Posted on 29 December 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Blade of the Immortal


Blade of the Immortal is Bee-Train’s latest series, based on the rumoured excellent manga of the same name. It’s a series that’s definitely not for everyone, especially fans of the manga who are hoping to see a faithful adaptation, neither is it for those who have a very slim taste in music. However, if you’re looking for a number of well-coordinated fights and engaging characters, then you’re at the right address.

The series basically follows an immortal samurai (Manji), helping a weak but determined young girl (Rin) in exacting revenge on the death of her parents. What makes this series especially worth watching is the growth of Rin, as she questions what it means to take revenge, and whether it’s going to be worth it, and what her purpose is if she just keeps going to be rescued by Manji. In only 13 episodes, she grows into a strong character, despite her weak physique. Manji himself doesn’t exactly grow too much, but instead the creators manage to flesh him out really well in a relatively short amount of time, and he becomes a fun and interesting character to watch.

Fights also form a large part in this series, and for those who were afraid that Bee-Train has lost the ability to create good action-scenes, this series is there to prove them wrong. It’s daring, but the creators decided to go for an experimental animation style for the battles. The characters look fairly normal, and the animation budget isn’t particularly high either, but the series is full of interesting and creative camera-angles and poses. Overall, it’s a really nicely choreographed series.

But the biggest experimental feature of this series is the music. Bee-Train was already know as the studio with awesome music, but they carry that even further with this series: the soundtrack is unlike anything ever heard in an anime series. Kou Otani managed to produce an incredibly varied piece of work that feels incredibly random, yet somehow works. It’s a soundtrack you’ll either love or hate.

The biggest weakness of this series? It’s too damn short! The series ends just at the point where the series is done warming up, and there’s so much potential left in it that it would be a huge shame not to have some sort of second season. Blade of the Immortal is an excellent horror-series that may not be really faithful to the original manga, but nevertheless managed to create an excellent atmosphere.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Blade of the Immortal



Short Synopsis: Rin tells Manji about who she met last episode.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Okay, so this felt absolutely nothing like an ending. The final battle? A sparring match between Rin and Manji. This episode was much more about the side-characters, and actually introduced much more than that it wrapped up. Is this really the end of the Blade of the Immortal anime? I most definitely hope not!

The most important event of this episode was the death of Taito’s sister, through the hands of Shira. It seems that he is indeed working together with Hyakurin and Giichi to get rid of the Ittou-Ryuu. The question now remains whether we’re ever going to see that one animated. This episode also shows how Rin comes to accept that she’s weak, and that she wishes to improve (hence the sparring match between her and Manji at the end).

But what I loved most about this episode is that the music really went all out on this episode. The soundtrack of this series is truly original, even though many people will dislike it. The wide variety of instruments and mood changes felt awesome.

Posted on 20 December 2008 with categories: Blade of the Immortal



Short Synopsis: While away from Manji, Rin runs into a certain someone.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
You know, this wasn’t exactly the episode you’d expect as a semi-final one of a series. Even though it involved the main villain, it was just a standalone episode. If the creators plan to wrap up the series in the next episode, it’d all have to happen in one episode. But then again, that’s also what I said of Amatsuki and I’m still waiting for that second friggin’ season announcement. The thing that’s interesting here is that the only times at which Bee-Train left their series unfinished, another studio jumped up at the chance to finish off what they started (namely .Hack//Roots and Tsubasa Chronicle). Who knows? The fact remains though, that this series needs to be continued so badly.

This episode’s purpose was to remind that not all action of this series lies in swords and other sharp weapons. The majority of the action in this episode went on in the characters’ minds: Rin was incredibly unfortunate to run into Kagehisa while Manji was assuming that she was taking a bath, and of course she tried to attack him by herself. Kagehisa easily overpowered her and she spend the rest of the episode, unable to do anything against the killer of her parents.

It’s a great move: to actually be able to talk to the one you hold a grudge against, and have this person explain his reasons, rather than blindly charging at each other without listening to what the other has to say. It also was different from when a character suddenly stops mid-fight in order to spontaneously blurt out his life story: Rin really wanted to do something against the guy, but she was paralyzed, while Kagehisa kept looking down on her, and never found her worthy enough to kill.

