Posted on 2 April 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra




Without a doubt my favourite show during the past Winter Season. Armed Librarians was always interesting to watch, it always brought nice ideas to the table, and it always was wrapped in a tight script. There are just so many thing to like about this series.

For a fantasy series, the premise already stands out with its simple idea to turn people into ‘books’ after they die: these books can be read by anyone who touches them, and the lead characters are basically bookkeepers of these books (so yeah, the term ‘librarians’ in this series has very much a double meaning). The idea an sich is already very creative, but the beauty really lies in how the series makes use of those books to weave past and present into one.

Every arc is basically laid out with a number of seemingly unrelated plot-threads, that get woven into one brilliantly. Past and present cross each other in the explanation of the ties between the different characters in each arc as we learn about why the central characters became involved with the plot in the first place. Each arc really takes care to make its characters complete and even the character-development is very well thought out within the plot. Conclusions are often very clever combinations of circumstances of everyone’s unique circumstances.

And this just goes on for the entire series. Every arc continues to throw interesting plot twists that are full of creativity like it’s nothing! This comes at a price, of course. While this series really has had the best plot I have watched in YEARS, the characters don’t feel exactly like characters, but instead are much more part of the plot. Because of this, you don’t want to watch this sereis for realistic or characterization. The reason the characters rock in this series is because of what they represent, and how their development ties into the rest of the series.

Then there’s also the matter that this show would have fit better within 35 episodes. Throughout the majority of this series, you won’t notice much of it, however the final arcs are clearly rushed, and you can visibly see that the creators have troubles fitting everything into such a short time spam. Nevertheless, whem compared to so many series that were put into the same situation, it really got away with its rushed ending. While cheesy, it always stays true to what it is, and ands with a huge bang that gives it its best shot to resolve the plot as good as possible.

So overall, Armed Librarians has been an utter delight to watch for me. If you’re looking for an exciting fantasy adventure then it’s an excellent recommendation. The production values by David Production get increasingly better after its first episode, and its soundtrack is truly epic and fits its setting perfectly. It’s been a consistently fun an entertaining ride for me, and I hope it will be for you as well.

Storytelling: 10/10 – One of the best plots I watched in years. So many plot threads weaved together.
Characters: 9/10 – Excllent and imaginative development, but no character is realistic.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Awesome soundtrack, animation that may not be the most accurate, but continues to keep the balls in the air for the rest of the series.
Setting: 9/10 – A highly imaginative world that combines many, many interesting concepts into one. Also is the first fantasy I have seen to actually have democracies.

Suggestions
– Vision of Escaflowne
Hi no Tori
Pandoa Hearts

Posted on with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



How awesome. The thing I was waiting for with this series was to end with a bang, and what a bang it is! You can see that it was cheesy, that’s no surprise at this point. However, I’m much more interested in how well this series concluded, and how much the creators managed to insert in this episode without self-destructing. Fast paced endings and flow paced endings take some completely different skill to work out well. With slow-paced ones, it’s really the point to allow the characters to develop into new heights. If not, then it’ll just turn out boring. With fast-paced endings, and a lot left open, it’s less of a concern to let everything happen naturally, and instead create an as big spectacle as possible, using the plot threads that you built up in the entire series, rather than just writing a boring action-scene and revealing the last number of plot twists like it was some kind of checklist.

I loved this ending, exactly because of that. It was just incredibly entertaining, and at the same time it really made use of its weird premise to actually give dead people a chance to shine, providing an ACTUAL REASON FOR IT. In fact, the story would not have made any sense if Hamyuts able to bring books into Ruruta: the entire circle comes together so wonderfully with that revelation. All along, it was the master plan to have Hamyuts and Chacoly both as individual attempts to penetrate into Ruruta and destroy him from the inside. This is why he tortured Hamyuts so that she became a masochist. Who knows what kind of horrible things he must have done to her in order to give her that power, but that part is left to our imagination.

The only big mystery here is why Hamyuts and Mirepoc were able to wield two powers. But hey, we’ve seen that it’s possible to transfer powers. With that in mind, Hamyuts probably brought Chacoly’s soul back, and tried to keep Mirepoc alive at all costs: her power to communicate to everyone, combined with Chacoly’s soul transference was an actual plausible way of saving the world in an over the top and cheesy manner. No longer is it just a godmode beam, but for once it’s well explained.

And then there was seeing everyone making a final appearance. In a show with such a high body count, this was beyond awesome to see everyone able to shine one more time, with actual reasons behind it, and actually having them end up dead at the end of the series: nobody who died got revived. Only asleep people got woken up. Ireia especially was just awesome.

then there’s Ruruta’s change of heart. Again, perhaps a bit too much. But you know what? This is a guy who has been doing everything for the person he loved, and he went as far as he did because he had the power to do so. Now that he’s lost his raison d’etre, having heard that all of his efforts were pretty much pointless, he actually tries to fix the mess he made. Not because he suddenly leaned the meanings of love and peace. Something tells me that he knew those all along. It’s more like, he just didn’t have any reason left not to save the world. He’s not like the lazy person who’d just give up and do nothing, given his 2000-year long quest to find the perfect book for his lover.

