up jobs of writing: unnecessary new characters (the new doctor, the Cult Leader), Eve the main antagonist that has no personality whatsoever and the tone is messy and disjoined. It hurts as well that the closing arc is one of the weakest in term of productions. The budget for the show wasn’t that much and it shows; you can argue the lack of consistent character designs and even the frame rates are all artistic choice, but more often than not the show looks poorly done and uninspiring. The dream world doesn’t receive a good treatment either, since it functions like a setting for Haruto saving the girls, with the only consistent rule is “Anything can happen in the dream world” – which is why it’s messy and all over the place.

In the end, 18if is an intriguing mess. It attempts to do something different by trying out variety of genres and styles. This concept sounds good on paper but only a handful of episodes succeed at bringing something new on the table (I’d recommend you sample episode 7, 2, 10, 3 in that order), the rest is below the line. After 13 episodes, 18if still struggles to find a right tone for itself, result in tonal wreck that never quite sure if it wants to take itself seriously. Ultimately, when you consider if 18if can leave any lasting impact, the answer is a resounding “No” – it lacks the punchline, lacks the sparks to become something special.

“Fun quiz: Can you spot out the missing Witch?”

Posted on 27 September 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Currently Watching:, Re:Creators

There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be brought down by the remaining supporting characters given that Selecia disappeared in the blue ether beforehand. Predictably, it comes down to Altair convincing herself that the world is worth saving and the conversation between Altair and Setsuna was really well done with both voice actresses going back and forth with their arguments about placing the blame on the world that was so cruel to Setsuna. There is a parallel between those two and how Bltiz choose to switch side when confronted with the opportunity to gain back the very reason for their motivation to end the world. As well, the transformation from the PPSh-41 machine gun to an actual violin is a visual symbolism of her ultimate choice to create and not destroy. As the far as the main plot goes, Re:Creators is finished as its antagonist goes happily off into sunset with her creator into their own world of adventure and fun. It’s not the best twist ending but I’m perfectly satisfied with how the series build itself up to that point and concluded it.

After everything’s said and done, the final episode wraps up with everyone having a celebratory meal, saying their goodbyes and reflecting on past sacrifices. The creations go back to their own fictional world but Meteora, due to the untimely death of her creator, which begs the question of what happened to Magane. Curiously absent from the final episode, I would infer that she would have lost her powers just like Meteora and go on to become a regular trolling schoolgirl. It’s not quite the ending for those who wanted to see justice be served for the murder of the shopkeeper and her own creator but I think it better to see her leave quietly than having a upbeat epilogue scene for her. The ending summarizes the points of the series in that creators will keep on creating even to the point where a creation, like Meteora comes full circle and end off the series with her own work of Re:Creators.

Re:Creators marks the third series that Studio TROYCA have made with Aldnoah.Zero and Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru being the first two. While their original mecha show was a wild ride of disappointment that really needs more time to flesh out its characters and concepts and the episodic nature of its investigative show took away from the overarching narrative, I felt that they succeed in having and executing an interesting premise while having a few flaws. The biggest glaring issue I had was the uneven pacing in regards to the infrequency of actions scene and mid-series lull of dealing with Sota’s underlying guilt and laying of the foundation for the Elimination Chamber Festival. Also, as Rei Ham (Writer of Re:Creators) regretfully mentioned in an interview, Mamika exited far too early in the show as she was probably one of the best characters arc by growing out of her naive magical girl persona. Her replacement of Hikayu wasn’t all that great despite the creators having fun with her backstory and power-ups. Finally, the 3D stilted animation of the mecha hasn’t been improved over their effort of Aldnoah.Zero and just cements the reality that 3D and mechs don’t mix (Knight of Sidonia is an exception). Aside from those quibbles, I enjoyed my time with Re:Creators over the past half year and looked forward to watching it every week. It looked nice, had that sweet sweet Sawano soundtrack and always had something interesting to say about the nature of artistic creation.

7.5/10

Posted on 26 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Made in Abyss

Today’s topic is the curse of the abyss alongside much needed revenge against the creature that put Riko in a bad spot. We get a rare glimpse of the topside village where one of the orphan kids we saw previously is deathly sick on his birthday. This caught me off guard as I believe I heard Regu mention that the boys birthday was soon when he left and it hit me that the two really have only spend a few days in the abyss. Over the weeks of watching them the journey certainly felt a lot longer and that really is a great thing for a series to make me feel a disconnect with time that Riko and Regu feel. The child suffering from a fever is taken to a medical ship and just by looking at it is bound to remind people of Ghibli works. The reason for that is simple for the background artist for this series has indeed worked on Ghibli movies. The purpose of this scene is to show that the child’s sickness disappears once he leaves the island which does seem to suggest that the curse of the abyss doesn’t just affect those diving but also the town on the surface.