Posted on 1 December 2008 with categories: Blade of the Immortal



Short Synopsis: Rin vs. Kawakami part II
Highlights: Excellent fight.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
It’s episodes like this one that convince me that Bee-Train can still make good fights when they want to; especially when backed up by such an excellent manga as this one. I’m beginning to see why they chose such a strange manga-series to adapt this time, because it’s of course perfect to experiment with in terms of artistic direction. The fights in this series aren’t impressive because of their animation-quality (which in fact still rather sucks), but because it turns simple fights like this one into pieces of art.

I must say that it must have taken a lot of guts to make such an excellent manga into a sort-of experimental anime like this. But on the other hand you have to wonder why for ten years nobody had stepped up to adapt it before Bee-Train did. I mean, I’ve seen comments about this series that it would have been best when in the hands of the Madhouse animation studio. And while I sort-of agree with it, I do think that if Madhouse really wanted to adapt this series, they would have done so already.

In any case, the use of music was typical Bee-Train in this episode, and yet it wasn’t like most of their other series. The whole episode had a huge contrast between silence and fast-paced music. It’s been like this for nearly the entire series so far: there are silent moments at very strange parts of the fights, and it definitely has an interesting effect. But then again, Bee-Train has always been known to play up-beat music at very strange scenes as well, so I guess that it was only a matter of time before they would go the opposite.

And regarding the story, it continues its thought-provoking look at revenge, and I really liked how Rin was about to create a kid, just like her by robbing him of his parent. Even though she changed her mind about killing a father like him. She solved it in a pretty interesting way, by pretending that she had killed Manji afterwards for the guy, so that he wouldn’t become like her.

Posted on 17 November 2008 with categories: Blade of the Immortal



Short Synopsis: At a local festival, Rin finally finds her next target.
Highlights: Obviously an episode meant to save a bit of budget, but nonetheless an excellent prelude.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
Despite this episode being a step down from the last arc, I’m beginning to love this series more and more. Even during the quiet parts that are meant to save some budget for future fight scenes, this series still has enough interesting stuff going on.

This episode really showed how much Rin has grown. The development that she went through this series is something that takes most other series twice the amount of time, and it has felt really natural so far. She has learned to swallow her pride, and I really like how she didn’t blindly chaerg at first sight, but instead tried to find out his side of the story.

I like how in this series, nobody is really portrayed as a bad guy apart from a few grunts here and there, in the same way that nobody is really on the good side. The guy in this episode for example surely did some horrible things in the past, but at the same time he’s doing a really good job of raising a son and keeping said son away from his past. He’s really portrayed as a human being. The masked guy of the third episode was more delusional than pure evil. He cared about those dear to him, but took those feelings way too far in his mind.

My only complaint was tat the music in this episode felt a bit forced at the end, with an entire episode of subtle sounds, after which the series’ main tune suddenly starts playing from out of nowhere. It’s an amazing song, and it really adds to the atmosphere, but the way it starts could have been more subtle

Posted on 3 November 2008 with categories: Blade of the Immortal



Short Synopsis: The re-match between Manji and Makie.
Highlights: The huge psychological warfare that went on during the battle.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
With episodes like this, where one fight basically takes up the entire episode, I just can’t help but wonder why it felt so awesome here, and yet when series as Soul Eater stretch a fight-scene, with their far-superior animation, it feels like a chore to get through (for me, at least). I think the big difference is that the talking in Blade of the Immortal has a very important meaning to the fight, and this episode also shows that the psychological aspect is very important, while Soul Eater instead try to increase their length with an explanation that’s just good for a bit of background, and never adds anything to the characterization.

In any case, this episode was probably the best one of the series so far, mostly thanks to Makie and her fascinating character, who’s standing between her own values and her love with Kagehisa. This episode really showed me why she’s this series’ strongest warrior: not only is she very proficient with her weapon, but she also makes optimal use of the environment she’s in, compared to Manji, who’s just good at hacking and slashing his victims until they go down, and uses his persistence as his main weapon.

I also really like what Rin did, at the end of the episode. She’s very mature for her age: she realized that for her revenge, she killed many people, she acknowledges it, and yet she stands firm to her decision to avenge her parents and go through with the decision she made. This episode showed that she had a lot of doubts when confronted with it, but I really like that she was able to use this as another look at the spectrum, and went on to help Manji.