You know, you can really consider me a fan of David Production at this point. Despite how unknown the novels were, they gave it a chance and it worked out wonderfully. I’m really looking forward to whatever they have in sore next. Even if it’s just another trainwreck like Dogs Bullets and Carnage.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 27 March 2010 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



yeah, so there is no doubt that this show is getting cheesy. The thing is, however, that I’m much more interested in how this finale uses the build-up that has been provided by the rest of this series. In a way, I can understand the criticisms to this series: standalone the characters indeed aren’t the reason to watch this show.

I haven’t really been watching this show for its characters, though. The reason I became a huge fan of this series was because of its storytelling: the way it managed to weave so many storylines together. The boldness of the script and the way that it was able to write these gripping action scenes, simply with this plot that had so many interesting ideas stuffed into it, combined with its powerful and over the top soundtrack.

I really love it when anime decide to show off what they’re good at. The reason why I’m also such a big fan of Noloty and Volken was not because what they were, but what they represented. I really believe that every anime should focus what it’s good at, and this finale has been truly action-packed, throwing tons of plot twists and ideas into the mix and exactly what I’ve been looking for! While other series this season have more realistic characters, none of them really excell in the same magnitude that Bantorra’s plot has been impressing me with, week after week after week. THAT’s exactly why I already consider this to be a huge contender for my favourite show of 2010, even though we’ve still got three seasons to go before I can say for sure. it’s SO going to be a shame to see this series end next week, because I’ve been enjoying every single minute of it.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 20 March 2010 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



Ah, what an episode. At this point the creators of the anime were standing for a major dilemma that hits just about every series out there: the fact that the story doesn’t fit exactly into 26 episodes. I’ve raged enough about this problem with other series, but with this series, they’re actually pulling it off to put the essence of the final novels into these final episodes without derailing. This series is everything that fantasy and steam-punk should be, and it seriously set the bar much higher for future generations. Even until this episode, it kept an excellent balance between plot, setting, characters, background and action. Each speaking to the imagination.

One of the major pitfalls of mystery series is the point at which questions have to be answered. Asking a lot of intriguing questions is one thing, but it takes skill to make all of eventual answers live up to the hype that these questions created. And this show even proved that these answers kick ass. We finally get a glimpse into heaven, and what it’s like. And we finally get to see the background story that resulted into everything: Ruruta Coozancoona’s. We already could have guessed that the Armed Librarians and the Church were created in order to create exciting books. This episode didn’t just show why this was all done, it also showed the story behind it. That it was all in an attempt to destroy the gods who kept destroying the worlds they created because they were unhappy with the continuous wars.

When you think a bit further, this had some interesting results: these Gods surely were short-sighted bastards. Thanks to Ruruta the world wasn’t destroyed and instead it continued to thrive. The result? A stable world full of actual democracies, in which most of the drama is caused by the guy who took god’s place: Ruruta, and his wishes to provide interesting books in an attempt to bring back his loved one.

The big question still remains however: what the heck is heaven? The people we saw gathered in the theatre: what exactly was their connection? Since the previous governor of paradise was among them, it may be a place where the true men gather: the ones who came closest to Ruruta’s ideals for the perfect book (which would also explain why Hamy ended up entering it even though her hook didn’t appear yet).
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 13 March 2010 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



Since it looks like there isn’t going to be a continuation, this episode pretty much would be a big test for the creators: can they stuff the remaining novels into such a short-timeframe, while capturing their essence? It’s a thing that many series have failed at, but what do you know? This episode was in no way less awesome than the previous ones.

While a bad ending can still mess this up, at this point however I’m confident to say the following: Bantorra has the best plot of any other series I’ve seen in the past few years. While other series may beat it in terms of characters, animation or dialogue, the storyline of the past 24 episodes has been utterly sublime, and I can only think of very few storylines that impressed me more than this one. I absolutely love how bold, creative, unpredictable and layered it turned out to be. Even though the novels don’t seem that popular at all, it’s awesome that the people from David Production saw their potential and decided to animate it to a wider audience.

This episode answered a lot of the main questions, including the identity of “heaven”, and Hamy’s background. Seriously, I never expected Chacoly to have turned out like the way we saw her in this episode. Broken by Hamy after her heart was broken… and somehow living on without any purpose. As it turns out, both Hamy and Chacoly were attempts to kill Ruruta Coozancoona, a.k.a. heaven, in two different ways. Chacoly tried to make him fall in love, while Hamy was meant to be a tool to kill Ruruta. How her desire to die comes into this…. I’m not sure yet.

The other big mystery for the next to episodes to explain is what Ruruta is after. At first I thought that he was simply looking for entertainment as some sort of bored deity, but then this episode threw that girl into the picture. My guess is that she’s dead now, and he’s pretty much been sulking about her for 2000 years. Him achieving “true happiness” may just have been impossible from the start. But what could he be after? I mean, it’s not like the dead are going to come back if the world gets destroyed, right?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 6 March 2010 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



So here I thought that I was beginning to understand the story of this series. And then this episode comes and gives a completely different dimension to just about everything. Seriously, is there no end to the Armed Librarians’ awesomeness?

I remember noting a few episodes ago, that the Violet Sinner might be this series’ protagonist. Okay, so that was obviously wrong and incredibly misguided, as this episode showed that she too could be quite the bastard to Hamyuts, and probably turned her into what she is today. I’m very surprised that the creators have decided to show much deeper into the past, to show where everything begun: with the wishes of one of the acting directors to destroy heaven. AKA: that damned tree!