Nanochi goes into greater detail over how exactly it works by using a thin sheet as a representative of the curse. One her word the curse appears to be some sort of forcefield that is affected by things pushing against it. The important aspect to this is that more dangerous creatures of the abyss can use the curse to anticipate how targets move, making it seem like they can see the future. Nanochi appears to be able to see the curse and she sends out Regu to take down the orb piercer as a test for him to get a feel for it. In the test Regu manages to save a cave raider and even surprises Nanochi with his beam cannon ability. But even so the beast manages to escape before being blown apart. Our episode ends with Nanochi making a request to Regu to have him kill Mitty with his beam cannon. Quite a depressing turn for the end of the episode and really makes you think on an earlier comment by Nanochi. For earlier Nanochi started that Mitty’s blood can neutralize orb piercer poison but the question is, just how did she find that out? By anyones guess she may have attempted to kill her by injecting the poison into her, only for it to backfire. Nanochi seem reluctant to do the job the messy way so it’s likely she tried alternatives to kill Mitty. Of course not because of hate but rather to put the poor thing out of it’s misery.

That may be something RIko objects to as Mitty and her seem to have had some sort of spiritual connection. The dream which RIko had was odd as it seemed to involve some memories of her being carried in the relic when she was a baby and taking comfort in the eye of Mitty staring at her. In regards to Mitty I had a feeling that she was going to have to be gotten rid of as she is the only thing tying down Nanochi to this place and without her she can then join Regu and Riko on their quest to the bottom of the abyss. Though Mitty’s blood would make for a useful thing if it really can neutralize any poison but it certainly would be cruel to drag her down into the abyss. But she also clearly cannot survive on her own, even if her survival depends on Nanochi’s horrible cooking. That’s an aspect I wonder about as I am not certain if the transformation has killed Nanochi’s taste buds or her childhood was so messed up that she didn’t know what good food tastes like. Next week is the last episode of the series and while we are getting an hour long episode i wonder just how this series will close off. The way it’s currently looking is that Nanochi will join the group and the series will end with them journeying to the next layer which would be a rather anticlimactic conclusion.

Posted on 25 September 2017 with categories: 18if, Currently Watching:

Let me just say, I’m all in favor for 18if having a proper closure, but I’m wholly disappointed with what happening right now. This episode is just all over the place. For instance, I’m just as glad as the next person to see all the Witches gathering back in real life to help Haruto, but even I, who covering this show week to week, have a hard time to tell apart all the Witches (why don’t they number them just to make things easier? Just a thought). Like, who is the girl in the computer? And if you count them all, there are 11 Witches, that inconsistency makes things more awesome. At that, some of the Witches have significant bigger roles than the others, which is a shame. I remember one of the group doesn’t have any speaking lines or contribute to the plot at all. Mind you, my heart isn’t made of stone so when Witch 3 pops up (The Witch of First Love), I was in great joy. The way she popped up though – through a text message and all – feels creepy and the way other Witches think that it’s funny is way creepier. 18if always has that tonal inconsistency but in this episode that tonal issues are way too lame and goofy for its own good.

And then the plot progresses too randomly. Turn out my guess about the true nature of Professor’s sister Yurina is off the mark. She’s neither Haruto nor Eve. She’s the virgin witch who guard the door for Eve (now that I think about that probably all other Witches might as well are virgins. Why? No clue. Might be like in Madoka virgins hold the most powerful energy). Yurina is revealed to be a former idol who goes to big sleep because of the pressure she received (sound familiar?). As a result, in order to overcome her challenge, Haruto and the team use Witch 9 – an idol Witch. An idol for an idol, one who command CG shooting tanks and the other uses whips, and then Haruto finishes the new Witch off by impuring her in the manner of kissing her (how that logic apply is beyond my graps). The way this episode feels all over the place is mainly because there is no set “rules” in the dream world. The only rule is “anything can happen in the dream” which is frankly the reason why nothing hold up at all. Add that with goofy characters who do stupid things and we have a clear winner for “Something so Gross 2017 edition”.

