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
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
Masky
Like, seriously you could do really interesting story variant on isekai with that if done right. Suddenly becoming characters you have roleplayed would be trippy as hell espicially if one of characters went really into detail with backstory while one of them is just "Bob the fighter, he likes fighting" and has to deal with what happens when you assume life of such a person
Masky
But I wouldn't honestly be surprised because of my anger issues related to amount of unimaginative isekai :P Though I guess trpg based one would be more imaginative in comparison
Masky
I'd assume not since I assume tabletop rpgs are much more niche than jrpgs in japan
Masky
So has anyone yet done isekai where guys getting transferred were playing trpg? :P
KTravlos
quite happy with most recent Attack of Titan manga chapter.
SuperMario
Alright, one more impression post to go before we really get on to new season
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, I just fixed it. Thank you
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than just the reviewers names
Kaiser-Eoghan
A slight problem with the coding there in the newest impression, showing code gobbledeegook rather than the reviewers names above their impressions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm seeing it on 2nd of February.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Late screeners generally leak shortly after the uk release, so maybe early Febbruary it'll be online?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, Phantom Thread. Could be Daniel Day Lewis's final performance. Is it available online already?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you know that Paul Thomas Anderso8n has a new film coming out? Also I found out there is a Polish semi-knockoff of purple rose of cairo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Awesome, just got myself an invite to a secret private torrent site =)
K-Off
@Kaiser When I was in University, I was a waiter at a Korean-owned Japanese Sushi restaurant with a kitchen staff of entirely Mexicans with poor English. The owner, while he provided the rest of his staff with small meals during our lunch or dinner shifts, never game any to the kitchen staff. The guy even ranted to a customer about how "lazy" or "ignorant" they were.
K-Off
Buses are pretty common in America, even outside the major super-cities like LA, NYC, or Chicago. It's public rail you're thinking of that we don't have much of outside the cities.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I brought up the racisim/aunt story wondering if anyone had any horror stories about where they worked?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: Buses don't seem to be a thing in America, meanwhile over here, despite traffic, public transport is much more of a thing, couldn't imagine not getting a train or bus somewhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi. I must say you changed my positive view of the German education system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And yet Austria gets the far right party in power and Israel also has a far right apartheid leader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If any good came from it, her boss got banned from facebook .
Amagi
Two years ago the alt/new right hold a rally here since they're successful elsewhere with their anti-immigrant/PoC speeches. In the end it was 35 nazis vs 29.000 counter-demonstrators. The joke: when they had to leave with police protection they shouted "We are the people". Yes 35 hated bigots are surely the people, not the 29k. I laughed.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: That aunt story is pretty shit. I am kinda happy about smartphones nowadays, you can often make photos or record speech if you are witnessing something. Also, thank God the racists in my city are very rare since antifa and leftwingers took hold of it decades ago - now 70% of people are immigrants so racists don't even tend to show up anymore.
Nielllo
Great. I don't think most of what I wrote actually appeared in the chat.
Niello
what I'm going to do in the long run.
Niello
While Liberal art colleges are really good for developing writing and reading skills, the truth is in science classes you still don't do much of that. it's also limited by general lack of equipments that you get at bigger Uni. My college don't even have engineering.
Bokusen
@Kaiser Darn it, I hate it when racists try to justify their beliefs. That guy sounds like a major jerk!
Bokusen
@Niello Ah, yeah I think I might have preferred the UK system too if they give a month to study for exams! Wow...That sounds much nicer. Oh, and yeah, I wish the US had better public transport too... After seeing Japan's public transport system, I wish the US's could be more like it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The landlords love to kickout people through unfair prices a stick their friends in instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Since we're on careers, it reminds me, one of my aunts telling me what a bastard her boss was, guy was a racist, she complained about it then he got rid of all the evidence linking him to it and made it seem as if she was the rascist and humiliated her in front of her Arab friends.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think we all end up getting this huge kick in the ass moment where we learn andget it together.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It gets better thankfully, grew up and am happy with this postal clerk job.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The landlord story is a common one, they still think themselves feudal lords.
Amagi
And yeah, all this neet time. Although not moving out isn't that uncommon here anymore, considering how the rent increases, especially in my region (European bank city). And if I look at my friends it seems like they've the same problems. Even those who have found their dream jobs are otherwise living a nerdy life, going to pubs at night and so on. I think a part of us will always stay twenty.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This "career" was exactly the same for me. I am pretty sure I wasn't even capable of thinking about my future up until, as you said, mid-twenties. There were just so many other things that interested/bothered me, school wasn't even among my top 30s or so.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Oh how I regret not getting into novels, noe my concentration is too shit to read them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I don't think teenagers even really know who they themselves actually are .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Youth is wasted on the young.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember wasting so many chances to properly appreciate and get into certain things when I was younger too, when I actually had the time. We have no idea how to use it at that age.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The answer is down to the kid themselves wising up early and adults needing to find a way to REALLY motivate kids.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hated being in that position, leeching off my parents/the state.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember as a teenager thinking watching films/anime/playing videogames with my friends/brother would last forever, then getting a dose of reality that everyone just moved on .
Kaiser-Eoghan
and between short contracts you spend months as a neet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You just end up bouncing between go nowhere evening/day courses that are more about putting asses on seats than actually getting anyone anywhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
and then you find out you dossed off so much in school you can't get to grips with university.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't recommend anyone doing what I did in my teens and early 20s, dossing off all the time, then finding out you have to wait five years to go to college as mature student, your school results are middling and not job/college useful, end up taking forever to get to the stage where you can start building up temporary job experience because no one will hire you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Heck, as a teenager I remember pretty much living in the moment, never even thought seriously about what I wanted to do, I don't think I even thought about that my adolescence would end, pretty much rushed through my homework and never studied, stayed up all night watching anime/reading manga and playing videogames allday.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I actually matured/grew up until I was in my mid twenties.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My school never did a career prep class.
Kaiser-Eoghan
in the end thats how I got to where I am now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I took a different path in life to working, doing temp and voluntary work over time to buildup experience all over the place and working out what I wanted to do that way.
K-Off
@Kaiser @Amagi Besides the characters, Emma would not work if not for the sheer passion for Victorian history that you see in every single frame. Reading Emma reminded me not to avoid historical manga entirely as I'd done before.
K-Off
Probably why Community College is one of the best things to ever happen to the United States' education system, since it catches those students who need some time to figure out what they want to study. I went through three years of it before transferring to University.
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Featured Posts