This episode revealed A LOT: as it turns out, the Armed Librarians exist in order to protect heaven, while the Church is there to maintain it: to provide it with good books in its attempt to achieve true happiness. The reason they’re at war is mostly because most members don’t even know about this, and Kachua getting strange ideas and taking these ideals much further than necessary.

Now, about Hamy: the majority of her past hasn’t been revealed yet, but based on what this episode my theory is the following: both she and the Violet Sinner were developed as a way to destroy heaven. Heaven told Makia that it wanted to die, however I believe that this was mostly another one of its attempts to create the ultimate book: Hamy. I have no bloody clue what his wishes are, but I think that the church believed that Hamy’s book was the one that Heaven was looking for, and therefore tried to kill her with all their might. In contrast, the Violent Sinner was meant to destroy heaven: when her love would come true, heaven would be destroyed.

My guess is that whatever Heaven is trying to do, Hamy wants it as well. By ‘wanting to ascend heaven’, she meant that she wanted to have her book absorbed by that tree. She’s basically been living her entire life, trying to make her book as exciting as possible! That’s why she wanted to die: in an as exciting way as possible, so that’s why a simple suicide wouldn’t work: everything about her needed to be glorious in order for her to be the book that grants Heaven’s wishes.

I’m not sure how that ties in with the Violent sinner, though. There are just too many open questions about her at this point. Who did she love? What is her connection to Hamy, and what did she want Hamy to create?

Overall, Armed Librarians has been without a doubt my favourite show during the past Winter Season. The next question is simple: SECOND SEASON WHERE!?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 27 February 2010 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



What an amazing conclusion to this arc. This series has really been delivering from start to finish, and I can only hope that the entire story can get animated within the next four episodes.

At this point, all of the characters on the outer side of the moral spectrum are dead now: on one side we have Volken’s immense belief in justice, and Noloty’s endless kindness, and on the other we have the power-hungry leader of an evil organization who wants to change the world. The way this series has portrayed them is nowhere near overused, though. Kachua has been a great villain throughout the series: he always had this air of mystery around him, and it’s not like he started out as someone who wanted to destroy the world: it was only his final trump as the Church neared extinction. But I especially applaud Noloty: she really showed that naivety and innocence in an action-series aren’t overrated.

Sure, there are tons of series with lead characters who refuse to kill and all, but it’s Noloty who takes this a step further. Her kind of love for everyone goes far beyond “thou shalt not kill”, but rather tries to look behind it, in her attempts to infect the world with her kindness; kindof the opposite that Kachua has been doing in the past arc. And I guess that that shallowness of his approach was also symbolized in how easy the infected people turned back to normal: in order to truly change something, you need to change its core, like what Noloty has been doing. Brainwashing is just a temporarily solution.

In any case: now what? The main focus of this series is now going to be this “heaven”. People seem obsessed with entering it. Hamyuts in this episode revealed that she indeed wants to die, but do so gloriously. My guess is that that would be her attempt to become a true man and enter this heaven. That mysterious killer guy who killed Vizac and Noloty has his own ways of doing it, by simply betraying the armed librarians. My guess is that Mokkania also tried it at some point, but locked himself away when he realized what he was doing (since this episode did show that he killed quite a number of innocent people as well).

Speaking of which: what happened to Kachua’s book? Will that one still play a role, since he died as a seemingly true man, after all?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 20 February 2010 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



So, the slaughter has begun. I must say that I really like all of the background behind this apocalyptic arc. Finally we don’t have some sort of evil demon who is about to destroy the world: the background behind this one is much more complex and interesting.

This episode passed, and it’s still a bloody mystery as to what happened to Noloty in the previous episode. We do get some hints, though: that boy she was with has the power to unleash his emotions to others. Whatever happened between him, Noloty and the Governor of Paradise, it killed off Noloty, made Arkit believe that the Armed Librarians killed her off, and somehow turned him into a lizard. While the latter is probably an aftereffect of Arkit’s powers, the big mystery is why the Governor of Paradise actually revealed himself in order to get the job done. Is the church this close to extinction?

I do have one point of criticism, though. Ireia’s death was probably the first cliched one I’ve seen in this series. It was by far the least impressive one, because of how over the top it was. All deaths in Bantorra thus far had something special, with the most impressive being Volken and Noloty, but with Ireaia… the creators hinted a bit to much to the fact that she was about to die.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 13 February 2010 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



Oh god, no. They couldn’t… they didn’t. This show just… is unbelievable at times. What a plot twist, and what a powerful way to execute it!

This episode really showed me. I’ve noticed that one of the most often voiced criticisms is that some of the characters are too naive, especially regarding Volken, but Noloty has this naivety as well. And this episode showed that the creators intended naivety to be main themes of this series. It’s not like Volken and Noloty are just characters whose archetypes appear in a ton of other series. Just look at their context in the series: they aren’t both naive, they’re naive in their own way with a religious adherance to one particular virtue.

For Volken, it’s that he wanted to spread justice. Noloty wanted to spread kindness. And these two actually had the beliefs and conviction in order to do it: they were so convinced of their own ideals that they were able to make decisions that any sane and mature person, as Mattoalast and Hamy, could never have taken. And THAT’s what sets them apart from most other leads. The first two arcs were exactly for that: to build up their beliefs. Then, right before their deaths, their beliefs get completely shattered and proven wrong, and yet in Volken’s case he remained pure, and I expect that to be the case for Noloty as well.