And the plot progresses too conveniently. Remember how they found Haruto in real life? By one of the Witch who “happens” to skip the searching to pay respect for her doctor who “happens” to be the mysterious guy last week who “happens” to treat a Sleeping Beauty Boy named Haruto. Yuck. This doctor even has the time to inform the condition of said patient to some strangers too. Then isn’t it a bit convenient that when one of the Witch goes back to sleep, they will enter Haruto’s world to fight off the villain? If so, why don’t all of them go? It doesn’t help at all that the animation is at its most uninspiring this episode, with the CG models feel out of place and the characters and the fight don’t look decent. One thing we should pay attention is how Haruto realizes that Eve’s door is the same door that Lily always use, so that makes Lily some part of Eve? Does Haruto need to kill her in order to kill Eve? Is she a friend or foe? This episode of 18if is loud with too much explosions, but beside its noise it doesn’t leave much impact or have any neat idea to tell. Too bad that 18if would end on this unsatisfied note.

Posted on 20 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Made in Abyss

It’s been an issue I have wanted to bring up before but the previous episode recaps of this series are rather long. Today’s was the biggest offender as the first three and a half minutes was just footage from the previous episode. While these kinds of recaps are handy for those watching weekly to catch up, they do pose a problem to those marathoning the series in the future as they will likely be moving from episode to episode which each starting with an unnecessary reminder. Of course I realise that these recaps are not so much for informing the viewer of previous events but rather making it that less needs to be animated for each new episode. I doubt Made in Abyss is a cheap series to produce and those backgrounds alone must take serious effort. Regardless being the greedy sod I am I cannot help at feel disappointed that less content is present in each episode. Whether you love it or hate it, Re:Zero did right by making it that the opening and ending were often cut from the episode in favor of animating more content. (Still waiting on a second season White Fox. New Ova is giving me hope, but there better be a second season announcement.)

As the episode title suggests, this episode was all about Nanachi. Nanachi being living proof of what happens when you try to ascend the abyss from the sixth layer. She got off lucky by keeping her sanity and personality despite be turned into a rabbit like creature but her friend wasn’t so lucky. Mitty is more like the real result that would happen should a human try to ascend the abyss, a gelatinous genetic mess with little cognitive function. It’s still uncertain as to what the curse of the Abyss is but this certainly qualifies as a fate worse than death. I really like that this show really doesn’t hold back on the glorious duties of hospital treatment. Suppositories, piss soaked rags and even attaching fungi in a similar manner to leech therapy. This stuff isn’t pretty but it gets the job done and when you’re a patient, dignity stays at the door. So far I like Nanachi’s dynamic to the group as she’s the more experienced but also playful and smarmy addition to the group. She already works well with Regu’s straight laced nature and with Riko’s earnest attitude I think she could add a lot to the series. Of course it’s still a question of whether she is actually going to join the two on their quest to the bottom of the abyss but the opening and ending of the series almost makes that a certainty.

There is a small glimpse into Regu’s memories as he recalls being present at the grave marker for Riko’s mother and the words he recalls seem to suggest that Riko’s mother was the last to see Regu off when he journeyed to the surface. I sincerely doubt that RIko’s mother is alive at this point and even if she is alive i would say she’s likely no longer human. In fact I was willing to bet on Nanachi being the transformed form of her mother but considering her reactions to the whistle and her connection to the other white whistle that is looking to be unlikely. We are nearing the end of this series and while the last episode is an hour long feature I have to wonder on just what note Made in Abyss will end on.

Posted on 17 September 2017 with categories: 18if, Currently Watching:

Hum, never know that Eve is a ginger and has wings like an angel and wears that cool dress. I’ve always thought she’s always naked. hmmm

Finally, 18if provides an overarching double length plot to wrap everything up. We have an episode that splits half of the time as a recap of what previously happened in their first ten episodes (which run a bit too long for my taste) and another half serves as the Matrix-inspired progression where they attempt to twist everything by saying that the dream world is real and the real world is all Eve’s dream (I hear someone whispers “a lie about a lie. It turns inside-out on itself” *snap*) and we do learn a bit more about Haruto’s role in all this. As a whole, I’m in favor with this new direction for a conclusive ending since the previous Witch of the Week format had been too inconsistent for its own good and only occasionally added up to the big picture. However, I am somewhat mixed at the actual presentation. I can get behind the admittedly pretentious theory from the cult leader. It’s silly but it doesn’t feel out of place with what 18if established so far. Introducing new characters this late of a game, in contrast, doesn’t sit right with me; especially the guy who is voiced by my favorite voice actor Hiroshi Kamiya where I don’t see any real role for him.