Posted on 20 October 2008 with categories: Blade of the Immortal



Short Synopsis: The Ittou-Ryuu now starts sending women after Manji.
Highlights: This show can both be funny and romantic if it wants to.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Quite a unique episode for Blade of the Immortal. Manji and Rin are purposefully kept in the background, in order to focus on some of the other characters: Kagehisa Anotsu and a new one: Makie Otono-Tachibana. There was a lot of dialogue between them, but if I picked up things correctly, the two of them have a crush on each other, but aren’t in an official relationship. Makie is a Geisha who seems to work for the Ittou-Ryuu in order to make money, but I’m not sure about her exact role yet, or who it was that ordered her to go and take care of Manji. In any case, it seems that in this episode, Makie finally managed to cut whatever ties she had with the Ittou-Ryuu, or vice versa. I think that Kagehisa just tried to love her because of her combat skills.

The fact that this episode focused on different characters also had another very nice result: there was a bit of time left to flesh out Manji and Rin. Really, Manji is getting ruder with every episode, and especially their banter about Manji’s sexual escapades was pretty funny, and how Rin tried to take that too seriously. It was a bit awkward to see that from a fourteen year-old girl, but then again: Rin didn’t exactly grow up normally, having witnessed her mother being raped and all.

I also loved the directing-style of this episode. the animation is still not really impressive, but especially in this episode, the creators really made u for it with some very nice poses and visual imagery. It works especially well with the already excellent sound of this series.

Posted on 6 October 2008 with categories: Blade of the Immortal



Short Synopsis: Shizuma asks the help of a familiar character to get rid of Manji.
Highlights: Rin.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
Ah, I’m really beginning to see where Bee-Train plans to go with the first 13 episodes of this series (who knows how long it will be in the end?). Its general rule of thumb is “don’t introduce any complex or complicated plot-twists or character-development unless the characters are developed”. And indeed, this series so far has been mostly action-scenes, and fleshing out Rin and Manji. At the same time, we also already get a bit of a taste of the major characters of the later arcs. I don’t know exactly how much of the manga Bee-Train changed, but this does explain why the plot has felt relatively simple so far.

And albeit slowly, the plot is definitely moving. Shizuma doesn’t turn out to be a major character at all, because in this episode he dies. Same as the old grandmother who delivered Manji and Shizuma their worms. That by the way was about as untypical as a major death in anime as you can get. There was no blown-up drama. Shizuma just stepped outside of his cottage, and when he stepped back in, he already killed her with his poison. I was surprised to find out about her grandchild, by the way. At the end of the episode, it still lives, so I’m curious whether it’s going to appear again.

In any case, I keep getting more impressed by Rin, who’s turning into much more than just a damsel in distress. Even though she’s nowhere as strong as the other guys in this series, she does what she can in order to help Manji. And even when she does get captured, these raw emotions of fear are very nicely portrayed. And at the end, she’s able to set herself past these traumatic experiences. You can really see her mature.

Posted on 22 September 2008 with categories: Blade of the Immortal



Short Synopsis: This episode fleshes out some of the members of the Ittou-Ryuu
Highlights: The ending.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
So, the Ittou-Ryuu has its own enemies too, and this episode shows them as they get rid of those who are in their way. The first seems to be some sort of ronin, the second one looks to be a merchant. I didn’t quite catch what exactly it was that made them anger the Ittou-Ryuu, but they served as nice material to flesh out Hyakurin and Giichi, even though interestingly enough, the two of them don’t seem to be this series’ main characters. In fact, we haven’t even met two of the more important characters of this series yet.

This episode also properly introduces the monk, or Shizuma Eikuu, as he tries to get rid of Manji in the second half of this episode. The guy’s an immortal too, and he’s been living for 200 years, and he actually tries to get rid of Manji by hitting him with a poisoned dagger. What striked me the most was at the end, when Manji is actually writhing in pain, because his worms don’t work, and especially Rin’s voice-acting was excellent. Her voice-acting was powerful, without being melodramatic. Her voice-actor did Kakunojou from Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto before, which was another roe that sounded great and that was set in the Japanese history.