Because holy crap. I did not expect Noloty to get killed off so soon? I mean, we were all like “yay! another Noloty episode”, and instead we end up reading her book! It’s not confirmed, but I highly suspect that it’s Noloty’s kindness that eventually got her.

This only leaves us with one of the three main naive characters alive: Mirepoc. Unlike Noloty and Volken, she doesn’t have strong beliefs, and is very much in doubts, and she lacks the conviction to really go with her own ideals because she’s constantly surrounded by Hamy and Mattoalast, and in the past also Volken, because her ability is just so damn handy. She’s different to them, because it feels like she’s in the middle of everything: her power is supposed to be dependable, rather than aggressive, which might help her escape the fate of Volken and Noloty.

Also, the major climax has begun. And holy crap is it epic. it’s very common for these kinds of series to involve the entire world in it. The lazy way out is of course to threaten to make the main bad guy so powerful that he’s going to end up destroying the world if not stopped. It’s a lot more layered here, though. Every country, even democracies (whoa, democracies in a fantasy-series: that’s rare!), suddenly decides to declare war on the Library of Bantorra. Just what did Kachua (The Governor of Paradise) do in order to accomplish that?

Also: something tells me that Hamy only told a part of the truth in the last episode. I mean, she obviously has much more secrets, but one particular thing that she failed to mention is that it seems that the war between the Armed Librarians and the Church, while it started out as a simple mock war, has turned into a full blown war. In fact, I’m betting my hat that this had to be done because Hamy became the Acting Director.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 6 February 2010 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



Holy crap, you people weren’t kidding about this episode! This series just continues to get better and better. What an incredibly creative script, this series really takes no conventions for granted.

Oh, remmember the first few episodes of this series, in which Volken was nothing but an average lead character with a strong sense of justice. Seriously, I never expected that someone as Olivia Litlet would get more screen-time than he did. The way that this series plays around with our expectations and turns them into something unpredictable is just unbelievable.

So yeah: Volken died. The creators actually had the GUTS to kill him off. And yet Olivia still lives at the end of this episode. This episode did such a great job of developing the two of them. Volken on one hand seeing his beliefs destroyed when he found out that his mentor was not the upholder of justice he believed him to be, while Olivia as a strong woman searched for the passion that she once lost. It’s that passion and perseverance of her that really allowed her to live as a meat. Colio had already shown that it was possible, and she just took it a small step further. The whole ritual? She was trying the entire time to get her memories of Vend Ruga back. As someone who took care of her when she was a child and before the church got her.

Also, we’ve been expecting this for quite a while now, but Hamyuts finally confirmed it: the Church and the Armed Librarians aren’t at war at all. They just pretend to be. Heck, the Church was even created by the Armed Librarians. My guess is that they were intended to take care of all of the dirty work, probably for that damn tree or something. My guess is that it feeds on exciting books. That would be quite the irony: that the Armed Librarians and the Church just exist in order to provide nice books.