Basically, what the cult leader and Lily explain is the same story told by two contrasted perspectives. What they have the same in their story is the awaken of Eve (yes, our Adam and Eve). She is the Mother Goodness of Sleeping Beauty, fall hopelessly into sleep after eating the Fruit of Knowledge. She dreams of this world, the world we live in now, as a place where human receive punishment for their sins, blah blah all the things that basically written in the Bible. Those 10 Witches served as maidens/linchpins (again, depend on whose perspective) to guard the Sleeping Eve and now all of them have awaken by a certain someone. On one hand, the Thorn Cross Association believes that the Sleeping Beauties are the ones who “waking up” from this dream world, so it’s extremely worrisome for them now that all the Witches have been returned to this cursed world. They found Haruto guilty and thus, try to kill him and wake up Eve. Lily, on the other hand, reveals to Haruto that she’s the one responsible for not waking him up, so that now he would go on to kill Eve to save the world from destruction. (Of course, all roads lead to Rome. Every plot points in Anime has to lead to the “saving the world from destruction” scenario so we know they’re SERIOUS.)

We have a first glimpse at Yurina’s appearance (The Professor’s sister) and at this point I can assume she’s either Haruto or Eve. It makes more sense if she’s Haruto since I discussed in detail last week (and she has the same hair color as Haruto). It’s nice to see all the former Witches again, even only with the slideshow (although I swear I can’t take those flashbacks seriously with Haruto having a boner) and in the end they appear to form group in order to save Haruto. It’s a shame only 9 of them are able to make it back to the real world (the Witch of First Love in episode 3 passed away) but I am very excited to see all the girls in real life interacting with each other and I do wonder how 18if manages to put all of those different character designs altogether in one setting. I have to note that towards the end, 18if uses new scores – the first one is very impressive with its moody classical tone, the second one though… sounds exactly like Hand Shakers score for some reasons which leave a sour taste to the mouth. With only one episode left, and with the Final Boss finally in sight, I wholly expect a massive fight between Eve and all the former Witches + our team (the title is named “The Witch Wars” after all). Let’s hope 18if can pull off a satisfying ending.

Posted on 13 September 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Made in Abyss

I was well on my way to saying that Made in Abyss may have dark elements but is isn’t an inherently dark show. Then this episode came along and hit like a jackhammer. For as cheery as the episode started, it most certainly took a dark turn. The darkest turn this series has taken to date. Riko and Regu encounter a porcupine like creature that seems above what they can handle and Riko is injured and poisoned by the creature. Regu manages to escape barely by ascending to another platform which of course means that Riko is hit with the Abysses curse. At first it looks like the curse actually worked in her favor as the bleeding looks to push the poison out of her system. That is of course until she starts bleeding from her eyes and ears and basically everywhere. The abysses curse has never been pretty but this is it at it’s most gruesome as seeing Regu panicking as Riko slowly bleeds out is an unnerving sight.

So with Riko gravely injured and poisoned, it’s up to Regu to do whatever he can to save her life. With happens to be some extreme measures as Riko instructs him to perform a makeshift amputation to remove her poisoned arm. What follows may be the hardest anime episode of the season to watch as Regu desperately attempts to cut off Riko’s arm while keeping his emotions in check. I winced as I saw Regu pick up the rock in order to break her arm in order to make it easier to cut and when it came to the cutting itself…christ…how did we get from whimsical adventure to this? Despite it being well over half the series we finally see the rabbit girl featured in the opening and ending.

I expected her to be more of a comedic addition to the group but from the looks of things she’s likely going to act as the experience mentor to the two. She already knows quite a good bit more about the abyss than they do and seems to be experienced in medical treatment. With this we can say the kid gloves are off. Riko almost died and these abyss creatures are not playing around. There are no Hazu’s, no Ozen’s, no Dorm leaders and even their books aren’t going to help them now. Funtime is over and the real game starts now. Though speaking of which, Made in Abyss could make for a fantastic game if handled correctly.