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 02 [Kabukicho Fremantle]

I’m glad that this second episode addresses straight out all my worries from the first episode: the actual implementation to make that trip a reality, because boy, it’s no simple matter. Universe apparently does its research, telling us exactly places they need to go, the initial trip ahead and the amount of money they need […]

3-gatsu no Lion – 33/34 [Where the Sun Shines…Light]

It’s been three weeks since my last 3-gatsu post, a gap owed in part to the break the show took around New Years’. Perhaps it’s because of all that time away from the series, or maybe it’s due to the massive difference between these two episodes, but I had a tough time connecting with the […]

Dies Irae – 10/11[Einherjar/Self-Destruction Factor]

Quite late in covering this one though out of the three shows I covered for the fall season my level of interest in this series has more or less evaporated. Truth be told, while this is a episode review of ten and eleven, i honestly cannot even remember what happened in episode ten. I think […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 12 [Better to ask the way than go astray]

Welcome to the end of Mahoutsukai’s first cour! Apologies for the lateness of this review. I had expected another to come out over Christmas and to simply do a double feature, but Mahoutsukai pulled on over on me! This week we finish up Chise’s wand, get to see Grandfather Nevin again and have an almost […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 24/25[The Holy Grail War/Apocrypha]

Forgive me for my lack of updates with the series I am blogging but as I am sure you all know, holidays tend to keep us busy for one thing or another. Believe it or not i only recently got around to finishing this series last two episodes and they didn’t really surprise me all […]

Latest Reviews

In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]

Fate/Apocrypha Anime Review – 64/100

I was quite excited for Apocrypha and in the so called year of Fate adaptations, it looked to be the crown jewel. Sadly, partly due to lacking adaption and the source lacking in areas, this anime turned out to be not quite the jewel I thought it would be. It’s hard to call this a […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World Anime Review – 73/100

One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up […]

Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

It would not be an exaggeration to say that my favorite type of anime is the political-military epic. This comes partly out of my profession, I study war and politics, but also my hobby, as military and political history is something I enjoy. When it comes to anime there is a clear sub-category that can […]

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) Movie Review – 92.5/100

“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]

Inuyashiki Review – 80/100

Do you know what the average age of an anime protagonist is? Neither do I, but I’d wager its in the upper teens. For obvious reasons, most anime focus on high school and have high school aged protagonists with similarly aged problems. Its not often that we get a good older main character, who has […]