It’s also interesting: all this time it turned out that Hamyuts Meseta followed after a red herring, and basically sank a ship for nothing, just because Olivia wanted to scrabble her feelings on the wall. However, for her to go through such lengths. I really believe that we’ve found our major villain of this series. Or rather: the major good guy, since we’ve now pretty much confirmed that the Armed Librarians are the bad guys.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will be on leave in a few weeks, that will give me time to re-assess hsiao hsiao tsiens work. Also I think you might like Pickpocket by Jia Zhangke.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even though I do like Korean cinema, I have the most fun with the balls to the wall old Chinese/Hong-kong action films, aswell as the Japanese noirs and historical dramas.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Barking dogs put simply is one of those dry/dark comedies that jives with my sensibilities =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
For Bong, its a pity snowpiercer didn't go over well with some people. It improved on the comic it was based on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although I'm not blind to oldboys twist and some setpieces.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll admit I prefer Wooks lesser liked films, such as the thirst and cyborg . I've watched oldboy a few times and Mr Vengeance twice, lady vengeance once but no matter how hard I try I can't fully connect with them, end up feeling tired when watching. Handmaiden's story got my attention but I didn't find anything titilating about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I find Bongs works generally more fun, better satire aswell. But Kim-Jee-woon. Lee-chang-dong and kim-di-duk are my favourite Korean filmakers.
K-Off
everything from the creative cinematography to the plot points happening exactly where they need to happen. That's not what I feel Chan Wook's more honest work are. JSA, Old boy, Thirst, all have a comparatively less method approach to them, and they tackle stories and character relationships far more entangled thab Bong's works ever did.
K-Off
Some of Wook's recent work don't hold up very well, at least for the ones I've seen, and I'd agree that in creating masterpieces with brilliant social relevancy, Bong is that much better at it. But the styles are much more different than they appear I feel. For one, certainly everything in Bong's films are meticulously planned paintings, with
SuperMario
... Bong's works they are just inferior in terms of writing. Park is better at writting memorable characters thou
SuperMario
@K-Off: I personally believe these two are the greatest working Korean directors right now (despite my love for Hong Sang Soo's body of works). For Park, I LOVE his cinematography, every single shot feel like a painting for me. Although in terms of writing only Join Security Area and Oldboy are layered; other works writing feel so loose for me. Not that they are bad, but when you compare them to..
K-Off
Chan Wook is brilliant as well...Joint Security Area, Thirst, so fucking good. My favorite korean films are composed entirely of those two's works.
K-Off
Mother was amazing, definitely second after Memories. Both continue to amaze me every time I watch them and I feel like I pick up on something new every time I do. Not many murder-thrillers even come close to those two.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Mother floored me when I first watched it and it's my personal favorite film out of his. The only film I haven't watched from him was Barking Dogs, his debut. Was it great?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Bong continues to mix elements successfully but it can’t be in the same league as Memories, barking dogs and The host, I did like it more than mother however which I unfortunately found to be a kind of dull film (I need to see it again, as I watched it when I was new to Korean cinema).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It sells the viewer on the relationship between the girl and the animal successfully in away a cynical old man like me can like =P With the kid in mind, its not often enough we get tolerable child actors, she did a good job. It has that well executed sentimentalism the Koreans are good at.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While it does have some pretty clunky dialogue, ends conveniently and can get close to being too juvenile, having finished Okja, it generally comes off as a high level 90s kids flick that once it gets going keeps things rolling, you can watch it for Swinton and Gylennhall hamming/camping it up and there is an element of fun there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It really is a great feeling being in an arthouse cinema surrounded by anime fans watching an anime film, the mood and vibe of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On piratebay. I've actually only seen the nightmare fuel scenes in Gen but shocking stuff. I'd probably go with silent voice perhaps for the simple reason I felt it more.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: man. Okja already available online? Really looking forward to that one
SuperMario
@Kaiser: great. I get the feeling that in term of scope, In this Corner is more akin to Barefoot Gen than Graves of Fireflies. So how would you compare it with A Slient Voice? Which one you prefer?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Currently downloading okja.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Basically I thought, especially since the manga was only three chapters long the movie could have benefited from a tighter runtime but made up for it by being emotionally involving.
I’m content with giving it three stars and its made me want to spend my weekend watching films multiple about Hiroshima.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: allowing them to deliver on the emotions promised because the film spends so much time on her daily life.
I liked how the voice acting didn’t really feel like anime voice acting. You sort of get used to the character designs eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: This film, early on had many slice of lifey moments that I felt mixed on, on one hand they border on a bit plodding/slight, yet the comedy bits they put in actually kind of amuses, despite them going on too long, it allows you to get attached to this woman for when the sad parts show up ,
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As I said recently , today would be the day I saw in this corner of the world, I just got back from it.
I’ll start by saying that I don’t feel its worthy of the 5 stars its receiving, nor would it hold up to Kuroi Ame by Imamura Shohei or Takahata’s grave of the fireflies.
Anonymous1218982
KT here: Next RE:Creators episode seems to be a gag episode. Not sure how I feel, though obviously the creators need a break.
SuperMario
yeah, usually 1 small arc = 2 to 3 episodes. We have 3 mini arc left so I would say about 6 episodes
AidanAK47
Actually from what I hear, there isn't enough material left in Owarimonogatari to make a full course. Seems like it's one volume with would equal 6 episodes at best.
AidanAK47
Like hell. There's about five more Monogataris to adapt. Anyway it's not that you are not getting it but rather instead of one cour it's going to be all aired within two days as specials. The runtime of the specials is up for debate but you are still getting it.
SuperMario
the loss of the FINAL one, you mean.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I wouldn't grin evilly about it but there's like over ten Monogatari animes. Kinda hard to be sad over the loss of one.
SuperMario
According to ANN, this new Owarimonogatari will be a special 2-day events, which honestly I don't know what that even means. Most of you might grin your evil grin right now but I'm crying inside with that news.
SuperMario
The LWA finale didn't do much for me sadly. Croi's roles as a main antagonist is just not good. And I feel like in the end I don't know much about Suzy or Lotte. I think the worse episode for me was the one right after the twist about why Akko can't perform magic, because it's as Aidan said