Posted on 10 September 2017 with categories: 18if, Currently Watching:

I can understand a lot of viewers will get turn off by this episode, but allow me to say that the low frame rates and the off-model characters are all intentional and I can argue that despite its low-budget looking and jerky movements, this episode has very strong production values and inventive visual aesthetic. The person who direct this lovely episode, not surprisingly was Koji Morimoto; who directed episode 2 of 18if as well. I don’t think you can tell the two episodes were handled by the same person, since the visuals and the overall tones are vastly different, but one thing these two episodes shared lies in its total creative control. In fact, leering to the differences in styles between episode 2 and episode 10 make me more appreciate the broad range skills Koij Morimoto has. This is one of the best episode, along with episode 7, in terms how18if can use its dream premise to produce something audio-visually compelling.

Now, I want to dissect about this episode’s infamous artistic choices. You can see the character movements animate at the pace of the snail, and sometimes even the lines coming from the characters’ mouth seems off. The character designs, likewise, especially with Haruto and the Professor, are totally off – the ugliest designs we have encountered so far. Worst, the story doesn’t make much sense because everything is vague just like you experience a bad dream. But despite all of that, all those choices have its purposes. Low frame-per-second rate and off-model designs allow the movements, and the characters’ expressions, respectively, to be much more expressive than stricter, more traditional style. It’s important because this episode goes for expressionist style, most notably with its gorgeous background arts that stand impressively on its own (normally a bad sign but it’s precisely what expressionist art is about. If you look closely, those backgrounds arts are Hanako’s pictures hang in her room) and the top-notch musical score that not only strengthen the moody, dreamy atmosphere but also the way it handles the different types of music: a classical musical performance, tap-along-the-dancefloor beat and the rock guitar riff solo – all of them are magnificent. The background arts are seriously visually stunning, look at one of the screenshots above for the visual symmetry and I admit that I took like 40 screenshots for this episode alone. I will take a deeper look on those background arts later time to see if I can draw anything related to Hanako’s psychology or not.

Episode 10 also takes full advantage of its dream world, in terms of it follows its own brand of logic; doing whatever they feel like: swimming like a shark, flying like a bird, taking photoshoot in cute weird animal costume, having a sword fight, smoking and dancing. All these activities that Hanako wanted to try in real life but couldn’t. This week is one of the long time since the main cast is back as the main focus, which I’m glad to see; and I enjoy the interactions between them, especially now that the Professor can be able to see and talk to Lily, for some reasons yet explained. I also enjoy the company of the Witch this week – Hanako (or Jane Doe in English name – the most common name significant everyday man theme). Apparently, she still making blogs in the real world (and eat yummy strawberry while blogging), which further indicates that the dream world can have some connections and can have an influence on the real world (something that addressed explicitly in episode 2). Finally, it’s now more or less confirmed that Haruto experiencing Sleeping Beauty as well (hah!), and my guess is that the Professor needs all the previous Witches power to bring him back to life, and might as well to his sleeping sister. Wait, isn’t it make more sense that Haruto IS the Professor’s younger sleeping sister in real life? That would explain why the Professor give that much attention to Haruto and only him is the real-life connection to Haruto as of now. Only 2 episodes left, I believe it’s time we get to the gist of who or what Haruto really is.

CHANGE USERNAME
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
SuperMario
But I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I feel the relationships are a tad too heavy-handed. The light hearted tones don't work well for me but I really feel a From the New world's vibe from the show
SuperMario
@Amagi: I will talk about Children of the Whales here in the chatbox since we don't cover it. Damnit the cliffhanger. That series really focuses on the theme of repress their own feelings. From the children in the Mud Whales with their custom of not to cry in the funeral or their lacing their hands to express their gratitude. Episode 2 has that monster who basically eats others emotions
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by extension, I would hope that it would encourage adaptations of older fantasy manga aswell.
Amagi
I really hope this type of fantasy will become a new trend instead of the classical world of warcraft type of isekai
Amagi
There is just something really atmospherical about a few characters exploring an unknown world alone that is either almost or entirely devoid of humans or just weird like in Kino's Journey.
Amagi
Shuumatsu Shoujou, Houseki, Kino 2017 and Children of the Whales are shaping up to become my favorites this season. It's funny that they have so much in common, same with Made in Abyss, which also was my favorite of the last season.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well there were fellows down in cork that decided to go Kite Surfing. They had to send out a boat to rescue the dumb bastards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw that there were some profoundly stupid people ignoring the warnings, some guy even decided to go out swimming despite it.
Total users: 23