Posted on 9 September 2008 with categories: Blade of the Immortal



Short Synopsis: Next up: the swordsman who walks around with Rin’s parents’ sword.
Highlights: This series quite possibly has the fastest-paced start of any Bee-Train series so far.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
Ah, screw the manga that this series ruined. I might end up reading it as soon as the series is over, but for now I’m really enjoying this series, manga or no manga. You can really see that Bee-Train is trying out something new, and it working out really well so far. It’s amazing to think how much has already happened in this series, especially since in your average Bee-Train series, the first ten episodes are spent fleshing out the characters instead. The past five episodes, though, have kept pushing the storyline forward.

What I really liked about this episode is that everything just happens with minimal exposition and yet it works. This series knows what it is, and is built around its action-sequences. And okay, so the action-sequences themselves are rather dull, everything around them rocks.

The guy from this episode, Magatsu, is one who thinks he’s special because a samurai killed his sister in the past, up to the point where it almost sounds like he’s proud of it. He never really learned to let go of the horrible experience, to the result that it continues to haunt him even though it happened decades ago.

As it turns out, a major theme in this series is acting out of impulses. Rin was already guilty of this, but in this episode Manji also shows that he can be quite the impulsive bastard, and go running off without notifying anyone. This episode also shows that the Ittou-Ryuu have more enemies than just Asano Rin. This could become interesting.

And I’ve also been wondering: why do the eye-catch and the ED show the characters in a modern setting? Could the creators be planning to set the second half of this series in modern times? Did this happen in the manga as well?

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
Anonymous3070771
Also, anybody notice Blanca's VA is Kira (from Diamond is Unbreakable)? What a wonderful duwang!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: The producer guy Miyano is voicing, much like the show is irritating because the show has this "look at me look at me" feel to it, it just comes off as desperate to me and this is just going by the one episode I watched and hated.
Anonymous3070771
What's that damn piano song that plays when Ash and Eiji are talking about Japan. It's too good. For some reason, it's really magical
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was the one who said that.
@Niello: You don't need to see steins; gate zero, myself and lenlo discussed it to death as it was airing, its all over the place. I like the original too but after a while of the first half being fun, I just wanted it to start.
Anonymous3070771
Phew, great episode of BF; whoever said the gang war stuff was the weakest point was right. this stuff is getting fantastic again.
Niello
Also I agree, Zombieland first episode was amazing, second episode is still rather great, and then the other episodes have just been meh.
Niello
In Zombieland it doesn't help that the character he's voicing with that tone is an asshole, which isn't a good combination because it's making him more annoying by the episode.
Niello
Steins;Gate is pretty good, but I don't think I like it nearly as much as most people do (I gave it a 7/10). I also haven't bothered with Steins;Gate 0. And although I didn't mind Myano in Steins;Gate, I didn't particularly like his voice there either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the sombreness of Blanca's character. Poor Ash, so broken in this episode.
AidanAK47
Yeah after episode 2 it's been a downgrade. Zombieland is still alright to watch but it really has become what it parodied.
Vonter
Zombieland sadly has winded down. I mean it was expected but still I was hoping some more creative attempts to use in the typical genre. It'll have been better if they had waken up more slowly in order to flesh the archetypes a bit more. It still has charismatic moments though.
Lenlo
Really Niello? See, I like it because it's the voice we never got in Steins;Gate 0. Its Okabe's Kyouma voice, and I have a nostalgic love for it
Masky
Wasn't gyary isekai another one that existed?
Niello
I hate Miyano voice in Zombieland Saga and find him annoying tbh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am getting sick of self aware humour though. I see this show as something that was fun to make (such as Miyano seems to be feeling based on performances) but not fun for me to watch and that kind of extends to the manager who while I agree would be the best part of the show, I stopped finding funny after the joke was done.
Lenlo
For me, the main selling point of Zombieland Saga was always Miyano. I love this mans crazy voice.