KT
Thus Little Witch Academia comes to an end. I will miss it. Despite the mistake IMHO of the Croix Arc, this was a good series, and the last episode went back to the very elements that made me love it at the start. It was a happy series, and gave me a warm fuzzy feeling in some hard times. I thank it for it. It could had been exceptional, but I guess they wanted to try something more.Ah well.
AidanAK47
Really glad they used that Scarborough fair song one last time before the finale. I really love that song.
Anonymous1215349
SukaSuka's finale was beautiful, a great way to end a great anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I guess the big question I have is, do the character interactions coupled with what assume will be some kind of tragedy element work together well enough to make the viewer care and invest in the characters?
AidanAK47
So that's the end of SukaSuka. Better than I thought it would be. Honestly didn't give it enough of a chance in my preview. As far as light novel adaptions go it's above average. Though it does still suffer from it's cliches. Nothing outstanding but a worthwhile watch nontheless.
Anonymous1214845
Have you seen Shonen Jump is making an international manga contest? https://medibang.com/jumpplus/entry/
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you know it when you see it. At first I didn't believe they jumped the shark, but based on the events after that twist, yep it has settled for something much cheaper imo.
Lenlo
For Bahamut, im still enjoying it and we have another cour to go. I think it, and the first Bahamut, are good shows. For Kado, im only on ep 4 so im very curious what shark gets jumped
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think given the pace I'll watch 1-2 or 2-3 episodes of re creators instead of once a week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the end Bahamut suffered the same fate as the first one, I could never call it a bad show, I just never ended up feeling it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've given my thoughts on tsuki ga kirei before on here but I'll add by saying that I never expected it and uchouten 2 (despite the weak wrap up I liked the lead up) to be my favourite of the season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
About five years ago or so could have seen myself really having been in the mood for LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't as impressed with Uchoutens finale as Mario was,I found myself more annoyed by how clumsily done it all was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me kado jumped the shark with its latest direction and Aidans review along with flicking through this weeks episode kind of confirms I'm done with the show. A show I was initially unsure of but thought might become something.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Yeah....at least LWA's finale was pretty good and I think there's a possibility of a second season. With the Criox/Chariot plot line out of the way I say they could really bank on it's potential. Even if they don't, this series was still quite enjoyable.
Anonymous1211365
Man I couldn't agree more with Aidan about LWA and Kado. I still like and enjoy Kado but damn it could have been so much more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ntr trap appears to be a non-seinen/shounen yuri manga given its publication magazine.
Vonter
Not all people work as fast, but that's what companies expect nowadays. Which is why CGI is preferred over practical effects. Or even why anime has used more 3D that painted backgrounds, cars or other props that take time and work to be drawn.
Vonter
No. I get deadlines are tough. Companies and customers want everything made as fast as humanly possible, yet reality is that making things good takes time and money. I wouldn't be surprised that's why Berserk comes out every 6 months, the art is too detailed and the story is slow paced. Yet the anime was planned to be made in a year or two so it's evident either way, crunch is expected.
Lenlo
I think you misunderstood what he meant when he said the industry was a mess. Mangaka routinely work themselves into a hospital because of the demanding schedule
Vonter
Then there's the franchise appeal. Which inherently gains something because of persistence, awareness and name. It is hard when great visual effort is mainly put in things that are guaranteed to be a hit, because original stuff tend to make mistakes to find their own identity. Which in itself makes them very risky affairs.
Vonter
It's also a heavy flaw of the internet, having mainly binary opinions of good or bad. Which makes it hard to tell if you'll like something in the 7s like Nier or Alien 3 (might not be a 7 but opinions make it sound like it is). Divisive products that may or not may suit one's tastes.
Vonter
Personally I think the issue has become what suits your tastes, what are you willing to give a chance and what hits beyond the medium it is presented.
Vonter
@AidanAK47 "Manga in general is great but Jesus Christ the industry is a mess". - I mean, movies, games, and other entertainment have the same issue, since everyone has a big slice of the pie, yet there are like a million things competing for one's attention.
SuperMario
On that note, apart from the 3 shows I'n currently covering (Eccentric Family, Tsuki ga Kirei and ID-0), I will give a full review on Grimoire of Zero, a show that I feel rather difficult to pinpoint exactly on its quality.
SuperMario
Can't believe we approaching the final week of this current season. Gonna be a busy week of blogging with the usual weekly posts plus the final impressions.
SuperMario
@Anon1206174: I agree with you on both counts. And Sakura Quest has never been bad, but it could have been deeper and less messy. If you plan to watch ID-0 (I suggest you do), don't get your expectation too high because it works much better when you expect nothing of it. Like each episode I was genuinely surprised how good ID-0 actually is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember one of Aidan's visual novel posts where he said theres potentially hundreds of VNs un-translated and LNs too, makes me wonder just how much un-translated manga we are missing out on.
Anonymous1206174
The ID-o posts sound pretty interesting, I am really thinking of dropping Sakura and watching this instead. Really loved the beginnign of Sakura and that abandoned town atmosphere it had, but I am not feeling it anymore. The recent episode about Shiori was great again though..
Kaiser-Eoghan
*looking
Then again he's an extremely forgetable person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Godammit, looing back over my comments I meant to say Souta not Setsuna, I suck at remembering non-English names.
Anonymous1205999
Meh - I really like this season but I already have my first cases of 'good-show-disappointing-ending/second half'
Anonymous1206022
KT Here:RE:Creators , we need to know more about the rules for Altair to see if that works. It might, and it might not. With what they know they have a good plan. But I was thinking why not just do a Super Smash Bros type game with the characters? I am sure that would generate enough stuff in order to lock her.
SuperMario
On Re:Creators, I find a better solution instead of going all cross-media like the show suggests. Someone could just make some fan-fiction on Altair that purposely show her weakness (like get busted when expose to the sun, or the magic word that render her skills useless). Less efforts, more effective
SuperMario
Man, I agree wholeheartedly with what KT said here: mass media actually sells, so it keeps the industry to a more stable position; then the art-house/more adult oriented anime can have some freedom to do what they like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its more that I have to read it all at the same time as expecting action to come , it might change my mind if I watched it in English.
Anonymous1205580
KT here: I accept the mass media because it raises the funds for the less mainstream stuff I like. That is how I make my peace.

