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
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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