And in regards to Isekai, discounting this most recent one, SAO actually is pretty good this season so far. Kirito is still bland, but its taking things a lot slower and actually building the world. Its taking its time with 52 episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the sound of it, if some who liked the first episodes don't care for the ones beyond those two episode, then I'm glad I stopped watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did flick through episode 2 but the rap battle thing was particularly awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I couldn't stand the humour and have up on the show after the first half of episode 1.
Anonymous3065780
What Zombieland does have that Ore doesn't is better animation and Miyano hamming it up. But that's all it has going for it at the moment.
Anonymous3065780
You have a few "ha ha look at this" moments scattered here and there like how Ore episode 5 was basically one big middle finger to the nature of anime production, or Zombieland's Tae Yamada. But the parody value from the first two episodes is all but gone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its in part my own fault , I jumped the gun in the first half of episode one then all goodwill I had for it died after the first couple of minutes.
Anonymous3065780
@Kaiser Same here. Very disappointed that Zombieland is going down the same route that Mahou Shoujo Ore went down: basically becoming what it purported to parody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every isekai that pops up in recent seasons, I simply just ignore it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On another note, surely I'm not the only one who dropped zombieland saga? I'm not alone am I?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean, I've never seen an episode of konosuba or rezero and refuse to , no game no life is a series of two halves, I barely watched any of gate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the only one I can say I care about is Tanya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I think I've done a fairly good job at avoiding the modern isekai thing, I've never actually cared enough to sit through one fully beyond the first season of log horizon, 4 seasons of zero no tsukaima. Other than that I've seen maybe 7 episodes of sword art . Never seen a single episode of overlord and won't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm also glad their mentioning stuff like the peoples will, the historical assassination of the Russian emperor. I enjoy the tidbits of historical reference for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: But I don't think the animation is as good as it should be in the anime adaptation and its not as violent as the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I am up to date on the manga, the post first scene chapters that have caught my attention most have been Edogai, the big scenes in the prison and that bonnie and clyde duo.
Anonymous3065196
@SuperMario Are you watching GK s2? Any thoughts on it since you aren't covering this weekly?
Anonymous3065196
I think I laughed more from this than most of the comedies airing right now thanks to these bizarre situations and characters they're introducing.
Anonymous3065196
The anime is now covering the parts in the manga where things get a lot more dramatic, and a lot more weird and oddly hilarious.
Anonymous3065196
Wonder if anyone is still watching Golden Kamuy? We're way past the embarrassing CG bear.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A polar bear isekai exists.
AidanAK47
@Anon, it will be after in another world but a polar bear but before the gyarus in another world Isekai.
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Nobody could care about world building not really making sense or being inconsistent if it didn't have the grimderp parts that cause internet flame wars
MaskyAtPublicComputer
So it goes back to what I said: GS at its core is about (at least seemingly) about cool gorey tactical action with some character study of what its like to be broken person like GS is, but rape stuff just kinda ruins it for most people and it doesn't handle subject well
MaskyAtPublicComputer
gear doesn't rust and break down
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Anyhoo, I might remember wrong, but didn't GS purposedly use lower quality gear that has danger of breaking down in middle of combat? Thats kinda what I meant with "apparently using average quality gear is too dangerous", especially since its kinda hard to believe goblins could repurpose armor used by humans for themselves. I'm completely okay with him not using magical gear since D&D wise magical
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Like, you can't be like "Aha, characters think they are in JRPG, but its actually tabletop rpg oh wait no, it still follows realistic logic instead of tabletop rpg rules"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
See, barbarians in D&D don't wear armor because they are stronger without it, sure they have lower AC, but they have lot of health so they can tank a hit. So showing barbarian adventure dying in one hit because they were stupid enough to not wear armor just comes across as "So wait, is this supposed to be realistic, tabletop rpg or JRPG or what?"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
@AidanAK47: That IS actually part of reason why I said GS' author isn't thinking it through with world building. See, I actually think world being gods' D&D campaign does actually explain lot of details about how things don't make sense and it does fit with GS being D&D inspired, but that is another example of how GS is inconsistent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps not the strongest episode of honda-san, but the golden kamuy and Brazilian guy bit made up for it.
Lenlo
I might give it a watch after Kaze Fui finishes and write that up, just for you then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anime kind of feels a bit live actiony, which I know sounds confusing to hear, what I mean is the character designs.
Anonymous3060338
I'm very interested in doing a comparison between the anime adaptation and the live-action adaptation of Kaze ga once the series concludes next year just because these are two different mediums adapting the same novel. I would really like to know what they had to change or cut to get it down to 2 hours, compared to this two-cour series.
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Banana Fish – 18 [Islands in the Stream]

Ah Banana Fish, back in form this week. Ash and Eiji act like a married couple, Blanca show’s everyone whose boss and Yut continues to have no idea what’s going on. Lets jump in! On a general note Banana Fish is really picking back up. The Gang War/Hospital were easily the weakest part of the […]

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