On RE:Creators. I get what you guys say. But for some reason I do not find the exposition heavy in this series. Every person has his own limit I guess
Alonaria
@Kaiser: Yep, that sounds about right, lol. I take my Sheldon in concentrated doses. I might give the Young Sheldon spin off an episode or two because it's highly exaggerated but still somewhat relatable to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel big bang theory is a show for people who know nothing about nerds/nerd culture to find funny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And then theres this thing about Sheldon being some kind of autism spectrum thing , which is kind of annoying to hear when I am on the spectrum myself and never really found the character all that amusing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably not the strongest reason to go off a show but, it was people around me going on and on about big bang theory that eventually put me off it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol is it any surprise Miura and the hunter x hunter guy take so many breaks =P
Alonaria
*Sheldon
Alonaria
I pick and choose Big Bang episodes that I enjoy. Shelden in the ball pit never ceases to amuse me. Still, it's definitely overrated haha.
Lenlo
IT Crowd > Modern Big Bang. Early Big Bang was good.

And yes, the work conditions in the Manga Industry are terrible. Oda, One Piece Mangaka, works stupid hours. He requests his assistances be "Willing to die for One Piece" because of the amount of work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And hell yeah"! someone else thats hates on big bang theory.
IT crowd > big bang.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more safer
Kaiser-Eoghan
And yet now here I am at same time, I think it might be kind of a shame that I can't see the value and fun anymore in some less safer offerings.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I thinking I might go insane if I looked up comments defending the visuals in occultic; nine.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hate to say it but sometimes opinions, mainstream ones are actually wrong. Its a fact that superhero films have bad action scenes and cinematography and Hardboiled, a chinese action film is better filmed in terms of choreography.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As dickish as this is to say, I really do recoil when ssomeone says something like the Notebook or fifty shades is the best film of all time/their favourite.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See theres also factoring in the people whos favourite film or anime of all is the most recent they finished.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember mentioning recently that I was re-watching the twilight zone, the response I got was "I thought that you were talking about twilight"
Kaiser-Eoghan
See thats whats so great about being able to talk about more niche stuff online, theres an easier to find common ground.
AidanAK47
In general when it comes to mass popular opinion it's the tried and true safe stuff that ends up selling. The highest selling Mario games are the New Super Mario ones. The same generic Light novel and harems keep selling. There are plenty of examples but majority opinion tends to gravitate to the safe and familiar.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See, most (offline) people (and or teenagers)who aren't really all that interested in film or don't look into it that much will turn out for things like fifty shades, transformers or twilight, thats why those are popular. Most people aren't going to watch something made more than a few years ago or subtitled.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh...lol fuck thats a blunder...yes I meant Re:creators.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But by all means, people are fully entitled to like what they like. But there is a reason why so much rubbish gets popular.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Re:Creators.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As someone who would actually consider themselves creative and interested in things being imaginative I really do hate the whole anti-creativity /anti-art, anti-intelligence movement and way of thinking that allows un-deservedly popular things like what Aidan mentioned to fester.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes Re:zero's poor pacing and leaden dialogue is becoming too dominant and there should be more action, its good Setsuna opened up, but I still don't particularly like him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine the magazines/editors probably consider themselves the writers sometimes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pretty sure I only read nisekoi because I was keeping up with conversations about it, then dropped it before the Chitoge doublie showed up, just stopped reading.
AidanAK47
On the matter of Re:Creators, I feel the same as the Anon said. I find the exposition to just drone on far too much.
AidanAK47
On the matter of the manga industry being shit...it is. Manga in general is great but Jesus Christ the industry is a mess. Work conditions are utterly abhorrent and it's even worse that most series live or die based on a magazine popularity poll.
Because just because something is popular, does not mean it is quality. Example: Transformers, Twilight, Fifty shades, Sword Art Online, Big Bang theory
AidanAK47
@Anon, Still not getting your logic here. I mean if I have a problem with it after trying it then why am I not allowed to complain about it? Anyway it is only popular for the pandering. Even those who like Nisekoi admit that it's a mediocre harem and they mainly enjoy the waifu wars on the internet.
SuperMario
and now we will resort to illegal streaming sites for this one. "Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem", this f*cking true
SuperMario
Huh? Welcome to the Ballroom Anime Gets Amazon Prime-Only Streaming Inside and Outside Japan. Now that just unbearable
SuperMario
Don't know about this new Re:Creators episode since I haven't watched it, but I don't really mind Meteora. Her dialogues scream "exposition" but she still fits well to the story. The fights are good, I agree, but why didn't they go all the way with the world's collapse last episode?
Anonymous1202407
Whether Nisekoi is pandering or not, it is not enough proof for you to suggest that manga industry is shit. If u want good mainstream then its not that hard to find. Also for every success like Nisekoi which u claim to be pandering, there are dozen like it that failed to be popular. Why? Because it clearly is popular for a reason other than just simple pandering.
SuperMario
Ha, Ping Pong. I need that kind of show again in my life.
Lenlo
Also, Ping Pong is amazing.
Lenlo
Theres a difference between pandering to a large audience, and an anime/manga with a quality story that everyone ends up liking. Ive always found moe shows and things like Nisekoi to be the former.
Anonymous1202407