Featured Posts

Ballroom e Youkoso – 15/16 [Taking the Reins/Four-legged]

Boy, this was really a Tale of Two Ballrooms. One of these episodes was almost certainly outsourced, based on the visual inconsistencies that extended even to key poses, but handled its character moments dutifully. The other looked markedly better than most of this show’s recent offerings, but rushed through so much material that its conclusion […]

Houseki no Kuni – 03 [Metamorphose]

It just occurred to me since I watched Bakuman (the first season of it, anyways) fairly recently, but watching Bakuman made me realize how tough it is to have your manga publicize, let alone become a popular one. For those who have watched the anime or read the manga of Bakuman, remember the early Golden […]

Girls’ Last Tour – 03 [Streetlights]

Welp, I never would have thought Girls’ Last Tour can get any better, but this week’s episode is straight up phenomenal. Episode 3 manages to make some new tricks to its well-established formula: introduces another human survivor to the mix, askes a deeper philosophical question about the meaning of life in that stark world (and […]

Inuyashiki – 2 [Hiro Shishigami]

Woe be unto thee who passes further, for today we are talking about Episode 2 of Inuyashiki! A lot happened this week. New characters, dark twists and the start of what I can only imagine is the central conflict of the season. Lets jump in! First and foremost, we need to talk about Hiro Shishigami. […]

Juuni Taisen – 03 [Cutting a Chicken with a Beef Cleaver]

I’m starting to worry about Juuni Taisen. Like what we all predicted last week, this week indeed follows a reverse zodiac order. We have Chicken served as our main POV and at the end she’s the one who get sendoff (with no small help from the episode title. What a huge spoiler). Judge by the […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 15[Differing Paths]

It’s funny that only now, when we are well into the halfway point of the series that it takes some time to flesh out its cast. Sisgou has gotten some backstory, Fiore was fleshed out a little and even Gordes got some time to prove he’s not a complete caricature. The last one is something […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 02[Colosseum]

In an odd turn of events, the second episode of Kino’s Journey 2017 is a retelling of a story done in the original 2003 version. Where Kino is forced to participate in deathmatches upon reaching a country. I find this choice odd as I would consider the Colosseum story in the original to be the […]

Dies Irae – 02[Twilight Girl]

There may be those of you who ask why I would cover this series despite it’s rather disastrous prequel episode. Even I will not be attempting to defend this adaption as I sorely believe it will be rather poor indeed. But when you truly think about it, isn’t it the case that I would be […]

Houseki no Kuni – 02 [Diamond]

Note: due to the fact that the whole cast of Houseki is agender and I DO care about the issue, I will address them either by their name or by gender neutral pronoun. But do forgive me if sometimes the old habit gets the better of me. You readers, on the other hand, can address […]

Latest Reviews

The Reflection Review – 45/100

The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

There are few series which can capture the mystery and wonder of a fantasy world as well as Made in Abyss. Their world is dangerous, brutal and unforgiving but beautiful, wondrous and exciting in it’s presentation. The story is of a ordinary girl called Riko and a mysterious cyborg boy called Regu traveling down the […]

Classroom of the Elite (Summer 2017) Review – 54/100

Here’s a perfect example of a Light Novel adaptation schlock that has some interesting concept but terrible presentation. Youkoso usually starts the episode with a thought-provoking philosophical quote, and then (in one episode in particular) they followed up with a boob shot. It sums up exactly how I feel about this show. In service for […]

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

Allow me to skip over the last episode coverage for this full review of 18if, since I was too underwhelmed by the finale to have anything concrete except pointing out how messy the ending was. The first thing you need to know about 18if is that it’s a multimedia project (along with a mobile game […]

Princess Principal (Summer 2017) Review – 82/100

Princess Principal has emerged as a true sleeper hit for this admittedly sloppy Summer Season. A joint project from indie studios that bring us my favorite anime of last year Flip Flappers (3Hz) and “better than it has any right to be” Girls und Panzer (Actas), Princess Principal records the missions of five cute spy […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul Review 80/100

“Dance!” I have been a  reader of this blog for a long time. Indeed it would not be wrong to say that psgels and the current crop of writers have helped maintain my interest in anime for the last decade. So now here is my chance to give something back to this excellent blog. Shingeki […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members […]

Re:Creators – 22 [Re:CREATORS] – 75/100

There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be […]