If you have a problem with it after trying it just dont read it. Its that simple. Also what a surprise that a show like nisekoi that appeals to a large demographic is popular. U want the mangaka to apologize it's not some art house story like Ping Pong?
Lenlo
Meteora is pretty hit or miss with her dialogue imo. Sometimes its great, othertimes its not. I can say though I enjoy most of the fights.
Anonymous1202113
I really want to like Re:Creators. To be honest though, I'm getting tired of the dialogue. It has its high points, but it sometimes just seems to drone on and on, especially with all of Meteora's "hypotheses."
KT
Both Bahamut and RE:Creators had great episodes. But I was indeed mentally screaming Super Smash Bros at RE:Creators. You will get the point when you watch the episode.
AidanAK47
Taken on it's own, Nisekoi is harmless. But it is undeniably proof that you need not be creative or innovative to succeed in the industry. In fact declaring creative bankruptcy could turn more fruitful than genuine effort.
AidanAK47
And I said how can you decide you don't like something if you haven't read it?
Of course you are likely mean that if you don't like something then give up on reading it further which of course does not mean that someone cannot complain about it regardless.
Anonymous1198985
No, Im said if you dont like nisekoi dont read it
AidanAK47
@Anon, How do you know you don't like it if you don't read it?
Anonymous1196967
Don't like it don't read it.
AidanAK47
I went and read Double Arts. This really was a great manga with tons of potentail and truly didn't deserve the axe. It's so depressing that this was cut off so soon and the author went on to make the most generic Harem ever Nisekoi, and that got over 200 chapters.
Lenlo
All of the important dance scenes for Yuri were fantastic, its just some minor one off characters and some reused ones that were an issue, so no they are better than the CGI
Anonymous1190387
Is it worse than those CGI dance scenes in some anime?
AidanAK47
@Puran, It is pretty surprising how well that story turns out. I say IG might do the job even if there animation isn't the most consistent. The one thing I am worried about is those necks though. In the PV those things were ridiculously long.
Puran
Fair enough, recycling the animation was bad, agreed. But the animation itself was really good.
Lenlo
See, I found the repeated dances in Yuri one of the worse parts. Alot of it was recycled animation and certain characters were obviously rushed/not done. Some were amazing, cause they took their time, but others looked terrible.
Puran
I kinda wish Mappa was doing the anime though. Yuri on Ice had really nicely animated dances (and was more or less the only actually good quality of that show :P )
Puran
Reading the Ballroom e Youkoso manga has made me really excited about the Anime.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Aidan: I'm particularly turned off by bully/bullying cliches these days. I've only read the first two volumes to see how awful she was but I ended up simply losing track of the series and stopped reading.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Mario: Actually that has changed, I had to pick a different day to see it given changes in schedule, I've booked it for NEXT Wednesday now. I've watched Akira about four times.
AidanAK47
Oh, Rising of the Shield Hero is getting an anime adaption. Hmmm...honestly after finishing the series and looking over it as a whole I am not sure I even want that. Plus seeing Bitch Animated...would fill me with rage.
SuperMario
I intend to re-watch Akira soon, probably this weekend. It has been almost 10 years since my first watch and now I don't remember much about that one. Thought it was intriguing and complex but not as acclaimed as people hyped it to be (I'll pick Ghost in the Shell anytime). Wonder how I'd feel now after re-watching it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I remember you mentioned that you were going to watch In this Corner of the World today right? How was the movie Kaiser?
Lenlo
Oh cool, food wars is getting a 3rd season
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ballroom youkoso appears to be leading the polls.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Fumiko is a female mangaka yes. Also I found bokura no hentai worth reading.
SuperMario
yep, I finished that manga too and I have conflicted feeling about it. Yuri(!) part and fanservice are to blatant but they have a purpose. This mangaka (not sure but I think she's a girl) has some unique voice.
AidanAK47
....well I skimmed that manga. And it was weird
SuperMario
By all appearances,Sakura is normal,albeit sheltered junior high school girl who enjoy talking about love and walking home from school together.However,they also happen to inhabit a strange and supernatural world populated by mysterious,gigantic beings and unusual plant and animal life.Amid their peaceful lives,Sakura becomes very interested in something only alluded to exist in old books: dicks
SuperMario
Here's a synopsis of other manga from the same author, I think you'll have a better idea of his theme -
Sakura no Sono
AidanAK47
Pretty much what Masky said. I am not really praising it. Anyway I plan to read one or two more chapters to see where it's going. But if it's going in the direction I think it's going then I am dropping this one fast.
Kaiser_Eoghan
There is of course the underlying concern that it will go a very ugly route with that development or it could become edgy/horribly minipulative, but for now it is as mario said, a hook.
SuperMario
Well. overall I don't dislike what I read there. It has good hook and I'm intrigued to know more what the hell will happen. Good set-up for me. I'm in
SuperMario
@Masky: it's fine Masky, since I will chec itk out any way and see it for myself ^^
Masky
So since you guys started being interested, I checked it out and uh.. Yeah, not reading. I think ye guys misunderstood Aidans warnings since that was just fucked up and not in the interesting way.
Lenlo
@Aidan: Berserk will never again go more than 3-4 months without a hiatus.
SuperMario
Hmmm, that manga Cutie Mutie sounds good to me. I might check it out later today
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: But had you not alluded to that scene, I may have seen the cover of that manga and skipped over it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I had a feeling, sort of, sad, I am intrigued to read more.
AidanAK47
Hyping and warning are not the same thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well with Aidan hyping up the horrors of cutie mutie I may as well glance at it to see what he' on about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three manga with the name rec.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am familiar with the artist for cutie mutie, she did that manga about the three kids dealing with gender/orientation issues.
AidanAK47
Oh look Berserk is on Haitus again....
.....the sad thing is that it comes as expected now.
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